It would take a lot of delusion and good will to label Downtown Miami as “charming” or “welcoming”. But a girl has to work and eat, so I get to spend a lot of time in the area. My favourite spot is Soya e Pomodoro, an oasis of relaxation and treats. You’ll feel as if you’re in Rome or Verona, having a casual Italian lunch. Several factors contribute to Soya’s excellence. For starters, the interior is incredible: the exposed walls in an ex-market hall or foyer, the charming, thrifty furniture, the semi-dried flowers on the tables, plants, books, bric-a-brac all over, laundry hanging on a line from the ceiling…
But of course, it’s not just the enticing setting and the unpretentious atmosphere that draws me there for lunch again and again: the quality of the food that Soya serves is simply outstanding. In Italian cuisine, the seemingly simplest dishes are often the most complicated ones: ask any connaisseur and he’ll tell you that it is a veritable science to make the perfect Gnocchi or the ideal tomato sauce, for example. Tellingly enough, almost everybody work at S&P is Italian. Yay authenticity!
A meal at Soya e Pomodoro starts with really good bread, both baguette and ciabatta. I find that you can judge a good restaurant by its bread, and Soya passes this test with flying colors. It’s hard to not stuff yourself on it before the main event! As entrees, I’ve had both pasta dishes (favourite: spinach ravioli in a creamy walnut sauce) and panini (favourite: soya burger), but no salad yet (I make acceptable salads myself, but handmade pasta? I’ll leave that to the pros.)
There’s one tiny downside to Soya: the service sometimes doesn’t match the quality of the food. However, I find myself forgiving the Soya guys their slightly rough attitude – after all, I go there for the food, and they always get it to me, with or without the smile.
Those photos were shot with a Topcon film camera. View them and a couple more on flickr, if you’d like.