Maurizio Farinelli, an experienced, third-generation restaurateur born and raised in Torino, the gastronomic heartland of northern Italy, boasts an impressive track record of opening and operating successful, high-quality restaurants. Whether the concept is fine dining or casual, Maurizio truly has the “golden touch,” noted writer Peter Laird in an earlier article published in SOMI (cf: Vol XVI, No.4).
Maurizio has returned to South Miami where in 1996 his career as a restaurateur was born with the opening of Trattoria Sole. He has now opened Mosaico in the former location of Blu la Pizzeria del Sole. Mosaico is a boutique fine-dining restaurant which showcases his four-decade culinary journey from Italy to Israel and Japan.
Sole was the city’s first fine-dining, white-tablecloth establishment since Grentner’s for Steak in the late 1960s. The restaurant proved to be an instant success, drawing a well-heeled crowd that included, among others, actor Michael Douglas and Miami Heat president Pat Riley, a regular there for years. From Trattoria Sole, Trattoria Luna, and Blu la Pizzeria del Sole in South Miami to Coconut Grove’s Strada in the Grove, Farinelli 1937 Pizzeria & Cucina and more, Maurizio has always had a keen sense for what diners want, and the ability to deliver a winning concept that checks all the boxes: desirable location, inviting ambiance, excellent service, and superb cuisine.
SOMI Magazine’s first cover (October 2005) pictured the vibrant al fresco dining scene at Trattoria Sole on Sunset Drive. Having personally known Maurizio since 1988 from Coral Gables’ Ristorante La Bussola and the Asti Sister-City program, I have appreciated witnessing his culinary journey and accomplishments over the years.
In 2019 Maurizio decided to sell his Coconut Grove restaurants and travel the world to expand his culinary horizons, traveling throughout Italy and Israel, visiting acclaimed restaurants, wineries, and markets to learn from fellow culinarians about different customs, cuisines and cooking methods. He spent months studying at Japan’s prestigious Tokyo Sushi Academy and is now certified by Japan’s Ministry of Food Industry to prepare sushi, sashimi and Japanese cuisine according to the country’s stringent standards.
It’s been since before Covid hit that Maurizio was busy planning his return to South Miami, and it’s been two long years negotiating with landlords and obtaining the necessary permits. The initial plan for opening Mosaico was almost a year ago.
An unpretentious businessman, as with each of his restaurants over the years, he has been beloved by his staff, his guests and particularly welcomed by surrounding businesses who appreciate his ability to increase foot traffic to the neighborhood.
And as it is said: “Good things come to those who wait.” Buon Appetito!