By Lisa Petrillo

DORAL (CBSMiami) — Casa Mariano in Doral is the ultimate hidden gem. It opened in September of 2021 and has found quite the following.

“We are in Doral, but we are right next to the 826 and 836 expressways. So, if people have business in Coral Gables it’s only a few minutes,” said General Manager and Sommelier Victor Tapia.

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The small, charming eatery with bright blues, whites, and corals has a Mediterranean vibe. Casa Mariano is named after Executive Chef and owner Mariano Araya. He’s bold in the kitchen, but a bit shy on camera so Tapia explains the vibe.

“Actually, this is Chef Mariano’s house. That’s the dining room. This is the living room and the wine library in the back,” explained Tapia.

Chef Mariano designed a menu that’s dedicated to both South American and Mediterranean flavors.

Back in the kitchen, chef Mariano put his skills to the test with some labor-intensive dishes like the black ink seafood risotto in a Singapore laska sauce. Every dish is a work of art.

“That’s amazing,” said CBS4’s Lisa Petrillo. “There’s a hint of spice at the end of the taste, but it’s so powerful.”

It’s one of the best,” said Tapia.

“I was worried that it wouldn’t match the prettiness of the dish. It does,” Petrillo said.

Then, corvina ceviche, a delicious blend of citrus and Peruvian vegetables and flavors.

“I think we have one of the best ceviches in town, no doubt,” said Tapia.

“Lemon is the first thing that hits you but not too much,” said Petrillo. “There’s a delicate sauce and the layers and layers of fresh corvina with the crunchy Peruvian corn gives it a great texture.”

Corvina Ceviche (CBS4)

Next, black lentil and red quinoa with sundried tomatoes, chickpeas, spinach, feta, and a lemon vinaigrette.

“Again, the texture is perfect. Love the crunch with the vegetables and the feta cheese gives it a savory taste. It’s delicious,” said Petrillo.

Black lentil and red quinoa with sundried tomatoes, chickpeas, spinach, feta, and a lemon vinaigrette (CBS4)

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Don’t miss their delicious desserts. The hazelnut tiramisu with mascarpone and pavlova with dulce de leche underneath, hits all the right notes.

“It’s light, fluffy and simply delicious,” said Petrillo.

Hazelnut tiramisu with mascarpone and pavlova with dulce de leche. (CBS4)

Casa Mariano is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner. For more info

If you’d like to try the black ink seafood risotto, here is the recipe:

Serves 1-2

Risotto Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 6 cups shrimp stock, clam stock or vegetable stock
  • 2 Tbsp squid ink
  • ½ lb. squid, cut into ¼-inch rings
  • ¼ cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Risotto Instructions:

Heat olive oil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic and sauté until soft. Add the rice and mix to coat with the oil and cook for 2 minutes. Raise the heat to high, add the wine and cook until all the liquid has evaporated. Place the stock and the squid ink in a large saucepan over high heat and stir to combine. Begin adding the hot squid stock 1½ cups at a time and cook until the liquid is absorbed. Continue until the stock is gone and the rice is al dente. Add the squid and cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Laksa Sauce Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp Thai Red Curry Paste
  • ¾ lb. Head-on, shell-on shrimp (peel, devein and save the shells and heads)
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 lb. clams
  • 1½ cup coconut milk
  • 2 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 3 shrimp
  • 1 Tbsp palm sugar
  • 2 Scallops
  • 1 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 4 oz Calamari
  • 1¼ cups coconut milk
  • 4 Mussels
  • 1 Tbsp Tomato paste
  • 4 Clams
  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil
  • Chives (for garnish)

Laksa Sauce Instructions:

In a heavy bottomed pot, add just enough oil to coat the bottom, then add the red curry paste and sauté for a few minutes, until the paste sautéed seafood is thickened, and oil starts to sizzle away from the paste. Stir in the coconut milk and the seafood stock and simmer for at least 10 minutes to allow the flavors to mingle and develop. Season with fish sauce and sugar, then taste and adjust seasoning. You can also adjust the richness of the broth at this point by adding more water to lighten, or more coconut milk to enrich. Plate over risotto and garnish with chives.



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Lisa Petrillo