Fortress of Marble
Housed within a restored Mediterranean revival building from 1938, Forte dei Marmi takes diners on a journey through Italy’s magnificent Amalfi Coast with its culinary offerings and sophisticated design. The two-story villa is located in Miami Beach’s South of Fifth neighborhood and is set to play a significant role in the renaissance of the swanky area.
Designed by Chad Oppenheim of Oppenheim Architecture, with interiors by Milan-based Henry Timi and gardens by Swiss designer Enzo Enea, the restaurant draws inspiration from the Tuscan coast and the littoral Italian resort. The design reflects the beauty, elegance, and simplicity of its namesake Italian city, as well as the immutable modernist allure of South Beach.
“The 5,875 square-foot property required a complete interior redesign, one that would blend the enduring spirit of classic Italian beach culture and contemporary design aesthetic,” said Oppenheim Architecture.
Translated, Forte dei Marmi means fortress of marble, a definition that comes to life in the space. Oppenheim used a palette of rich materials and textures that include stone surfacing, wooden ceilings and glass throughout, but the firm’s use of matte Carrara for the floors, walls and tabletops, is the focal point of their design. The result is a setting that highlights the balance between refinement and comfort perfect for diners to enjoy the restaurant’s highly-crafted, culinary offerings.
Guests enter Forte dei Marmi through the building’s original arched doorways on the first floor. The dining room, which seats 130, features a narrow antipasti bar decorated with tea lights, imported olive oils and other authentic delicacies. The space is bordered by a concealed service area, bathrooms and a wine cellar. The restaurant’s gardens by Enzo Enea. create a link with the seaside environments. The outdoor space consists of three separate terraces that boast 22 tables, and an eight-person communal table.
Part restaurant, part arts club, Forte dei Marmi’s second level is a 62-seat lounge, bar and cultural venue that’s home to the FDM Arts Club. The concept for the space was to create an intimate, finely-furnished environment that promotes a unique sensory dining experience, providing a flexible venue for art installations and intimate musical performances. Upstairs, guests will find four private booths, a terrace, and a Henry Timi-designed bar lit by undermounted LED strips. These special elements create a space that fosters and encourages the art of intelligent conversation. Members are also treated to a sensorial epicurean experience with special food pairings created to compliment the clubs programming.
Forte dei Marmi’s understated and modest design make it a hidden gem and a perfect getaway from the flashiness of South Beach.