One of Florida’s most famous sights is the ornate mansion that was home to the famous Italian fashion designer Gianni Versace. You can actually dine there, in the onsite restaurant on the premises, Gianni’s, which offers extraordinary Italian and Mediterranean cuisine. Baroque Access has all the details
Gianni’s menu is full of delectable gourmet Italian and Mediterranean dishes as well as a fine selection of wines. All are served in a unique atmosphere on world-famous Ocean Drive in South Beach, Miami Beach. You can book your dinner from Tuesday through Sunday from 6pm to midnight. Lunch and private events are also available by appointment only.
The restaurant’s exquisite menu is a collaboration between Mathias Gervais from Restaurant at the Setai, and Gianni’s executive chef, Thomas Stewart. Gianni’s is divided into three distinctly different dining rooms: the Medusa dining room was originally Versace’s formal dining room, a 30-seat room that features pebbled mosaic and shelled walls. This is where the Italian designer hosted celebrities such as Sir Elton John, Madonna and Princess Diana, to name but a few. There’s also a Moroccan room, featuring Greek gods and imported coral. Finally, when the weather is good, there’s the patio, where guests dine al fresco, outside in the magnificent Mosaic Garden right next to the 54-foot long swimming pool tiled with 24-karat gold, which is known as the ‘Million Mosaic Pool’.
Appetizers on the menu include Capesante di Viareggio and Maine Scallops a la Plancha with fennel puree, croutons, frisée and vanilla oil. Mains include a pan-seared Florida spiny lobster with tear-drop tomatoes, basil and baby vegetables. Of course, Gianni’s also serves caviar, from domestic Alverta President to a Versace-worthy portion of Tsar Imperial Kaluga.
Of course, even though the food is quite sublime, the star of the show will always be the location. The 23,000-square foot mansion has changed hands numerous times since Versace was murdered on its steps in 1997. Its latest incarnation is as a 10-bedroomed boutique hotel named Villa Casa Casuarina. So you not only have the opportunity to dine there, you can actually stay in one of the gloriously exotic bedrooms in the mansion after a dinner at Gianni’s, if you wish. That’s really living the Versace dream to the full! Dining where Versace used to dine, taking a dip in his gold-tiled pool, and relaxing in the exquisite tropical paradise that is the Mosaic Garden.
Accommodation at the hotel starts from approximately $750 per night, depending on the room, and that includes access to the exquisite grounds, which were the location for many lavish parties hosted by the designer during his lifetime.