Posh Pies at Ecco Pizzateca + Lounge

If you’re in the mood for a slice of pizza, consider getting a whole pie instead at Ecco Pizzateca + Lounge.  It’s the latest trendy dining spot to open in Miami’s central business district, adding to the flourishing downtown dining scene.

Ecco PizzatecaEcco is located on the ground floor of the Huntington Building, on the corner of Southeast 1st Street and 2nd Avenue.  Surrounded by office buildings, it is quickly becoming the power lunch spot for the non-power lunch crowd.  Ecco has a funky and fresh vibe with an affordable menu — no expense account required.

Ecco won’t satisfy your craving for a slice of real New York pizza but it’s not a bad alternative.  There are nearly 30 different gourmet pizzas to choose from, created by award winning pizza chef Massimo Fabio Bruni of Italy.

The pizzas range from the basic Margherita (house made tomato sauce, mozzarella and basil, $9), to the not so traditional Shock (spicy salami, broccoli, spinach, parmesan and gorgonzola, $15).  Ecco PizzatecaI ordered the Capricciosa ($11), which has ham, mushrooms, artichokes and black olives.  It had a great crisp thin crust, though it could have used more tomato sauce.  All of the individual pies are pretty big, so you’re guaranteed to leave full.

If you’re not in the mood for pizza, Ecco has a variety of salads, paninis and pastas, plus a few meat dishes.  The Lasagna Tradizionale ($9) is a generous serving of meat lasagna, though it tastes a bit bland.  If you’re craving baked pasta I’d recommend going to Soya e Pomodoro instead.

Ecco PizzatecaI like Ecco as a spot for an after work drink and light bite.  Sit on one of the funky chairs in the lounge area (my favorites are the big armchairs covered in cow print), and order an Antipasti.  The All’ Italia has something for everyone — Italian cheeses, prosciutto, salami, olives, roasted red peppers and arugula.  Pair it with a mixed drink, a glass of wine or beer, or a San Pellegrino Limonata.  Belgian beer fans will be happy to know that Ecco has Chimay on tap and serves it in Chimay goblets.

Though Ecco is mostly a weekday lunch spot (opening at 11:30am and closing at 4pm Monday through Wednesday), it is now open until 11pm on Thursday and Friday, and will soon be open on Saturday.

Ecco Pizzateca is located at 168 SE 1st Street in downtown Miami.  For more information visit www.eccomiami.com.