How many people truly know what they want to do when they grow up by their junior year of high school? Miami foodies are thankful that Timō’s Tim Andriola did. Andriola focuses on his appreciation of Italy and the Mediterranean to make his dishes simple and delicious. Learning the ropes from his family, and starting out as a dishwasher, this chef has become a celebrity in Miami for his neighborhood restaurant. Here, Andriola talks about rolling out his enticing new menu and why the o in Timō is so strong.
What does Timo mean?
When my business partner Rodrigo and I were thinking about what to name the restaurant, we wanted it to be short, impressive and meaningful. Timō is the Italian word for thyme, but it’s also a joining of our names Tim and Rodrigo. Since we only gave Rodrigo one letter, we put the symbol over it, making it a strong O.
I'm sure all the dishes on each of your menus are like your children, but if you had to choose only one dish from the menu, which ones are you most proud of?
I love the short rib cannelloni with black truffle fonduta. This one takes a long time in preparation, braising the short ribs all day, making fresh pasta, a rich demiglace reduction, and so on. It’s a labor of love, but simple in its presentation and the crowds love it.
What were some of your inspirations for the new menu?
As always, I look first to the market place to see what is in season. Next, I like to revisit my old cookbooks and old seasonal menus and then sit down and brainstorm. I try not to repeat a dish I have done here before; I am always looking to tweak a dish and make it even better.
How would you describe Miami's dining scene?
I’ve been down here since Hurricane Andrew. Back then, you could list the good restaurants on one hand. In the 17 years since then, the dining scene has changed dramatically. Now, each area of Miami has great restaurants galore. So in one word, booming.
Your fondest food-related memory?
My trip to Restaurant Paul Bocuse. I was working in Milan and had two days off for the first time. I hopped on a train and traveled all day to get to Bocuse’s restaurant. Everything was impeccable. It was such a joy that I gave the service staff all the money I had in my pocket, forgetting I needed to get back to the train station. I had no money and no transportation in a country where I did not speak the language. I ended up walking for three hours at midnight and hitching a ride back to Milan.
Most popular item on the menu?
The Mediterranean Branzino. We have it flown in four times a week to keep up with the demand.
The 5 ingredients every home kitchen should have?
Good olive oil, fresh garlic, lemons, tomatoes, fresh basil
The 5 utensils every home kitchen should have?
Food mill, robot coupe, blender, cheese grater, at-home version of a cryovac machine