Opened late June 2012, Macchialina, located at 820 Alton Road in the heart of South Beach’s residential west side community, has quickly become a favorite Italian restaurant among critics, locals and in-the-know tourists, who flock to the casual neighborhood eatery to indulge in chef/owner Michael Pirolo’s rustic yet sophisticated, Italian fare.
Macchialina began racking up accolades almost immediately, such as a 3½ star Excellent rating from The Miami Herald, a stellar review, as well as Best Restaurant 2013 by the Miami New Times, all in its first year. Pirolo and his team at Macchialina have taken the city by storm. Now heralded as the most starred chef working in Miami, Chef Pirolo continues to garner praise for his soulful, Italian food.
Don’t miss Macchialina’s Pasta Thursday’s – all of our handmade pasta is only $10 all night long. Reservations strongly suggested. RESERVE
The Macchialina Team
Michael Pirolo, Chef/Owner
Born in Queens, New York, but raised in Avellino, Italy, James Beard Semi Finalist Chef Pirolo comes from a fiercely passionate food family. So much, in fact, that at the age of 21 he enrolled in culinary school in Torino, Italy; a formal education that led to apprenticeships at Michelin-starred establishments such as La Voglia Matta in Bologna and Café Groppi in Piemonte. After finishing his degree, he relocated to New York and changed tracks, immersing himself in French cuisine before relocating to Philadelphia to take the role of sous chef at Alfred Portale’s Striped Bass, where he met Chaefsky. A friendship turned to romance and when Pirolo had the opportunity to return to New York to take a post at Chris Lee’s Gilt at the Palace Hotel, Chaefsky went with him.
During Pirolo’s time at Gilt, the restaurant earned two Michelin stars. Following his love of Italian cuisine and striking up a professional bond with celeb chef/restauranteur Scott Conant, Pirolo joined Conant’s Scarpetta restaurant in New York, then relocated to Miami to take the helm as chef de cuisine of Scarpetta at Fontainebleau Miami Beach. There, Pirolo made a name for himself and rose through the media ranks as a rising star in Miami’s culinary community, an earnest, hard-working, careerist “chef’s chef.” A rare 4-star review from Miami Herald food critic Victoria Pesce Elliot helped elevate his profile and set the stage for Pirolo to move out on his own. He opened Macchialina with Chaefsky on Miami Beach’s Alton Road in 2012.
Jennifer Chaefsky, Managing Partner
Philadelphia raised, Chaefsky enjoyed A-list entry in to the culinary profession. Fueled only by a burning passion for food and hospitality, she cut her teeth in restaurants operated by one of that city’s foremost culinary icons, Stephen Starr. Under the Starr banner she learned the ins and outs of the business, especially the arts and sciences behind management. She later went on to work with Chefs Alfred Portale and Masaharu Morimoto at their Philadelphia outposts.
In 2012, after nearly a decade together personally, Chaefsky teamed up with Michael Pirolo on a business venture and Macchialina was born.
Will Rivas, Beverage Director
William Rivas is one of Miami’s foremost cocktail trendsetters. Though he has close to 15 years in the industry and has enjoyed stints at hotels and restaurants that run the gamut from Las Vegas’ Paris Hotel & Casino to Mesa Grill and Bobby Flay Steak, it was in Miami at Michelle Bernstein’s acclaimed Sra. Martinez, a contemporary Spanish small plates restaurant housed in a historic post office building in the Miami Design District, that Rivas’ star began to rise. There, before the region enjoyed the current cocktail craze, Rivas set the bar for beverage innovation and Sra. became just as popular for his drink slinging as for Bernstein’s award-winning cuisine. Before joining Macchialina he also worked at a slew of Miami’s hottest restaurants including Alfred Portale’s Gotham Steak at Fontainebleau Miami Beach (also home to Scarpetta, where Pirolo was wowing diners) and 50 Eggs’ four-star Asian restaurant Khong River House.
Craig Giunta, Chef de Cuisine
As Chef de Cuisine of Macchialina, South Beach’s favorite rustic Italian eatery, Craig Giunta is committed to serving only the freshest ingredients and his love of cooking is evident in every dish served.
Born into an Italian household rich with a long-standing culinary history, Giunta is the third generation of his family to cook professionally in the United States. From dishwasher to food prep, his constant exposure to professional cooking helped him cultivate and master his own personal culinary “fresh home cooking” style. Having worked alongside experienced chefs in high volume kitchens in New York City and Miami, Giunta is no stranger to the restaurant industry’s vast landscape of dining experiences, each a credit to helping him set the bar for the high standards he brings to his profession. Since graduating with honors from the French Culinary Institute in New York, Craig has cooked with a number of critically acclaimed chefs, including Sam Mason at Tailor, Chef Daniel Humm at 11 Madison Park, Chef Ted Peters at One Ocean Resort (which achieved a AAA four diamond status in the time he worked there), and with Chef Andrew Carmellini in his Miami outpost of The Dutch.
In 2012, Craig joined Macchialina as a Sous Chef but now holds the position of Chef de Cuisine. His passion for Italian cooking in a home-style, small kitchen environment is shared by his boss, Chef/Owner Michael Pirolo, which has made for a rich culinary partnership that enhances the already stellar dining experience at Macchialina.
Jacqueline Pirolo, General Manager
Jacqueline Pirolo isn’t one to shy away from hard work. Though she never intended to pursue a career in the restaurant industry, she became determined to focus her efforts on building a family business, inspired by her native cuisine and her upbringing both at home and abroad.
Born in Italy, Pirolo grew up stateside in an Italian household with three older brothers. A graduate of the State University of New York at Oswego with a bachelor’s degree in Business Marketing, she began waiting tables at a lively Italian eatery with a Tuscan ambience; her first foray into the world of fine dining. Though she briefly switched careers, becoming Production Coordinator at the Gravity Visual Effects House, Pirolo soon returned to the restaurant industry in 2011, when she and her brothers opened The Saint Austere in Brooklyn, New York where she serves as owner and general manager.
Featuring updates on classic European dishes, seasonal ingredients, and an extensive wine program, Pirolo has overseen every detail of The Saint Austere since its inception. Her skillful management of a flourishing team and clientele was a credit to the restaurant’s overwhelming success.
In her newest role, Pirolo oversees day-to-day operations of the award-winning rustic Italian eatery, Macchialina.