Trattoria Blu restaurant opens in Palmetto Bay

Trattoria Blu restaurant opens in Palmetto Bay
Trattoria Blu restaurant opens in Palmetto Bay
Pictured (l-r) are John Huseby, owner Antonio Chopitea, his son Lucas Chopitea, and Javier Garcia.

The Village of Palmetto Bay, which is not known for having a lot of fine local restaurants, gained a new addition with the soft opening of Trattoria Blu on Mar. 28. The restaurant specializes in artisan wood fired pizza and Italian Fusion cuisine.

The upscale and artfully designed restaurant is located in a new office building on the east side of the “island” dividing S. Dixie Highway. It accommodates at least 50 diners inside and dozens more in the outdoor café style patio. Fresh herbs used in the cooking grow in the garden areas lining the patio.

Trattoria Blu owner Antonio Chopitea has been in the restaurant business for the past 32 years, both in the United States, Europe and South America, and after taking a few years off he decided he wanted to open a top quality restaurant again. He said that the inspiration for the name was his beloved dog, Azul, who has one eye that is blue. Blu is the Italian word for that color.

Chopitea, whose son Lucas also works at the restaurant, chose Palmetto Bay because he likes the area and because there was a greater need for a quality restaurant there than in highly urban areas like Downtown Miami or Coral Gables. He also finds the area better for businesses.

“The rent and parking in the Brickell area are just impossible,” Chopitea.said “And here we’ve made a lot of friends already, at the neighboring car dealerships and professional offices.”

Italian Fusion means that his menu includes not only Italian items like pizza, pasta and salads but also foods from Portugal, France, Spain, Peru, Colombia and Brazil. He makes traditional pizza, pizza from zucchini flour and a special “black pizza” using organic charcoal to add to the dough.

Chopitea is determined to maintain top quality in everything, from his beer and wine list to fresh grown herbs and local produce.

He gets his honey from Homestead, which he said produces the best in the country.

“I don’t want to settle for A-minus or B-plus, everything must be triple A.”

He also likes the area because of his family, and to help local students.

“I have two kids — one is going to Christopher Columbus High School and the other one goes to the University of Miami,” Chopitea said. “There are a lot of young people in the area that I’m hiring. It’s their first job and since they don’t have far to travel they can attend their classes and work here.”

He plans to be active in the community in various ways, including donating pizza to the high school so the students can sell it to raise money for uniforms.

Happy hour is between 4 and 7 p.m. for the next month, with draft beer and wines at affordable prices.

Trattoria Blu is located at 17225 S. Dixie Hwy. For information call 305-964-7114 or visit the website at

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  1. I am a resident of Palmetto Bay, and would love to try this new restaurant. When we go out to dinner, we like to go to our neighborhood and not travel far not fight more traffic.
    Wish the best to Trattoria Blu, welcome to our neighborhood.

  2. I think this is in the same location where many have failed…..bad parking situation. I hope they can make it. This building should never have been allowed to be built without adequate parking. The same is to be said for the overabundance of apartments being built…..again without adequate parking. Village of Palmetto Bay let all this happen.

  3. Well..
    was so excited to see this classy quaint new addition to the neighborhood. As I entered I was met by Bryan with a super friendly greeting and attentive service. Gave us great suggestions. I was impressed. ……..then the wine came. This new wave of pouring a glass 1/2 empty was outdone by a glass 1/4 full. I was insulted as a consumer. The glass wasn’t one of those huge ones. But stayed quiet. Then the pasta came out. I was stunned at the presentation, being in the restaurant business myself since 1975. And now as a 30yr international flights attendant with extensive dining experiences. A bowl of pasta as if it came out of my own kitchen and scoop up a spoonful to sit in front of the TV. TERRIBLE. Being brand new in a community trying to build a reputation, being that cheap is not going to give anyone a desire to return. I was soooooo disappointed. And in addition the house wine while been inexpensive per glass (it was not good wine). They had a terrible wine list RIDICULOUSLY OVERPRICED and limited. It was ridulous. Even high end restaurants offer a mid range fair pricing . Staff was super sweet, but won’t be back unless I hear they’ve tweaked they’re offerings.

  4. Love this place. Great food, nice folks and some good music in Friday’s. We hope they do well. The parking can be an issue but you can park a bit away and walk.

  5. We loved our dinner there last night. Fun Italian ambiance and music, Bryan waiter) was helpful and friendly. From the focaccia bread and herbed oil, to the eggplant/pasta and Linguine with Shrimp and the delicious house Cabernet, the meal was outstanding. The meal for two with wine was $50. – reasonable. We are thrilled to have them in the hood.


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