Through the Argentinian Looking-Glass

interior mirrors at Pani in Aventura Mall, Florida

We may have spied Alice herself perched on a wallpaper vine on the back wall at Pani, a candyland-colored fantasy dreamt up by Argentinian Pani Trotta. We recently visited Pani’s first U.S. location, which opened in Aventura Mall in Florida in 2020. What a special opportunity, to experience South American flair without a passport (Pani’s first locations are in Argentina, Peru and Paraguay). In the world of Pani, giraffes dangle chandeliers from their mouths, hot air balloons appear on menus and windows, flamingos prop up tables, the dessert case greets you as you walk through the door, and a multitude of cuisines are interwoven into freshly made delights. You might expect this kind of show-stopping design to be a tourist trap, but no, at Pani’s core is a focus on homemade food. Though an afternoon tea menu is not offered here, it’s a real treat to dine in this whimsical restaurant where we pair cocktails, dinner and dessert with a fragrant array of Tea Forte teas (offered hot or iced). Warning, if you are an adventurous eater, you may have a very hard time choosing from the creative menu options. (The only solution may be return visits!)

patio at Pani in Aventura Mall, Florida
The popular outdoor patio
tiled entryway at Pani in Aventura Mall, Florida
Much more fashionable than a welcome mat
wonderland interior design at Pani in Aventura Mall, Florida
A young girl’s tea party dream scene?
greens, pinks and golds at Pani in Aventura Mall, Florida
The dining area offers a variety of seating choices in chartreuse, turquoise, pink, gold, ivory
Alice on the wall at Pani in Aventura Mall, Florida
Loving this fantastical wallpaper
giraffe chandeliers at Pani in Aventura Mall, Florida
Ivory giraffes light the booth seating
tea friends at Pani in Aventura Mall, Florida
The true beauty in Pani: hello, gorgeous tea friends!
our canopied table at Pani in Aventura Mall, Florida
Our table, love this canopy, whose stripes recall hot air balloons and old-fashioned beach cabanas
cocktails at Pani in Aventura Mall, Florida
L’Italiana (campari, vermouth rosso, extra brut sparkling wine, dried orange) is refreshing and not too sweet. We appreciate the edible flowers and herbs Pani uses to garnish their cocktails.
appetizer at Pani in Aventura Mall, Florida
For an appetizer, Shrimp Phyllosophy (creamy baked shrimp in phyllo pastry with spicy passion fruit dip) – a yummy crispy/creamy bite.
gnocchi at Pani in Aventura Mall, Florida
Granny’s Truffle Gnocchi is homemade and served with 4 cheese sauce and fresh truffle.
pasta with shrimp at Pani in Aventura Mall, Florida
Pepe Scampi is cooked to perfection and the ladies wish for more shrimp, which is served in a caper, white wine and cream sauce over the house pappardelle.
chicken breast at Pani in Aventura Mall, Florida
The Chic Chicken Chic is Pani’s version of a 90s Argentinian classic: crunchy breaded chicken breast covered with creamy corn sauce, served with a side of perfect fries, pico de gallo and maduros (plaintains).
dessert case at Pani in Aventura Mall, Florida
Owner Pani Trotta got her start as a home baker, so the desserts are front and center at Pani
candy bar at at Pani in Aventura Mall, Florida
Our server compares this Candy Cake Bar to a Snickers, 3 layers of chocolate marquise, peanut toffee and chocolate ganache, very solid, like a fudge, but yummy.

DestinationTea
Tea Voyageuse, discovering the world of afternoon tea, based in Atlanta, Georgia.

2 Comments

  1. I suspect you have already suggested to the owner that they add an afternoon tea service incorporating their already wonderful menus. Just in case you didn’t, I recommend that they do so. Who knows…it might bring in a new clientele! Your post makes me wish I lived right near there so I could just stop in one day soon.

    1. They actually had their own version of an afternoon tea when they opened, but discontinued the service. It really would be a fun place to go to tea, and certainly is a smart idea to draw in customers during the late afternoon lull before dinner.

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