Chicken marsala, veal picatta, meatballs, and Milanese are what’s for dinner at owner and Chef Marco Vico’s Fort Lauderdale fixture, voted one of America’s 1,000-best Italian restaurants by Zagat. Indulge in hearty bowls of pasta fagioli, lasagna that features a mix of meat sauce and béchamel. The ambiance is like a resplendent Tuscan villa, complete with walls adorned with old family photos.
The people who brought Warsaw Coffee Company to increasingly cool NE 13th Street have opened a cocktail lounge and cafe in the same building. The clubby sophistication of the well-appointed, wood-paneled space is matched by a menu of breakfast, lunch, dinner and bar bites – as well as the weekend daytime hours’ bottomless brunch. A standout cocktail menu includes treats like the Sailor to Pirate, a rum old-fashioned that transforms into a pina colada served with torched cinnamon sticks.
Enjoy casual-chic dining with an ocean view. Serving breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night drinks, this Italian restaurant has seating on the patio, in the main dining room, or in a curtain-lined space for two. Choose from a selection of shareable appetizers, pizzas, pastas, seafood and meat specialties.
Anthony Bruno, of Runway 84, opened this pizza joint in 2002 because he couldn’t find the “well done” pizzas of his native New York here in Fort Lauderdale. The flagship location has since become a nationwide chain. Ashy flavor permeates the crust of pies like the “Paul & Young Ron,” piled with meatballs, sausage, ricotta, and hot or sweet peppers. Oven-roasted chicken wings and salads round out the menu, and beer and wine are served.
Begin with the colossal stone crab claws or homemade meatballs before choosing between lobster and shrimp Fra Diavolo and a 10 oz. barrel-cut filet mignon. Or perhaps you’d prefer apple cider-marinated pork chops. For dessert, there’s vanilla bean crème brulee and chocolate soufflé.
With elements of a friendly Roman trattoria in the heart of Las Olas, Gran Forno Pronto serves up authentic Italian comfort food in a fresh and informal atmosphere. Wood fired pizza, award-winning Ciabatta, modest prices and an extensive wine list.
A familiar face on the local restaurant scene has brought a new place to Lauderdale-By-The-Sea. The name Vincent Foti will be familiar to many. Now the restaurateur behind longtime Federal Highway favorite Kitchenetta is taking his talents to East Commercial with a place that’s aiming to do something a bit different. Vinny’s by the Sea offers many of the Italian favorites that Foti’s built his reputation on. But this time, they’ll come with more American flare in a casual place where diners can have a beer, watch the game and relax Lauderdale-By-The-Sea style. In keeping with the its location just in from Anglin’s Pier, the restaurant will offer a raw bar. There’s also a pizza bar if you want to keep up on your pie as it’s being made – and a number of TVs if you’re more concerned about the Marlins’ playoff chances than your meal prep. If you need a more ample serving, the “Big Shot” menu is there for your outsize needs.
The Italian restaurant features modern décor with plants and greens as the main aesthetic throughout. Staying true to the theme, they offer salads, smoothies and healthy bowls (like the Vegan: tofu, quinoa, arugula, avocado, alfalfa, sprouts, sunflower seeds, carrots, radish, pickled cabbage and green tahini dressing). In addition, menu items include the Marsala Bistec (sliced steak medallions with Marsala sauce and four cheese potato gnocchi) and lobster ravioli.
Kitchenetta was opened in 2004 by chef Vincent Foti and wife Maria as a come-as-you-are casual eatery that pumps out top-notch Italian fare with a modern touch. The menu rotates seasonally and includes as many organic and local ingredients as possible. Individual and family-sized portions are offered, so you can mangia some rigatoni bolognese de medici all by yourself or share with your favorite famiglia.
Louie Bossi is not your typical chef. Growing up in an Italian household in New York he remembers the aromas of roasted garlic and fresh meatballs sizzling from his family’s kitchen. Raised by a single mother juggling three jobs, Bossi taught himself to cook at the age of eight. Working his way from dishwasher to cook at the local pizzeria Bossi developed a love for the art of pizza making.
As an authentic Italian restaurant owner and chef, over the years my goal was to provide customers with outstanding satisfaction at all costs and troubles. Ever since I was a young girl, cooking was always my passion. I always viewed perfection as a priority and I will do whatever it takes to achieve it. The makings of a great sandwich always starts with the bread. Fresh baked bread choices are:
Traditional (Fresh Tomatoes & Oregano) Wheat Artichoke & Olive Plain Fresh Rosemary & Garlic Fresh Tomato Basil Garlic
Valentino’s cheaper cousin (and occupying its former space), this warm, neighborhood place offers an array of pizzas (including prosciutto with shaved Parmesan and arugula) as well as other tempting Italian dishes. The eggplant sliced thin, fried and layered like lasagna is a popular item.
Il Paesano emphasizes fresh ingredients, quality food and spreading love. There’s no set menu, only daily specials determined by the fresh ingredients that are found in the market. During the week there are about 15 to 16 different dishes. And owner Vergilio Peixoto has no freezers; from the pasta to the tomato sauce, everything is made fresh in-house. Il Paesano’s chef formerly owned Vesuvio, which was a popular Italian restaurant in Fort Lauderdale back in its heyday.
Il Paesano has a wide variety of wines and the private wine room can also be used as a more intimate setting for couples to dine. (There have been marriage proposals, Peixoto reports.) And if you want to know more about wine, Peixoto hosts a winetasting class every month. But be quick – the classes tend to fill up within minutes of being announced.
A coastal Italian concept by Chef Fabio Viviani, Riviera recently opened in the Hotel Maren on Fort Lauderdale Beach. From the veranda-style patio to the delectable food, the Italian authenticity is felt throughout. You can also take in the salty air and sea-and-city views as it is located on the rooftop of the hotel.
Owner and Chef Angelo Elia has created a South Florida restaurant empire out of his original North Federal location. His dishes are punctuated by an attention toward great ingredients, like the branzino, so fresh it needs nothing more than a light butter sauce. The outstanding antipasti includes truffle-lemon carpaccio and pancetta-wrapped tiger prawns over broccoli rabe, and the fresh pasta is made in-house. Or go big with the oak-grilled NY strip, marinated in olive oil, garlic, and rosemary.
Famous for meatballs, Anthony’s lives up to its name by getting your meals prepared and to your table in no time. However this doesn’t mean they don’t offer made-to-order dishes. Their menu features pasta, sandwiches, burgers, pizza, wings and more.
Big red wines, martinis, bone-in steaks, and juicy chops combine with Chicago Supper Club sophistication at this high-end Italian-style steakhouse in the heart of downtown. Live music is performed at 7:30 p.m. every Tuesday through Thursday in Timpano’s Starlight Lounge, providing a backdrop for aged beef, savory flatbreads, and classics like calamari fritto misto and osso bucco.
Open seven days a week since it debuted in 1989, Zuckerello’s still has its original owner and chefs in place pumping out home-style Italian. Expect to find traditional dishes like zuppa di clams, fried calamari, and house-made meatballs, along with pasta such as penne alla vodka, crab ravioli, lasagna, and linguine with clam sauce. Large booths can accommodate family-size parties, and the casual-elegant vibe will keep you lounging long after you finish eating. Red and dark gray walls adorned with lively paintings are complemented by glossy wood tabletops and chairs in a contrasting shade of wood. House specialties like veal Marsala, chicken Milanese, and panko-breaded eggplant Parmesan are affordable and come in shareable portions. Fish lovers should try the herb-crusted salmon in orange beurre blanc sauce.