Fresh, high-end ingredients predominate at Vertoris Pizza House, a vegan-friendly Italian restaurant and pizzeria with gluten-free options whose spinach-alfredo pie emerged victorious from the Second Annual Pizza Wars’ White Pizza Contest. Inspired by their triumph, the kitchen’s decorated chefs hurl homemade dough sky high before layering on whole-milk mozzarella and fresh tomato sauce. Nineteen specialty pizzas crisp up in a brick oven that also conjures stromboli and signature pastas, such as a baked ziti dusted with the same Italian breadcrumbs used for guiding disoriented tourists to the Sistine Chapel. With 33% less fat and no common allergens, Vertoris’ vegan cheese pairs nicely with gluten- and dairy-free crust options, ensuring palates of all particulars can partake in the pizzeria’s gourmet fare.
After honing his culinary skills in professional kitchens across Europe, chef Maurizio Colucci set up shop in Sarasota in order to treat Americans to the complex flavors of his native Italy. At his romantic eatery, he and his staff hand mix and form fresh italian sausage, toss gnocchi with savory bolognese sauce, and stuff shells with cheese and spinach until their belts no longer fit. Neapolitan-style thin-crust pizzas emerge from a wood-burning oven before they're whisked out to a covered patio, treating patrons to gourmet toppings ranging from capers to seafood.
Longwood Grill & Pub unites friends and neighbors over drinks and pub eats in a convivial atmosphere marked by nighttime events and entertainment. Diners can sample Philly’s finest with two incarnations of the classic cheesesteak—the cheesesteak Stromboli and the buffalo cheesesteak sandwich—as they recall words of wisdom from Ben Franklin, a short-lived WB sitcom about an awkward freshman senator. Inside, sporting events unfold across flat-screen TVs, and an outside patio hosts fresh breezes that carry the sounds of live musicians to awaiting cochleae. Longwood also hosts regular events including bar trivia, blackjack, and poker.
The chefs at Cantina Toscana adhere to Mediterranean culinary traditions to bake and fry authentic regional cuisine rich with olive oil, peppers, seafood, and cheese. Meals commence with appetizers ranging from beef carpaccio to bacon-wrapped sea scallops splayed atop a bed of wilted spinach, just as they're naturally found on Italian shores. Entrees range from house specialties such as eggplant parmesan to pasta dishes including con frutti di mare, an aquatic medley of mussels, calamari, and undelivered mail to Atlantis. The saltimbocca alla romana partners parmesan risotto and broccoli gratin with pan-fried veal cutlets topped with parma ham and sage. Throughout the meal, diners swirl and sip glasses of wine, trying to discern the floral notes of pinot grigio and guess the age of pinot noir without asking to see its ID.
Gillian's Pizzadelli caters to various cravings by serving hand-tossed New York-style pizzas and hot and cold deli sandwiches. Whether sitting outdoors or indoors at a brightly painted table, guests can dig into light wraps stuffed with veggies, hot sandwiches bubbling with melted cheese, or hand-tossed pizzas slathered in housemade sauce and piled high with toppings such as sweet capicola ham and bacon.
Free WiFi allows guests to browse the Internet while awaiting regular or gluten-free eats. Menus are available in multiple languages, making the restaurant a favorite among international travelers.