Natural light pours in through the arched windows of Cara Mia Riverside Grill and reveals sweeping views of the Indian River as diners dig into linguine and calamari. In the kitchen, head chef Elizabeth Hanstein prepares house-made sauces from traditional Italian recipes and incorporates Mediterranean influences into dishes such as the chicken piccata, which finishes a mushroom-and-scallion chicken sautéed with a sherry wine sauce.
Cooking pasta at home is as simple as pulling noodles out of a box and tossing them in some boiling water. At DeAngelo’s By the Sea, a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence award winner in 2013, the process is a bit more complicated. Using all-natural ingredients––water, stone-ground flour, and eggs––chefs extrude pasta through hand-carved bronze dies. They then let the noodles air dry, resulting in an al dente texture that is firm enough to hold sauces but still too delicate to catch a parachuting baby. Penne, spaghetti, linguine, and lasagna dishes anchor the menu, but diners can also get a taste of Italy with more than a dozen specialty pizzas. Like with the pastas, the pizzas epitomize freshness, utilizing such ingredients as San Marzano tomatoes, pure flour from Napoli, and Sicilian sea salt.