Rosso Italia keeps its design simple, a combination of bold white echoing its porcelain platters with pops of bright red – a colorful homage to the hearty sauces in its classic Italian dishes. The 220-seat eatery defeats hundreds of clamoring appetites simultaneously with Italian thin crust pizzas and saucy pasta dishes. The chefs rely on classic, simple flavor combos to enhance their entrees, garnishing roasted Ashley Farms chicken cacciatore with capers and oregano or coating black grouper in a creamy forest mushroom sauce.
More than 15 locations of Sal's Italian Ristorante grace the Florida panhandle like pepperonis on a sizzling pizza slice. In dining rooms designed to evoke the atmosphere of a small Italian village, plates of penne and linguine steam with alfredo, pink vodka, or light wine sauces. Skilled chefs sauté salmon and veal and top gourmet pizzas with shrimp, basil, and gorgonzola. House wines can be poured by the glass or carafe for the thirsty, or by the eyedropper-full for the curious.
At Davito’s Italian Restaurant, executive chef Vito Raneri and his team of cooks prepare a diverse menu of made-from-scratch Italian favorites. Patrons can dig into baked pastas topped with melted mozzarella, sundry chicken and veal dishes sautéed in lemon-butter and white wine, and an array of pizzas and Italian-style subs.
Since opening in March 2010, Speranza has built its bubbly reputation around its menu of personalized service, blue-ribbon ingredients, and fresh pizza forged in 800-degree wood-burning ovens. Owners Mario and Renata Alto channel their passion for pies into more than a dozen gourmet dough-saucers. The pizzeria offers startling pizza combinations, such as the Portuguese, which melds ham, baked eggs, olives, and onions with classic fresh tomato sauce, mozzarella, and parmesan (starting at $18.40). As pizzas flash-bake within four minutes, speed-nosh on starters of calamari fritti ($11.95) or hulking insalatas di campo ($11.90), brimming with enough greens to feed families, giants, and families of giants. On Speranza's signature plate of lobster ravioli ($17.95), crustaceans stuff themselves into pasta pillows for a slumber party with ricotta, creamy lobster sauce, and fresh basil. Unwind postmeal with a digestif that warms senses, souls, and tautly stretched pizza bellies.
In a space described by the owners as "rustic chic," Saporissimo’s chefs knead and roll out fresh pasta dough, shave pungent truffles, and prepare wild game to populate a menu that celebrates traditional Tuscan cuisine. Named a defender of Italian culinary excellence by the Italy-America chamber of commerce and praised in the Sun Sentinel for its “unobtrusive, yet attentive” service, Saporissimo seats its guests in chocolate-hued chairs next to white tablecloths in the dining room of what used to be a private house. From the muted yellow walls, sunlight streams through windows during the day to alight on plates of Italian cuisine that Miami's Italian consul general has recognized as authentic, including antipasti of duck-breast carpaccio or a truffled polenta with wild-boar ragu.
Strings of party lights along the ceiling create a warm, low-lit atmosphere at night, encouraging intimate conversations and clandestine swaps of microfiche between bites of pappardelle with wild-boar sausage or wild rabbit braised with wine, garlic, and peppers. Inset into an exposed-brick wall, a six-pane window augments the feeling of dining in a private Tuscan home.
As a pleasantly unpretentious pizza and pasta paradise, Rotelli entices regulars who stop by for lunch and dinner to gather with friends, raise a few glasses, and indulge in fine Italian meals. The menu taps its homeland heel with light starters, such as bruschetta italiana ($6.99) and crispy calamari ($9.99). It sends a swooping high-kick well north of Sicily with chicken parmigiana, layered in ricotta and mozzarella, served with pasta ($15.99), and hand-tossed Napoletana pizza, dressed in pepperoni, onions, green peppers, mushrooms, and sausage ($10.99 for 10", $18.99 for 16").