Pies baked in homemade sauce bake to a crisp, golden finish over hot embers inside ovens at Giovanni's Coal Fire Pizza. 15 homemade Italian dinners, authentic pastas, chicken dishes, sandwiches, and salads top tables inside both locations, which each sport exposed-brick walls and a bevy of flat-screen televisions.
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.
Though Stephen D'Angelo joined the kitchen staff of Tony Dell's more than a decade after it first opened, he immediately felt at home. He confided to friends that he could see himself one day owning the restaurant, a dream that eventually came to fruition in 2012. Stephen stays true to the heartfelt nature of his predecessors, lovingly crafting homestyle Italian meals such as the "baked mistake," for which he mish-mashes baked ziti and eggplant parmigiana together like a mother trying to please her entire family's cravings with a single dish. The dinner menu favors casually upscale entrees such as veal marsala and linguini with clams, while the lunch selection includes subs, calzones, and pizzas that aren't allowed to stay out after dark.
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.
A chalkboard behind the dining room’s bar lists La Stella’s refined Italian dishes, creating a dining experience the Sun Sentinel called "sophisticated, but not pretentious." After honing her culinary talents in Providence, Rhode Island, owner and head chef Jamie Barlow relocated to Boca Raton, bringing along her passion for Italian cuisine. To secure traditional Mediterranean flavors, she relies on imported mozzarella and Italian tuna as well as house-made sausages. The freshness of her cuisine stems from the quality produce and marbled proteins she covertly hauls off the podium at the county fair's blue-ribbon ceremonies.
Clean, black lines on the walls contrast with the white dining room, which uses floor-to-ceiling windows to keep the space welcoming and airy throughout the day. At night, track lighting helps to keep the room as well-lit as a tanning bed full of hand mirrors, and swooping strings of bulbs illuminate the covered seating outside.