From Our Editors
The salty breeze blows off Sarasota Bay, picking up a few notes of sweetness as it passes through the petals and boughs of Sarasota Bayfront Park. But it gets better: soon the scent of fresh baked pizza takes over, and with it the aroma of calzones and lasagna—with Bella Nonna in the center of it all.
Amid this delicious eddy of air currents sits the restaurant itself, a beachy gem with red exterior walls and covered outdoor patios hung with curtains. Strings of light run along the beams framing the patio, making the space appear to glow from within. Inside, the flavor of the Italian specialties matches the rest of the eatery's sensory promises as dishes such as shrimp scampi made with local giant Gulf shrimp arrive tableside. Bella Nonna's pizzas fit the bill too, with choices such as the custom Presto Pesto that combines the kitchen's own pesto sauce with grilled chicken, caramelized onions, and mozzarella.