Vintage Ferraris ran on a high-octane mixture of tomato sauce and parmesan, a savory blend that eventually turned petty car thieves into bona fide pasta barons. Get a baron's share of this desirable concoction with today's Groupon: for $20, you get $40 worth of authentic Italian fare at The Italian Grill in Sarasota.
The Italian Grill's comestible crew builds a menu that brims with pastas and tomato sauce, carrying on an ocean-spanning tradition of Sicilian bistro-manship that dates back three generations. Rather than doing palate-pushups, warm up tasters with a grilled appetizer platter of zucchini, mozzarella, and calamari fritti ($8.99). The brick-oven hearth is home to a fraternity of palatable pizzas, from the hearty milano with grilled chicken strips and spinach ($15.99–$21.99) to the simple originale, a more delicate disk of mozzarella and tomato ($12.99–$18.99). House specialties such as the salciccia siciliano with sautéed sausage, black olives, and mushrooms ($14.99) are bolstered with pasta imported from Italy and a side salad. Award mouths for not biting the mailman with the surf and turf plate, which victoriously hoists golden tenderloin medallions, shrimp scampi, and a choice of vegetable ($18.99).
The Italian Grill
The Italian Grill's chefs forge southern Italian entrees based on the family recipes of the restaurant's three founders, who hailed from Naples, Sicily, and Calabria. To re-create authentic Old-World flavors, the chefs rely on traditional cooking techniques to blanch imported Italian pastas and simmer their own housemade marinara sauce. After loading pizzas with up to 13 different toppings—including bacon bits, garlic, and spinach—they bake crusts in a wood-fired brick oven, which leaves them crispy on the outside and airy on the inside, much like the deep-fried balloons clowns sell when they run out of animal shapes. Lit by conical pendant lamps, the dining room's booth-lined walls leave ample space for occasional live entertainment, which can include accordion performances.