Puccini’s – the real thing!
I love Puccini’s, the new Italian cafe in Sarasota, Florida. Everything is just right. As a former food reviewer in New York City, it was rare to find the food, ambiance, service and price, nearly perfect on my first visit.
I was warmly greeted as I entered the cozy, colorful dining room. The menu was simple, yet eclectic, with a fresh fish that changes daily. I did not meet the chef-owner Richard De Felice, because he was very busy in the small, yet efficient kitchen. He spoke to me through his food, delicious, rustic Italian.
The Hill team enjoyed food like this in the farm houses of the small villages in Tuscany and Umbria. There was not a freezer or can of anything in those fragrant kitchens.
My first surprise was a hearty amuse of bruschetta with fresh herbs, crunchy ripe tomatoes.
I ordered a simple dish of freshly prepared fettuccine with local tomatoes and spicy sausage. The best part besides the taste, was that it was served hot, in a deep bowl with fresh herbs and hand grated Parmesan cheese. Just like Italy.
The other positive for wine lovers is that I brought my own Chianti Classico, graciously opened without a corkage fee.
Now, the only problem is to try and get a reservation. Even though Puccini’s is relatively new, and nearly hidden in a small row of store-fronts in Coral Cove, they are full of wine and food lovers every evening.
Tonight I will join them for fresh grouper and a cool white Italian wine in a warm atmosphere that is beginning to feel like home, only better.
Like the name of the famous Italian composer, Puccini’s lives up to it’s name.
7252 S.Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, Florida
Finalist in the Writing and Publishing category of the 2009 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, “$uccess, Your Path to a Successful Book”