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Ten Best Italian Restaurants in Broward and Palm Beach Counties

Ten Best Italian Restaurants in Broward and Palm Beach Counties

Whether you're of Italian descent or not, there's something soothing about simply prepared plates of pasta.

Maybe there's a stress-relieving physiological response to gluten; maybe it's a carb hangover -- either way, it works.

There once was a time in which Italian cuisine was symbolized by little more than spaghetti and meatballs with red sauce. Hey, we're not bashing it, but it's not really Italian -- in fact, that combination was devised in New York.

Over the past decade or so, we've seen that other regional variations and styles of food from across Italy's boot have become increasingly common. Frankly, we think it's awesome.

From the Northern Alps to Tuscany to the South, we're all about Italian.

With that, we decided to compile a list of the ten best Italian restaurants in South Florida.

See Also:

- Ten Best Restaurants in Delray Beach

- Ten Best Barbecue Spots in South Florida

Ten Best Italian Restaurants in Broward and Palm Beach Counties

10. Vic & Angelo's

There's no denying, some places make some things better. Tomatoes, for example, are best from San Marzano. Mozzarella made from the milk of Italian water buffaloes is superior to any cow-made variety. And we all know the merits -- whether we care to or not -- of the New York City water supply. Fortunately, Vic & Angelo's recognizes this superiority and imports all three. Dishes like the Originale pizza (with hand-crushed tomatoes, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Mozzarella di Bufala, and Italian olive oil) and the imported pear and four cheese tortelloni use only the best ingredients money can buy. Price is what you pay; value is what you get.

Ten Best Italian Restaurants in Broward and Palm Beach Counties

9. Cafe Martorano

There are times when you want your celebrity chef to be a badass; Steve Martorano is just that. His restaurants are the evidence. The Philly native serves classic Italian-American food with attitude in his original restaurant/nightclub/celebrity hot spot. Dishes like his grilled octopus with celery, olives, Sicilian e.v.o.o., chili flakes, and Meyer lemon or his Martorano Original Eggplant Stack, breaded eggplant layered with house-made mozzarella, marinated tomatoes, aged balsamic vinaigrette, and D.O.C. Parmigian-Reggiano cheese have garnered Martorano many a TV appearance. If you're looking for great food and a taste of the limelight, this is your place.

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Want access to our Best Of picks from your smartphone? Download our free Best Of app for the iPhone or Android phone from the App Store or Google Play. Don't forget to check out the full Best of Broward-Palm Beach® online at bestof.voiceplaces.com.

 

Ten Best Italian Restaurants in Broward and Palm Beach Counties

8. Caffe Luna Rosa

Recently awarded TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence 2013, this Delray Beach spot combines Italy, Philly, and the tropics. The Northern Italian cuisine -- including house-made pappardelle alla bolognese, Florida yellowtail snapper francese, and eggplant rollatini -- are served just seconds from the beach. The focus is on quality with San Marzano tomatoes, fresh ground beef, daily baked bread, and even in-house roasted coffee beans. Breakfast and lunch tend to follow the same rigid bent. Sometimes you just need things to be perfect.

Ten Best Italian Restaurants in Broward and Palm Beach Counties

7. Da Campo Osteria

A small piece of celebrity chef Todd English's empire of restaurants, da Campo Osteria offers superb regional Northern Italian fare with views to match. From the airy dining room's views of the water to the open kitchen to the rustic cuisine, the restaurant aims to excite the senses. The Intracoastal-side views are intended to please the eyes, while dishes such as fresh mozzarella pulled tableside, roasted artichoke and arugula salad, and lobster tagliatelle intentionally titillate the taste buds. Hopefully, your date can take care of the rest -- if not, just picture the visually charming Todd English. We're sure he won't mind.

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Want access to our Best Of picks from your smartphone? Download our free Best Of app for the iPhone or Android phone from the App Store or Google Play. Don't forget to check out the full Best of Broward-Palm Beach® online at bestof.voiceplaces.com.

 

Ten Best Italian Restaurants in Broward and Palm Beach Counties

6. Kitchenetta

From Brooklyn by way of California, owner Vincent Foti opened Kitchenetta back in 2004 as a modern and simple alternative to heavy, old-school East Coast Italian haunts. A minimalist, almost-empty interior gives way to a fresh, clean, and colorful seasonal menu. Dishes like the gnocchi Gorgonzola and the steamed mussels Positano-style are composed of ingredients sourced from small-scale producers. Classic pizzas such as the margherita and the Toscana with tomato sauce, mozzarella, and Prosciutto di Parma Crudo are made in a traditional wood-burning oven with Neapolitan flour. To encourage sharing, dishes are available in single and family-sized portions. It's kind of like eating at Grandma's, but not so stuffy -- and just better.

Ten Best Italian Restaurants in Broward and Palm Beach Counties

5. Marcello's La Sirena

Clean, opulent, and elegant, this West Palm Beach spot is hailed as one of the best places for Italian in all of Palm Beach County. Here, you'll find an ethos that's all about history and tradition. The open dining room is decked out with 150-year-old oak beams from the Shenandoah Valley decorating the ceiling. Paintings by the restaurant's founders, Miroslav Antic of Marcello and Ann Fiorentino, adorn the walls. The food follows the historical tone as well, with Old World dishes like crespelle aI quattro formaggi, a handmade crepe filled with fontina, ricotta di bufala, parmigiano, mozzarella, and delicate tomato sauce; and piccatina al limone, veal escalopes sautéed in lemon, white wine, and capers. New is exciting; tradition has time to prove itself.

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Want access to our Best Of picks from your smartphone? Download our free Best Of app for the iPhone or Android phone from the App Store or Google Play. Don't forget to check out the full Best of Broward-Palm Beach® online at bestof.voiceplaces.com.

 

Ten Best Italian Restaurants in Broward and Palm Beach Counties

4. Cafe La Buca

To many Americans, Italian food is Southern Italian: period. While we tend to favor eating our way through the entire spectrum of the peninsula, we wouldn't have a problem with the red-sauce-only notion if we could keep coming back to Cafe La Buca. Not the most elegant and not the most expensive, this spot offers vibrant, classic Neapolitan cuisine in a casual and friendly setting. The menu changes on a near daily basis with dishes ranging from wood-fired pizzas and homemade pasta to fresh seafood, grilled steak, and lamb. Beer and wine are not sold on the premises, but for those looking to engage in some pairings, there are no fees for corkage. If you're looking for homemade fare in a warm environment, this would be your place.

Ten Best Italian Restaurants in Broward and Palm Beach Counties

3. Casa D'Angelo

The longstanding patriarch of authentic Italian -- and the overall high-end restaurant scene -- in Broward and Palm Beach counties, Angelo Elia's cuisine has been South Floridians go-to spot for momentous life occasions. On any given night, you'll find friends enjoying birthdays, families commemorating graduations, and couples celebrating anniversaries -- heck, maybe even a proposal -- while drooling over Elia's delights. Authentic Tuscan fare like Bistecca alla Fiorentina, oak-grilled dry-aged strip steak, marinated in olive oil, rosemary, and garlic served with vidalia onion and wild mushroom; or Penne Arrabbiata con Prosciutto, penne served in a spicy tomato sauce with proscuitto is simple and clean yet luxurious at the same time. Throw in one of the most expansive wine lists in South Florida; you'd have to be a Philistine not to be impressed.

bestof.jpg
Want access to our Best Of picks from your smartphone? Download our free Best Of app for the iPhone or Android phone from the App Store or Google Play. Don't forget to check out the full Best of Broward-Palm Beach® online at bestof.voiceplaces.com.

 

Ten Best Italian Restaurants in Broward and Palm Beach Counties

2. Sardelli's

There are some Italian spots you visit on a regular basis; this is not one -- unless you're rich. Our pick for "Best Restaurant When Someone Else Is Paying - 2013", Sardelli's is not the cheapest spot on the list. We, however, are not looking for a deal; we're looking for the best. The result of the Sardelli family's life savings, just blocks from the beach, this Hollywood Italian-style villa cost over $1.6 million to built. Fortunately, we're glad they did. Dishes like Barolo-braised short ribs with fingerling potatoes, cipolini, and spinach ($35) and whole branzino with lemon, caper, olive, tomato, and herb brodetto ($40) use only the best ingredients you can get. Sometimes you want to splurge; here you'll find extravagance you cannot forget.

Sardelli's is located at 331 Van Buren St. in Hollywood. Call 954-921-8331, or visit sardellis.com.

Ten Best Italian Restaurants in Broward and Palm Beach Counties

1. Valentino Cucina Italiana

Honey, this is not your average red-checkered tablecloth, red-sauce Italian spot. Winner of New Times Best Broward County Restaurant - 2013, Valentino Cucina Italiana specializes in Northern Italian cuisine with an edge. Dishes like the ham and egg raviolo, a playful dish filled with ricotta, asparagus, and egg yolk finished in truffle butter and pancetta and the roasted beet salad with mascarpone, apple, hazelnuts, mint, shallots, and a vanilla vinaigrette take preconceived notions of traditional American Italian cuisine and turn them inside out. Add a posh yet homey atmosphere and the most comprehensive cocktail program in Broward and Palm Beach counties and you have yourself the best. We'll raise a fork to that.

bestof.jpg
Want access to our Best Of picks from your smartphone? Download our free Best Of app for the iPhone or Android phone from the App Store or Google Play. Don't forget to check out the full Best of Broward-Palm Beach® online at bestof.voiceplaces.com.

Follow Sara Ventiera on Twitter, @saraventiera.




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