The Sardelli family spent five years and their life savings to buy an empty lot and build a four-story building just east of Federal Highway and steps from Hollywood Beach. From the outside, the $1.6 million Sardelli Italian Steakhouse looks like an Italian villa plucked from the countryside and dropped on the beach, complete with sunset-orange stucco walls and Greek-style columns.
Despite its opulence, we nearly drove by it at night, squinting and straining to see any sign that would indicate we were in the right place, just as you might on the way to visit a cousin. Aside from a valet sitting out front, there wasn't one. The restaurant is unmarked.
"Do I look like a restaurant or a home?" Fulvio Sardelli Jr. challenged me to answer when we spoke later by phone.
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