At home, chef-owner Giovanni Rocchio practices mixed martial arts and wrestling, but in his restaurant kitchen, it's all elegance: quail, turbot, foie gras, and handmade pasta. The chef is most famous for his casoncelli, wonton-shaped pasta stuffed with a rich veal and pancetta filling and served with a creamy brown butter sauce. The butternut squash tortilla is Rocchio's favorite, however: a dish inspired by a meal at the Michelin-starred Ristorante dal Pescatore in Northern Italy. Rocchio started working at his family's pizzeria as a kid, then at their white-tablecloth restaurant in Plantation before going in his own direction. His recipe for success: respect. "Respect for the product and respect for the customers. A good chef is only as good as his ingredients, and I want people to know they are getting the best. I'm always trying to do better. And that's the secret to anyone's success."
Readers' Choice: Brian Nelson, Tanzy