Restaurant Reviews

Foodstuff

When it comes to Italian markets, you pretty much know what to expect: mozzarella at the deli counter, pinot grigio in the wine section, an assortment of dried and fresh pastas, a couple of loaves of Italian bread. But Carmine Giardini's (2401 PGA Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens, 561-775-0105, and 6282 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale, 954-491-1876) just might surprise you -- and the one you love. The beautifully designed market, which smells as good as it looks, carries products from England (Stilton cheese), Japan (nori), and Holland (Droste chocolates). The market also makes and delivers/ships gift baskets. You can send baskets labeled "A Taste of Florida," "Coffee Lover's Delight," or "Breakfast Basket," which includes fresh fruit. My personal favorite, however, is "Petite Pasta Basket," complete with Giardini's own marinara sauce and private-label merlot. Mangia!

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Jen Karetnick is an award-winning dining critic, food-travel writer, and author of the books Ice Cube Tray Recipes, Mango, and The 500 Hidden Secrets of Miami.
Contact: Jen Karetnick