Restaurant Reviews

Valentino Serves Elevated Italian Fare: Old-World Authenticity With a Modern Flair

Fort Lauderdale's Valentino's most striking attribute, aside from chef-owner Giovanni Rocchio's impressive menu of homemade pastas and high-end victuals, is its kitchen. Open to the full view of the dining room like a stage to a rapt audience, the entire evening unfolds like a silent movie.

The performance begins well before dinner, however, with the routine of daily prep: the click and flare of a gas burner, and just like that the scent of melting chocolate and sautéed mushrooms (ingredients for two of the evening's specials) fills the air.

Here, refined palates can take refuge. The restaurant specializes in true culinary ambition. Rocchio isn't just some self-important chef with an impressive résumé; he's a culinary savant with a passion that runs so hot, it's helped to propel his Fort Lauderdale eatery into a class of its own.

See also: East Meets West At 545 Banh Mi Cafe in Davie

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Nicole Danna is a Palm Beach County-based reporter who began covering the South Florida food scene for New Times in 2011. She also loves drinking beer and writing about the area's growing craft beer community.
Contact: Nicole Danna