Valentino's Cucina Italiana is slated to move down the street to 620 S. Federal Highway by May, confirms chef owner Giovanni Rocchio. The new building is 3,200 square feet -- double the size of the original location, with more parking, he says, "the main reason for the move."
Rocchio says he designed the space that will feature an open kitchen and a full bar. "It's going to be pretty amazing," he says. The menu will remain the same, with a few new items introduced.
He will know within the month whether he will open a casual concept in
the current space or whether he will sell it. As reported here, Rocchio
entertained the sale of the space in the fall. During the six-week
offseason hiatus in September and October, Rocchio had been shopping
the restaurant around and landed a buyer, yet the
deal fell through.
Valentino's Cucina Italiana is Giovanni's rendition of his parents
restaurant, run by Tony and Carmella in Plantation for 40 years. In
2005, Giovanni moved the restaurant to Federal Highway and infused the
menu with what he'd learned and how he was inspired from stints at Piccholine and Fiamma in New York.
Valentino's won the New Times 2011 Best Pasta Dish
for ham and egg ravioli, a nod to our love affair with
runny yolk. "Freshly made squares of pasta
are piped with fresh ricotta and spinach,
forming a protective border for an egg yolk to be gingerly placed
inside. With tender touch, the filling is sealed and the ravioli briefly
boiled, then finished with truffle butter and crispy pancetta. A slice
of the knife releases tangy yolk that commingles with succulent and
salty sauce served alongside grilled asparagus and prosciutto bread," we
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