Vol 7 No. 5 - October 25, 2006

Dining Italian-style at Mama Onesti's

Frank Scarpino and Laura Sergo greet guests at Mama Onesti’s new location on Cortez Road West.

By Louise Bolger
sun staff writer

If you’re from an Italian family, chances are the aroma of your grandmother’s kitchen is still with you. Visions of veal parmigiana, stuffed shells and sausage and peppers dance through your childhood memories. Mamma Onesti’s Italian Restaurant may not be exactly like your grandmother’s kitchen, but the mouthwatering menu will keep you coming back, even if you’re not Italian.

Laura Sergo and Frank Scarpino opened Mamma Onesti’s Italian Restaurant in May of this year. If the name sounds familiar, that’s because Mamma Onesti’s was previously located on North Tamiami Trail in Sarasota. Frank Scarpino’s in-laws, the Onesti’s, owned and operated the restaurant at this location for 23 years. Scarpino and his family ran the restaurant during all of those years, and Sergo worked there for more than 10 years.

Sergo and Scarpino have joined forces in establishing an affordable neighborhood restaurant with good quality home cooked food, and to their delight, the neighborhood has come to them. They discovered that many of the original Mamma Onesti’s customers live close to the new location and are introducing their friends and neighbors to the new Mamma Onesti’s.

The restaurant offers a full Italian menu including pasta, chicken, veal and fish dishes, as well as appetizers, soup, salads and desserts. There are also daily specials and a good chance that Laura Sergo will remember your favorite dish the second time you come in.

They make their own bread, pastry and famous garlic rolls. Personal pizzas are available in the restaurant, but regular pizzas are take out only in addition to their full take out menu. Also, their extensive catering menu should be kept in mind for the upcoming holiday season. Beer and wine is available, and I’m told to try their special appetizer of spinach, sausage and cannellini beans. They are open for lunch from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. with pasta dishes, sandwiches, salads and personal pizzas on the menu.

Laura Sergo, originally from Chicago, and Frank Scarpino, born in Calabria, Italy, and their staff are excited about the new location, getting reacquainted with their old friends and making new ones. Their T-shirts say it all — Life’s Too Short Not To Be Italian, but even if you’re not Italian, you can eat like one at Mamma Onesti’s.

Mamma Onesti’s Italian Restaurant
In the Albertson’s shopping center
4625 Cortez Road W.
(941) 798-3067
Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Friday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Saturday, 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Sunday:, 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.

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