Vol 7 No. 8 - November 15, 2006

Tuscan fare house specialty at new Longboat restaurant


SUN PHOTO/LOUISE BOLGER
Francesco Mucci, chef and owner of Andiamo Ristorante Italiano, specializes in northern Italian cuisine.
By Louise Bolger
sun staff writer

Imagine a rustic restaurant tucked away on a hillside in the Tuscany region of Italy, terracotta floors, walls the color of lemons and pale oranges and the subtle aroma of garlic browning in olive oil. Now imagine the same restaurant tucked away on a mangrove shrouded canal off Sarasota Bay on the north end of Longboat Key and you’ll have a clear picture of one of Longboat’s newest restaurants, Andiamo Ristorante Italiano.

Chef and owner Francesco Mucci was born in Bari, Italy and relocated to Sarasota in 2001 to further develop the culinary skills he acquired during his 35 years in the restaurant business. After establishing other restaurants in Florida, he opened the doors of Andiamo Ristorante Italiano on September 1st, to provide to Longboat Key an Italian restaurant with simple and authentic Italian cuisine. His fish dishes are prepared reflecting the Mediterranean style of cooking, and his northern Italian specialties are reminiscent of the years he lived in Bologna.

At Andiamo Ristorante, Mucci is offering traditional Italian dishes including antipasti, pastas, fish and meat. In addition to his regular menu and daily specials, one Tuesday a month Andiamo has a special pre fixe three-course menu. November’s special menu featured fish as the main course, and some of the menu choices included seafood salad, stuffed scallops with crabmeat, large shrimp with aurora sauce, penne pasta with salmon, fish stuffed ravioli, risotto with seafood, Chilean seabass, sautéed salmon with gorgonzola sauce, pan seared codfish, calamari in marinara sauce, sautéed grouper and pineapple sorbet for dessert.

You can enjoy all three choices on the special menu for the appetizer and first course, but choose only one for the main course. Call the restaurant to find out what will be featured for upcoming months and which Tuesday the special menu will be offered. Andiamo’s also provides a catering service which should come in handy during the upcoming holiday season, contact the restaurant for their catering menu.

Andiamo’s has a full bar overlooking the water, which is open for happy hour during the week. And, if you like to travel by boat, you can pretend you’re in Venice and dock your boat on

the seawall behind the restaurant. There is also entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights and Thursdays starting shortly.

"Chi Dorme Non Piglia Pesci," which appears on Andiamo’s special menu, translates to "You Sleep, You Don’t Catch A Fish." There’s no chance you’ll catch Francesco Mucci sleeping, he loves to work hard and loves his job. Besides, if you visit Chef Mucci at Andiamo Ristorante Italiano you won’t need to catch a fish just order one off the menu and pretend you’re in Tuscany or maybe Venice.

Andiamo Ristorante Italiano
Whitney Beach Plaza
6814 Gulf of Mexico Drive
Longboat Key
941-383-2590
Open for dinner every day at 5 p.m.
Happy Hour Monday-Friday at 3 p.m.

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