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 youll have a
clear picture of one of Longboats 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. Novembers
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. Andiamos also provides a catering
service which should come in handy during the upcoming holiday
season, contact the restaurant for their catering menu.
Andiamos 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 youre 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
Andiamos special menu, translates to "You Sleep,
You Dont Catch A Fish." Theres no chance
youll catch Francesco Mucci sleeping, he loves to
work hard and loves his job. Besides, if you visit Chef
Mucci at Andiamo Ristorante Italiano you wont need
to catch a fish just order one off the menu and pretend
youre in Tuscany or maybe Venice.
Andiamo Ristorante Italiano
Whitney Beach Plaza
6814 Gulf of Mexico Drive
Open for dinner every day at 5 p.m.
Happy Hour Monday-Friday at 3 p.m.