Vol. 8 No. 33 - May 7, 2008


Traditional Italian fare at Maestro

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Alfonso Rossi, owner of Maestro Italian restaurant

Maestro is derived from the Latin word magister, meaning master of an art form.

To an Italian, cooking may be the highest art form there is, and to Alfonso and Sandra Rossi it’s an art form that has gotten into their blood.

In 1990, the Rossi’s moved to Bradenton from Padua, Italy, with their young daughter, Francesca to join family already living in the area and worked in the restaurant business. Alfonso Rossi’s family had been involved in the restaurant industry in Italy since before World War II. He was a sous-chef as well as ower of a fitness center in Padua. In 1998, the Rossis did what came naturally to them and opened their own restaurant on Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach.

After totally remodeling the building, they developed an authentic Italian menu providing good quality food at a fair price. The food at Maestro is anchored in the Italian tradition of families preparing meals together using recipes and techniques originally brought over at the turn of the century with the Italian immigrants and passed from one generation to the next. Ten years down the road the Rossis are still offering, quality, affordability and variety at their beachside restaurant.

Dinner is served every night with pasta entries starting about $11 and house specialties starting around $13. Mushroom ravioli, spaghetti carbonara, veal Parmigiana, chicken marsala, linguine with clams and classic lasagna are just some of the menu items. Antipasti, soup and salad are also available as are desserts with Sandra Rossi’s homemade tiramisu a favorite. Alfonso Rossi plans on adding personal pizzas to the dinner menu in the near future.

Lunch is available on Thursday through Sunday with a variety of pastas, salads and sandwiches, including chicken Parmigiana, Cuban and Philly steak. Prices range from $10 for Linguine with Clams to personal pizzas starting at $4. Lunch is more casual than dinner adopting the Italian bistro tradition of ordering at the counter.

Beer, wine and soft drinks are offered, and Maestro also provides a take out service as well as catering with large party trays. Watch for Maestro’s off-season specials that include dinner with a complimentary bottle of wine and discount coupons.

Sandra Rossi says that a successful restaurant owner has to be organized, prepared for everything and willing to adapt to what’s going on around you. The Rossis are nothing if not adaptable. Owning a restaurant on Anna Maria Island is quite a cultural revolution from living most of your life in Northern Italy.

Art may be subjective, but cooking isn’t. Everyone likes good food, especially when it’s prepared as an art form. Visit Maestro Italian Restaurant & Café and take a trip to Italy after a day at the beach.

Maestro Italian Restaurant & Café
101 Bridge St., Bradenton Beach
Lunch begins at noon, Thursday through Sunday
Dinner begins nightly at 5 p.m.


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