Live La Dolce Vita at Osteria 500

Good Bite

Pictured: Fettuccine wtih slow cooked white veal ragu with porcini mushrooms and Parmesan cheese. Photo Courtesty of Osteria 500.

Imagine the perfect Italian vacation. Colorful Vespas whiz down cobblestone streets, lemon groves dot the landscape and the scent of homemade pasta sauce dances through the air. With the opening of Osteria 500, Sarasota’s newest Italian restaurant at Waterside Place, locals can experience la dolce vita in their own backyard. Carmine Ussano, Giuseppe (nicknamed Pepe, who also owns Napule) Del Sole, Andrea De Dominicis and Executive Chef Salvatore Scaccino own Osteria 500, which opened this past weekend. “Pepe and I share a passion for authentic ideas, and we wanted to do something unique and original that created a fusion of our different visions for the restaurant,” says Ussano.

Elements like Ussano’s childhood memories of walking through the lemon groves of the Amalfi Coast came to life in the finished restaurant. The team brought nearly everything in the space, from the furniture, pizza oven, vintage Vespa, decorative floor tiles and painted plates, from Italy to Sarasota to create an atmosphere that calls to mind rustic Italian eateries. “As Italians, the restaurant is a home away from home for us, but it’s also a place for people who love Italy or who have traveled there and want to feel like they’re on vacation again,” he adds.

Osteria’s little decorative details, like an upstairs loft filled with hanging lemons and vines designed to replicate the lemon groves of Ussano’s youth, charm diners as much as the food. The establishment offers lunch and dinner menus and a lounge menu, which features small bites called aperitivos, borrowing from the Italian custom of having a drink with small portions of food before the main meal. Many of the meals, like the Pasta Patate e Provola, are elevated takes on classic favorites or peasant dishes. Osteria’s version features a black truffle pate, adding an upscale touch. Simple recipes, such as the Spaghetti Osteria with cherry tomato sauce, basil and lemon zest are pure comfort in a bowl. Desserts, including homemade gelato served out of a vintage gelato cart, as well as classic favorites like the Tiramisu, will satisfy any sweet tooth. There’s even a well-stocked wine room and an outdoor bar hidden inside an old Citroen van on the lakeside terrace dining area, from which patrons can enjoy a beverage while strolling through Waterside. To further transport guests to Italy, two large projectors play footage of the country’s stunning scenery or black and white-Italian films. Starting in September, Osteria will offer Italian conversation classes as well. “We thought about every detail,” says Ussano, “and we are really happy with how it turned out.”

Osteria 500, 1580 Lakefront Dr. Unit 101, Sarasota, osteria500.com.

Pictured: Fettuccine wtih slow cooked white veal ragu with porcini mushrooms and Parmesan cheese. Photo Courtesty of Osteria 500.

Osteria 500

« View The Tuesday Aug 1, 2023 SRQ Daily Edition
« Back To SRQ Daily Archive

Read More

Cafe Arts Adds a Jolt of Caffeine to the Rosemary District

Cafe Arts Adds a Jolt of Caffeine to the Rosemary District

Laura Paquette | Feb 27, 2024

Arts and Central Adds a Creative Flair to the Rosemary District

Arts and Central Adds a Creative Flair to the Rosemary District

Laura Paquette | Feb 20, 2024

Banh Mi & Tea Brings Vietnamese Cuisine and Bubble Tea Delights to Miromar Outlets

Banh Mi & Tea Brings Vietnamese Cuisine and Bubble Tea Delights to Miromar Outlets

Feb 20, 2024

Beat the Winter Blues at Riviera French Cafe

Beat the Winter Blues at Riviera French Cafe

Laura Paquette | Feb 6, 2024