Acqua Pazza Brings Italy to Wellen Park

Good Bite

Pictured: A plate of fresh pasta made in-house at Acqua Pazza. Photo Courtesy of Acqua Pazza.

If you’re looking for a bit of Italian sunshine to brighten up the winter day, check out Acqua Pazza Coastal Italian, a new coastal-inspired Italian restaurant in Downtown Wellen Park. After traveling with his family across Italy, Co-owner David Valentino had been wanting to create an eatery that paid homage to the country.

“We are constantly talking about and developing concepts, and the idea of doing Italian in a more traditional approach has excited us and has been loosely on the back burner for quite a while,” Valentino says. “When we were approached by Wellen Park, for another opportunity to take over a restaurant space there, it didn’t take us long to understand that that was where we wanted to take it. Also, it’s something that this growing, exciting area didn’t have yet, unlike other areas.” He and his team, who own other businesses like Donatos and The Banyan House Restaurant, created an establishment that pulls from the rich culinary cultures of both Italians and Italian-Americans. Diners can sample the blend of these two traditions in dishes like the impressive veal chop parmigiana. “Our veal chop parmigiana is a show stopper. It’s a full 14 oz. veal chop on the bone. We take the bone off for the guest and pan fry the veal. It’s done with a San Marzano tomato and buffalo mozzarella topping in the traditional parmigiana style. It’s both the Italian and the Italian-American traditions combining,” he adds.

Other menu items draw from the heritage of Rome, a city that is just a 45-minute drive from the sea. “A lot of the coastal influences and fresh seafood are found in Roman cuisine above and beyond the four classic pasta dishes that we all associate with the area,” says Valentino. Still, his menu includes amatriciana, carbonara and cacio e pepe, three of those four pasta dishes. Other Roman delicacies that can be found at Acqua Pazza are fried artichokes, which are common throughout the city’s Jewish quarter. Also served in that part of Rome is salted cod, or baccala, one of the types of seafood in the fritto pesce, a fried seafood platter that’s ideal for sharing. For dessert, patrons can sample the pistachio tiramisu, which comes in a mug and presents another popular Italian ingredient in an inventive manner. Whether guests sample pasta or seafood, they will have enjoyed a bit of Italy’s culinary delights at Acqua Pazza.

Acqua Pazza Coastal Italian, 19750 Wellen Park Blvd., Unit #D, Venice, 941-244-5147, acquapazzaitalian.com.

Pictured: A plate of fresh pasta made in-house at Acqua Pazza. Photo Courtesy of Acqua Pazza.

Acqua Pazza Coastal Italian

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