A flavor of Anna Maria with a twist of Key West has come to Manatee Avenue to make diners forget they're in West Bradenton.
The Hungry Parrot, 5718 Manatee Ave. W., features Caribbean blue tones, simulating a little hut in paradise that can serve up big meals.
Rick Nicoletti and Miguel Mignano opened the restaurant and tiki bar this month offering up hearty sandwiches, burgers, wings, pizza and Italian dishes.
The menu was well thought out by the former part-owner of Mama Onesti's Italian Restaurant. The name and the image for the restaurant, though, came in a slumber.
"I had a dream about a hungry parrot. Don't ask me why," Nicoletti said. "I even had a vision of how I wanted this bird to look."
He teamed up with Sidney Muniz, who goes by Sidney The Artist, to make his snorkeling, thirsty and hungry parrot fit in the theme.
"We kind of incorporated a little bit of Key West, a little bit of Italian and little bit of typical American foods," Nicoletti said.
They wanted to get the feel of some of the dive haunts in Key West while being clean, and
faced some challenges to get builders to give the new place an imperfect look, but managed to pull it off in the 3,600-square-foot space.
"It's the place to be in Manatee," Nicoletti said.
Mignano and Nicoletti can be found in the kitchen pitching a hand to turn out dishes such as deep-fried macaroni-and-cheese wedges, conch fritters, fresh wings or the signature sandwich, the Big Miggy. That sandwich features a slow-roasted brisket soaked in its own au jus, piled high with marinated diced tomatoes and a kale blend on a ciabatta bun.
"We want good comfort food with a good atmosphere and happiness," Mignano said.
Mignano's growing up in New York City with his Italian grandmother also puts a bit of an Italian influence on the menu with chicken dishes francaise, picatta and marsala. The two are promoting the place as a kid-friendly restaurant with a pet friendly outdoor patio. There's also some fun for adults, too, with a mixed bar, cornhole tournaments, karaoke and bands playing reggae and Jimmy Buffet outside on the patio.
"People leave here full, they love the fact they can bring their kids in here, too," Nicoletti said, adding he hopes his Christian values "exude" with the friendly vibe.
Hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. from Tuesday through Sunday and are closed on Mondays until season. Delivery available within 5-mile radius. For more information, call 941-792-1848.
Charles Schelle, Herald business reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7095. Follow him on Twitter @ImYourChuck.