Few international cuisines have captured the American appetite and imagination like Italian food.
In fact, earlier this year, an international polling agency found that Italian cooking ranks as the favorite foreign cuisine in the U.S. and the world over.
Whether it’s the robust flavors, the tradition, the romance, or just all of the carbs and cheese, we can’t seem to get enough.
We asked members of our Facebook group, “Manatee Eats,” where to dine Italian in Manatee County, and the results were plentiful.
If you are in search of pure and traditional Italian, Italian fusion or the Americanized version of the cuisine, there’s something nearby for you.
Here’s where locals recommend.
Tiramisu Ristorante Italiano
Wife-and-husband team Monica and Luca Cecconi immigrated from Italy in 2014 to bring a taste of their home country’s cuisine to the States. Tiramisu Ristorante Italiano has kept earning top reviews ever since.
Known affectionately by locals as Tiramisu, this Bradenton restaurant offers authentic Italian food, wine and dessert in warm and cozy environs.
Luca specializes in fine Italian wine; Monica is the head chef.
The kitchen turns out homemade pasta (try tagliatelle, penne, ravioli and spaghetti) soup, salad, seafood and more. Daily specials add variety to the menu.
Whatever you order, don’t forget to try the namesake dessert. Delizioso.
Tiramisu Ristorante Italiano is at 5215 14th St. W., Bradenton.
Ortygia is a romantic spot for authentic Italian dining in the heart of Village of the Arts in Bradenton.
Chef Gaetano “Guy” Cannata specializes in a fusion of old world cuisines.
The result is dishes that bring out the best of Sicilian, French and Mediterranean cooking.
Try hot and cold appetizers, savory tarts, pastas, soups, salads and a daily catch of seafood.
Ortygia is at 1418 13th St. W. in Bradenton.
Eat Organico Ristorante Italiano
Eat Organico chef Simone Salustri crafts authentic Italian dishes with organic and local ingredients and then plates them beautifully.
Soups and salads, pastas, appetizers, seafood and meat entrees await at the Bradenton restaurant.
The menu includes traditional and adventurous offerings, from fettuccine with Roman-style meat sauce to homemade lasagna with corvina and Italian cheeses.
And if you’re looking for a new culinary experience, try crudo. Sometimes referred to as “Italian sushi,” it’s servings of uncooked, marinated seafood like anchovies, snapper, salmon tartare and octopus.
Eat Organico is at 4832 Cortez Rd. W., Bradenton.
Art Caffe Italian Bakery and Market
Remo and Meridith Mambelli have created a haven for Italian flavors in Village of the Arts.
Art Caffe Italian Bakery and Market plates pizza, pasta, salad and sandwiches with a mouthwatering pop.
The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner five days a week and offers indoor and outdoor seating — plus walls lined with local and imported craft art.
Art Caffe Italian Bakery and Market is at 930 12th St. W., Bradenton.
▪ Cafe Baci, 4001 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota
▪ Pino’s, 3800 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota
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