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feast-awaits-zuckerellos-0If you’re thinking about eating Italian or if it’s been awhile since you’ve visited one of your favorite haunts, then I recommend Zuckerello’s, located at 3017 Commercial Blvd. in Fort Lauderdale. The restaurant opened its doors in 1989, did an extensive remodel in 2004, and has been serving hungry tourists as well as loyal locals ever since.

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Delicious Italian specialties abound at Zuckerello’s

feast-awaits-zuckerellos-2If you’re thinking about eating Italian or if it’s been awhile since you’ve visited one of your favorite haunts, then I recommend Zuckerello’s, located at 3017 Commercial Blvd. in Fort Lauderdale. The restaurant opened its doors in 1989, did an extensive remodel in 2004, and has been serving hungry tourists as well as loyal locals ever since.

I was there recently with some friends and was reminded (again) of just how comforting their food is. The menu’s familiar and reasonable choices were all still there (as well as a few not so “typically Italian” flavors and recipes) and all were looking as savory, delectable–and appealing–as they ever did. The service hadn’t changed either, the waiters were as personable and efficient as they ever were. While waiting at the bar our “rock star” bartender Gary (knowledgeable, courteous and charismatic) suggested an unfamiliar Italian wine I had yet to try and–as it turned out–it was the perfect pairing for my entree selection. Wow, it’s good to revisit!

feast-awaits-zuckerellos-3OK–first up, the waiter brought a “typical” plate of Fried Calamari with two dipping sauces: Marinara and Sweet Chili–the latter not being so typical. These tasty morsels were lightly battered and very tender. Perfect, I thought to myself, I like how this is going. Second up was the multi-level Eggplant Tower of crispy breaded eggplant, mozzarella cheese and roasted red peppers with a thick slice of vine ripened tomato along with red onions and fresh basil, finished with truffle oil and balsamic reduction. This (towering) appetizer is best when enjoyed by all.

Next we decided to try one of the Asian-inspired appetizers: Sesame Crusted Ahi Tuna with wasabi, served with a side of wheat pasta (mixed with seaweed and sweet chili sauce) plus a ponzu sauce for dipping. The Ahi tuna was perfectly seared and very fresh. Excellent presentation. The sweet chili sauce found its way into yet another dish.

When the Cioppino arrived (one of their specialties), I had to ask David (my Italian American friend), about the biggest concern when ordering Cioppino. He told me his “fear” was that the seafood would be overcooked. This wasn’t. The combination of shrimp, mussels, calamari, scallops, Little Neck clams and fish were perfectly cooked in a lobster-base sauce. Their (creamy) version of this dish is served over pasta. Talk about the best of both worlds! Of course–and it never fails–my companion Steve “revisited” the Veal Piccata with broccoli. It was (like every other time) both tender and flavorful. We all shared the Crab Ravioli with Bay shrimp, portobello mushrooms and spinach served with the same creamy lobster-base sauce as in the Cioppino.

One of the unique things about the menu was the selection of non-Italian, fresh seafood offerings. When the restaurant temporarily changed hands from the original owner, the name became Zuckerello’s & Fish Co. When Adam Zucker (the original owner) took back the reins in 2004 he took “Fish Co” off the name, but kept the popular fish and seafood dishes on the menu. As for me–I’ll be sticking with the traditional Italian recipes that I know and love. After all who doesn’t love Italian?

For dessert I recommend the Tiramisu — it’s one of the better ones you’ll find anywhere around town. Whether you’re in the mood for an intimate dinner for two or enjoy being surrounded by lots of your best friends Zuckerello’s menu has plenty to offer, from fish and seafood to traditional Italian and of course, pasta! They also have nightly specials as well as $5 snacks at the bar from 3 to 7 p.m. every day. They can accommodate up to 80 people in their semi-private dining room and catering is available for those who want to entertain there or at home. For more information call 954-776-4282 or visit their website at Zuckerellos.com

ZUCKERELLO’S

3017 Commercial Blvd. in Fort Lauderdale
954-776-4282
Zuckerellos.com

Is it possible that President Barrack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. read my recent article in Hotspots Magazine on why same-sex couples should be allowed to legally marry?

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