Casa del Mare is a true Italian restaurant located on Fort Lauderdale Beach directly across from the ocean. It is in the former location of The Deck, which those of us who have lived in town a long time will certainly recognize.

I had come to this restaurant with my partner Clem, who I also have to give photo credit to. We are always on the lookout for new up-and-coming restaurants and found a good one here at Casa del Mare.

When you first enter, you are greeted by their friendly staff and seated comfortably outside to enjoy the beach and ocean views. Our waiter Michele, who also uses his American name Michael, is from Florence, Italy and had set the stage for what was going to be a fabulous meal.

We also had the opportunity to meet Chef Fabrizio Polizzi, who was born in Belgium with both parents from Catania, on the Island of Sicily. His experience runs extensive with some of the best restaurants in Italy and South Florida, including the well-known Casa Tua Restaurant in South Beach. He brings his passion and experience to our Fort Lauderdale community.

There is an extensive wine list with over 40 bottles ranging from a reasonable $28 up to $175 per bottle — many of the selection from the vineyards in Italy. They also serve wine by the glass, which in our case was just perfect. I enjoyed a glass of Montepulciano, while Clem ordered a glass of Moscato. They also have a full bar and quite a few specialty drinks.

Octopus Carpaccio

We started our dining experience with the Octopus Carpaccio ($18), which was thinly sliced served with arugula, grape tomatoes, truffle sauce and parmesan cheese and the Bruschetta ($12) with fresh tomatoes, basil and a touch of garlic. We shared both appetizers while enjoying the live music provided on the Wednesday evening we were there.

For the main course, we ordered the Branzino ($29), which was grilled Mediterranean Sea bass served with mixed vegetables and a mixed green salad. It was displayed on our table for us to admire until the first delicious bite. We also ordered the Short Ribs Ravioli ($22), which is made in-house and served with a rich mushroom sauce. It was perfectly prepared and served slightly al dente, which is exactly as it should be.

I go to the gym regularly so I can enjoy not limiting my eating and desserts, so we had to try to save room for their exciting dessert menu. We had two of their homemade desserts, the warm apple tart served with vanilla ice cream on top ($12) and the light and fluffy Crème Brulee with fresh berries ($12). Both were outstanding.

If you are looking for a romantic dinner or dinner with close friends, amazing food and views of the ocean, Casa del Mare Ristorante is the place for you. We will certainly be back.

Casa del Mare Ristorante
619 N Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304