Year: 2018

Love this Place! Family Italian Restaurant Cafe Italia

Spaghetti and Clams Fort Lauderdale Italian Food

Family owned, quality food, reasonable prices. Love Love Love

We were the first ones to arrive on a Saturday and when we left the place was very busy. They cook to order and the only waitress was kept busy that night. The bread olives and cheese was delicious. The owner was visible and spent time talking to all his customers. Very Authentic. My table had: LAMB MEATBALL RAGU OVER CHITARRA SPAGHETTI; SALMON; YELLOWTAIL SNAPPER; VEAL SALTIMBOCCA . All was delicious. They took our redemption number and phone number to call if there was a problem. HIghly recommend this place! Will try to go during the week or when they first open on a Saturday again! Our new Italian restaurant!

Love This Place

With its friendly, attentive staff and a nice, reasonably priced wine selection, Café Italia is a neighborhood Italian restaurant that will win you over with its high quality, well prepared dishes. Owner Francesco has been greeting guests here for over 25 years. It’s a small family restaurant where you can hear Italian spoken and all dishes are made to order.

Word of mouth is how we learned about the place which is located on the ground floor of an office building. We were seated immediately and presented with a plate of excellent cheese and olives and outstanding fresh baked Italian style bread. The menu is somewhat limited with emphasis on pasta and seafood. I chose the veal Marsala dish and a side of angel hair pasta with garlic & olive oil. Very high quality, perfectly prepared veal and excellent pasta. My dining mate chose the pasta and shrimp served with a side salad. Wine by the glass is priced at $6 per. Total tab was $65 which was more then fair considering the quality of the ingredients. Thank you for an excellent dining experience!

Fort Lauderdale Italian Gem

So I’ve lived in Fort Lauderdale over 43 years and I have to say this was the best yellowtail and red snapper preparation I’ve ever had. It’s a tiny storefront restaurant with maybe 10-12 tables?  Run by an Italian couple that have been there 23 years. How did I miss this gem? If it hadn’t been for a Groupon coupon I never would have found it. We started with mussels.. they were big, plump and delicious and spicy the way I like them.

We each had fish and it was cooked to perfection. Amazingly fresh as the tail was still on it so it was a nice small size yellowtail snapper or red snapper and the sauce was perfect. We ordered a side of broccoli cooked in garlic and oil and pasta done the same. It reminded me of what I cook at home and I’m a real foodie. We had the Tartufo with pistachio ice cream covered in chocolate and whipped cream yum! It reminded me of a little Italian restaurant I went to growing up in New York.

This is definitely our go-to Italian restaurant from now on.  It is beer and wine only …we had Prosecco for a very reasonable $25 a bottle. This whole dinner cost is $90 which was amazing in itself for a five-star restaurant in my book. I would make reservations if you go on the weekend, during the week it seems good but we went early….love this place!

Snapper Livornese
SNAPPER LIVORNESE
Yellowtail Snapper
YELLOWTAIL SNAPPER

Great Ambience. Perfect Italian Date Night Spot

date night restaurant fort lauderdale

Most authentic italian restaurant fort lauderdale

The people are friendly, the food is good and so is the wine! Our waitress knows what we drink and eat most often and usually tells us what we are ordering before we can tell her! We enjoy the atmosphere as well. The prices are mid range. We try new dishes often. I would recommend this restaurant to anyone looking for an Italian restaurant to make their favorite!

Real Authentic Italian Food. Nice Menu Selection Great Service

They had a nice selection of house wines by the glass, and the prices were at least half of what you would normally pay in a Ristoranti. I forgot to mention the tables had a nice light tan first table cloth, topped with another white linen top table cloth, and of course real linen napkins., Service was just perfect, where you were not rushed, and you leisurely enjoy the appetizer, before the entree and pasta were served. While there, a group of six arrived and selected the round table in the front by the window and adjacent to the table for eight, and they were not over-crowded. Would I return. YES, in a heartbeat. I enjoyed my short conversation with the owner who was seated at an outside table when I was leaving. A wonderful way to spend a Saturday evening.

Light Crispy Fried Calamari with Lemon

The mediterranean diet is essential to Italian Food and provides many health benefits.

Four weeks ago I had walked passed, and evidently the owner noticed my reviewing the menu in the window. A nice, polite, mature Gentleman asking if I had any questions. I advised I was just looking. Well over these past several weeks, I could not forget the impression he had left with me. So on Saturday, I decided to go back and pay the Cafe Italia a visit. As he explained to me when leaving in an apology, he had just had an operation, and walking was difficult, so thus difficult to personally greet myself at the table. I reminded him of my previous time there, looking, and my promise to return. It’s a small but very comfortable restaurant located in the Roselli Building.

There were about seven of the square tables, two round tables for five and an oblong table for eight. Immediately after the presentation of the menu and the wine list, a plate of house made bread with butter was presented, together with a plate of provolone cheese and a round metal cup of Italian Olives. Everything was very tasty.
For anyone eating out on a budget, the pasta dishes were exceptionally reasonable. I selected the Eggplant Rollatini for my appetizer, and the veal cutlet with mushrooms in a Marsala wine sauce. Also a side of pasta with a marinara sauce. It was the largest pasta side dish I have ever been served. The eggplant was delicious, and three nice sized slices of veal were so tender you could break them with your fork.

Authentic Italian RISTORANTE

Food great, wine prices reasonable both by the glass or bottle. Owned by a husband and wife team, this is place is a treat. Bread is amazing, pasta cooked perfectly, and all dishes are finger licking GREAT.  Best italian restaurants fort lauderdale.
Husband runs the front, his wife is at the stove making meals to make you want to come back for more. Reservation

Authentic Italian food. Delicious & fresh!  When you arrive, servers immediately bring fresh, warm bread with a soft center & crunchy crust.  A flute of freshly grated Parmesan cheese, a plate with green olives & chunks of fresh Parmesan cheese also arrive. Additionally, they bring a bottle olive oil & balsamic vinegar. For a neon-sign exterior, this attention to detail was truly unexpected.

My husband is a pasta fagioli soup connoisseur & devoured this version.  The Caprese salad was OK. They were disappointedly out of buffalo mozzarella & could have added more fresh basil; the balsamic vinaigrette served with it was an odd choice, as the olive oil & balsamic vinegar on the table is more traditional, so that’s what we used.

We dug into our main dishes before taking photos, so any perceive lack of perfect presentation is our fault!  He loved the lasagna & I highly recommend the baked to perfection eggplant parmigiana. I opted to pay for the side of paste ($3, I think). I chose pappardelle, which was prepared well but could have used more marinara.

This is a must-stop Italian dinner in Fort Lauderdale. Don’t let the strip mall exterior deter you!

Best Italian Date Night Fort Lauderdale

date night restaurant fort lauderdale

If your date night restaurant revolved around amazing authentic Italian cuisine in a friendly local establishment of over 20 years then Cafe Italia Ristorante is the perfect date night restaurant.

3471 N Federal Hwy
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33306
Call: (954) 561-3900

The Charm of Old Italy is in this small family owned Italian Restaurant. Enjoy freshly served cooked-to-order plates including yellowtail snapper, veal marsala, risotto, lamb, seafood dishes and much more.

Amazing little restaurant near me has the best pasta dishes and sauces around. I stopped in to see what the place looked like since it has been there for over 20 years and never went in! It was a small cozy romantic restaurant with Italian music playing. I liked the round modern chandeliers and asked where he got them.

One of the best restaurants in Fort Lauderdale for authentic Italian cuisine. I ordered the Bucatini Amatriciana and it was the best pasta I ever had in Fort Lauderdale.”


The Miami Herald Dining Section

It seems as if I spend my life in Italian restaurants picking apart menus, dining rooms and meals, trying to discern the relative value of a dining experience.
But the truth is that I believe the best restaurants, Italian or otherwise, are not necessarily the ones with the finest Riedel glasses, French- trained waiters and the oldest balsamic vinegar — though that certainly can help — but rather those that give diners a good feeling of welcoming and home. The ones that convey a feeling of conviviality, that entice the appetite not only with fine food but with fine hospitality.

Roses on the tables clean linen and friendly staff makes this italian restaurant one of a kind not just because of its authentic Italian food but the cozy welcoming cozy atmosphere and select wine. A perfect little restaurant for date night. There was even a piano player on the bight we went.

Date night reviews

Best Italian Restaurant Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale Italian Restaurant Parties

One of the best Authentic Italian Restaurants in Fort Lauderdale, owned and operated solely by Italian descent.

Owner Francesco, from Pescara a city in Abruzzo Italy is highly educated in central Italian cuisine and Cafe Italia is prepared to deliver only the best! Loved it, loved it. Great Italian cuisine.


If you Squint, you’re in Italia!

Not bad at all. Warm bread served with olives and olive oil (Bread from Gran Forno, I believe) started us off. Nice glass of cabernet at 6 seemed like good value, and I had veal masala, and a marinara pasta which was really good. Friends had an eggplant parm (tasty but apparently not quite hot enough – although why they didn’t ask the server to please ask for it to be made warmer I don’t know). Another companion had pasta with shrimp, clams, and scallops, which I have to say looked amazing, but he found a little bland.

Flavorful. All in all, a very good Italian restaurant at very reasonable prices. It’s been here a long time. “Capo” was at a table near the door and looked like he’d been there for 40 years. Looked like a good natured and friendly guy…and there are many pics of him and his resto from years gone by. – Trip Advisor – Date of visit: April 2019

Real Family Run Restaurant

Food great, wine prices reasonable both by the glass or bottle. Owned by a husband and wife team, this is place is a treat. Bread is amazing, pasta cooked perfectly, and all dishes are finger licking GREAT.

Husband runs the front, his wife is at the stove making meals to make you want to come back for more. Reservation is suggested on the weekends. Free parking in the adjacent lot. Credit cards accepted. – Trip Advisor – Date of visit: June 2019

Old World Italian

This is one of the culinary secrets of Fort Lauderdale. It is run by Sicilian couple from Sicily. The food is fresh, all good quality ingredients and tastes delicious. There is a big variety of pastas and a good variety of meats and fish. The Italian bread is like good New York bread. The clams and mussels excellent. Pasta take your pick, all good. Tartuvo good way to end your dinner. Prices are very reasonable. Go and enjoy a delightful night out!

Very authentic Italian Food

The owner is from Abruzzi. Thought I try this seemingly simple Italian restaurant in Fort Lauderdale. I’m from the north east and lived in Italy so I can be a hard reviewer with Italian restaurants.

I started with a glass of red wine. Also was given bread, cheese and olives to start with. The bread was amazing which is hard to find in Florida. Very authentic Italian bread.

I then had prosciutto e melone. I know it is tough to ruin this dish. All I can say it was perfect. The ingredients were fresh.

I ordered pasta carbonara next. It’s a great dish to test out authenticity. guanciale.. eggs etc.

It’s was excellent and authentic.
Only tiramisù for dessert so I forced myself to try it. This is a definite must.. Food is cooked to order. So it’s fresh and classic. – Trip Advisor – Date of visit: March 2020

Very good dining experience

Thoroughly enjoyed our dinner experience when staying at the nearby Pelican resort. Service was fantastic! Efficient and friendly. Much better experience than what we had experienced at Dal Contadino and Cafe Italia is now our local favorite. The bread to start off with was just great! We had the shrimp and broccoli and Rignatoni Bolognese and both were very good. Only slight suggestion I would have is that they should drain the pasta for a little longer as it seemed as it a little water was in the sauces. Great house wine and fantastic tortufu capped off a very good dinner.

3471 N Federal Hwy
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33306
Call: (954) 561-3900

Beautiful Italian Restaurant Decor Romantic Space

Cafe Italia Fort Lauderdale Italian Restaurant

I would like to thank you for a great evening experience at Cafe Italia fort Lauderdale Italian Restaurants, me and my other had a very nice and romantic time. The wine is excellent for the price and we will be seeing you again.

I always like to visit different restaurants, to taste their gourmet food, cuisine, especially Italian is my favorite. Me and my friend have visited many restaurants in fort lauderdale and miami, tri-county area restaurants and bars, cafes and much more. We walked by a small restaurant one day as we were going to the beach and grabbed a menu, so that we could return for some dinner on the way back.

It was excellent! The service was great and friendly people all around, the food was cooked with passion and this small romantic dinner date restaurant in fort lauderdale, was trendy, relaxed, kick-back kinda feel.

The music they played was italian lyrics and older italian songs, like Mina and Eros Ramazzotti, which went really good with the decor of the restaurant and the fine italian cuisine.

Miami Diner Restaurant Review

Birthday Party!

Private Parties Cafe Italia

Schedule your birthday party at Cafe Italia with decorations and your own menu. We can have a pre set menu or a la carte. Seats 50 and you have have the entire restaurant for the entire night if you would like.

We have been hosting parties for over 20 years and am sure you will have a wonderful fun time at Cafe Italia Ristorante!

Come in and make arrangements today! Special pricing available for parties

Francesco Lapi’s Cafe Italia Fort Lauderdale

Stew Asparagus Fort Lauderdale

Spend just five minutes in Francesco Lapi’s Cafe Italia Fort Lauderdale, and there’s little doubt that this professional lives his passion.

An evening in this restaurant on the ground floor of an office building begins with a warm welcome followed by seating at one of 14 or so linen-covered tables. The unpretentious decor — walls painted a soothing fresco of deeply vibrant hues, each color playing nicely off the other — dovetails with the simplicity of the food.
It’s a subtle dinner menu, with moderate pricing and Italian standards, prepared Abruzzi style — sometimes excelling well beyond regional confines. Look for LASAGNA ALLA BOLOGNESE; EGGPLANT PARMIGIANA; CHICKEN CACCIATORE; ZUPPA DI PESCE; VEAL SALTIMBOCCA, LEG OF LAMB.

The perfect little Italian restaurant in fort lauderdale florida

Best of all, every table receives Lapi’s personal service and attention, in a one-man show supported by a small wait staff. He keeps the wine list in his head, so give him a rough idea of what you like and he’ll deliver appropriate selections.
Ask a few questions about the food and watch him shine. Don’t be surprised if he returns from the kitchen with bags of durum semolina pasta, or some other ingredient he thinks might interest you, to show his quality wares first hand. And, if you seem to be over-ordering, expect a gentle warning. Most portion sizes are large and there’s a quick caution about too many appetizers spoiling your entrees. It’s sort of like eating at your mother’s house — and I say that in the most loving sort of way.
Start with eggplant rollatini — unbreaded eggplant wrapped around bits of broccoli, topped with melted cheese and a delicate tomato sauce. Or, savor pleasing interpretations of refreshing salad caprese or prosciutto with melon.

I like risotto as a first course, so it wasn’t long before we reveled in Lapi’s risotto con porcini. This rice has the perfect bite and texture. The flavors of porcini mushrooms and onions marry beautifully. Ditto on a richly luscious spaghetti carbonara — pasta cooked al dente, tossed with crispy pancetta, egg yolk, parmigiana and black pepper.

There was no leg of lamb prepared when we visited, so we took solace in the four gorgeous seared lamb chops Lapi recommended instead. Bathed in oil and garlic, the meat was nearly soft enough to cut with a fork. Chicken marsala brought a plateful of boneless breasts with plenty of mushrooms in a sauce edging to the sweet and oily side, but the flavors were terrific. The osso buco aficionado at our table thought was reasonable for the quality and quantity of tender veal slow-cooked in tomato sauce with celery, onions, carrots and red wine — and so did everyone who sampled it.

If you want an exquisite fresh fish experience, there’s no better choice than the signature yellowtail snapper. This stunning whole fish presentation (minus the head), arrives with its tail rising off the plate like a phoenix poised for flight. Mushrooms, diced tomatoes, wine and garlic delicately perfume the snow-white meat. On the other hand, be sure you like porcini before you order paparadelle mare e monti, a pasta and shrimp dish too intense with porcini flavors that also carried some unfortunately overcooked shrimp.
Have semifreddo cafe for dessert; it’s like chocolate mocha ice cream, or good American-style cheesecake with a crisp chocolate crust. While savoring the extra-creamy qualities, ponder this: What better way to experience a service business than with a man who works from his heart?
Critic Judith Stock
Sun Sentinel Dining Correspondent

Private Dining Birthday Parties Special Events

Private Restaurant Events Fort Lauderdale Cafe Italia
Thank you for your interest in CAFE ITALIA for your upcoming event. Our experienced staff are here to make your event a huge success and prepared to handle all your planning needs so you can relax and enjoy the process from beginning to end.

Cafe ITALIA in the heart of Fort Lauderdale features:

  1. Seating up-to 60 guests (restaurant buy-out)
  2. Amazing selection of wineries from Italy
  3. Outside patio seating
  4. Fully customizable menu and bring your own menu (BYOM) available
  5. Monthly reoccurring business meetings

Call (954) 561-3900 to schedule

  • Business Meetings
  • Birthday Parties
  • Baby Showers
  • Wedding Reunions

Best Italian restaurant Fort Lauderdale

Bucatini Amatriciana Fort Lauderdale

Amazing little restaurant near me has the best pasta dishes and sauces around. I stopped in to see what the place looked like since it has been there for over 20 years and never went in! It was a small cozy romantic restaurant with italian music playing. I liked the round chandeliers and asked where he got them.
One of the best restaurants in Fort Lauderdale for authentic Italian cuisine. I ordered the bucatini amatriciana and it was the best pasta I ever had in Fort Lauderdale.

There by Mistake!

Last week friends made a reservation at Fabio the Venetian and because it is attached to the Café Italia we went in the wrong door.. Surprise the food was great. In fact the portions were large enough that my wife and I shared a fish dish and side of pasta.. Their mussels where excellent.. Good wine choices although a little pricey. Keep in mind almost any restaurant will charge two to three times the price of a bottle of wine you can buy a Publix here in Florida.. Would definitely go back and most likely try Fabio then too.

Great Italian food and I am sure Mama must be in the kitchen!

This small restaurant is a great place to go for really tasty Italian food and the ability to have a conversation with your companion. How delightful to enjoy a meal and not feel you have to shout to be heard. I love this place and as everyone has commented the owner greets you and makes sure you are provided with everything you need. He is delightful too! There is also parking in the lot next door – a big plus!

Most Underrated Italian Fine Dining in Greater Fort Lauderdale!

Francesco, the 80-year old owner still greets the patrons. The menu is small but everything is made fresh to perfection. What we like most is that you add the sides of your choice to the basic, but very delicious entrees. Francesco’s wife is supervising the kitchen. And the saying “Italian Home Made Food” fits here perfectly. And something else: Even the food tastes like $$$$ they only charge $. We recommend a glass of house wine. Enjoy!!!

Authentic, Cozy and wonderful owner!

Food was really wonderful. The pwner, Francesco, Greeted us at the door, escorted us to our table, and was just the most wonderful host! FOOD, AND SERVICE IMPECCABLE. No Liquor, but good wine selection, and Italian beer. Dessert wonderful. Key Lime sorbet with cream, frozen. Like lemoncello grannata . Perfect ending. Best Corvina, in a Livornese sauce. YUM!! Suggest reservation on weekend come season. Small, intimate, and really nice for date night or family gathering.

Spezzatino di Agnello with Asparagus

Veal Spezzatino

Lamb and small potatoes slowly cooked in a garlic rosemary tomato sauce.

Until October 15th 2017 we have a special dish of Lamb Stew with Asparagus.

Spezzatino di Agnello with Asparagus
Spezzatino di Agnello with Asparagus

Perfect Italian restaurant near me.

Ossobuco Fort Lauderdale

Found this italian restaurant place near me last week while doing an Internet search. I lucked out because it turned out to be excellent and very near me. Very friendly staff. Wonderful food. Great service. I didn’t even know it was there for 20 years!

I was a little sad that they happened to be out of the swordfish that night but my second choice of the Gnocchi turned out to be excellent. Probably the best I have had. My friend had the Papparedelle Mare e Monti and she found it delicious perfectly cooked shrimp with amazing Porcini mushroom sauce. Risotto with mussels and shrimp was awesome! Real Arborio risotto and perfectly cooked seafood.

Many Visits, Never Disappointed

As Residents of Ft. Lauderdale My wife and I dine out very often, this little
GEM is by far our Favorite for Italian and fresh Seafood dishes.Owners
Francesco and Valerie oversee the food Prep and service, from the Provolone
and Olives with Fresh Gran Forno bread Yumm. to the Fresh made to order
Homemade Italian classics. decor is minimal but the show here is the Fabulous
entrees, most under $ 20 see for yourself !

Deliciousness! Awesome Italian Near Me.

I was here with a large group for dinner. There was only one other guest when we arrived and he assured us we’d chosen a good place. He was right and by the time we were done several other tables had filled up. The owner was very attentive, even sitting down with us for a while and chatting with several people. Very large Italian menu with lots of choices. Great bread!!!! Fortunately the server kept us supplied. We all tasted each other’s choices as everything was quite good. Large Italian portions and clearly all freshly made. Service was a little more leisurely than I like but given the size of group it was understandable.