Sunday, March 20, 2011

Zuckerello's Restaurant Review, a St Joseph's day Feast!

This time of year is full of celebrations: St Patrick's Day, rites of spring, mega moons, etc. However, one holiday is somewhat overlooked, St Joseph's day. Yes, good ol' St Joe! Patron saint of tasty kids aspirins! (actually patron saint of carpenters and pastry chefs).

St Joseph's day is celebrated on March 19th and is a minor holiday celebrated by Italians. I sometimes think its an Italian-American  response to the garish St Patty's day festivities that happen in large urban areas. In honor of St Joe,  we skipped the corned beef and beer crowd; and  decided to visit one of our favorite Italian restaurants in Fort Lauderdale, Zuckerello's.
Zuckerello's opened in Fort Lauderdale in 1989. The Italian inspired restaurant is located in a traditional south Florida strip plaza near other restaurants and business. The decor is a mix of  warm Mediterranean paintings and contempo jazz photography. A mix of dining tables and comfortable booth banquettes offers a nice choice of seating. There is also a lively bar with March madness basketball on the flat screen.

Zucckerello's offers early bird specials and nightly specials. There is also a happy hour at the bar only. The restaurant showcases its specials upon walking into the restaurant with a description and price, which is entertaining for the hungry eye to see!

Our server was polite and very attentive letting us know what specials were available. The maître d' was also very accommodating and informed me that the pepper seared tuna with wasabi potatoes and mango salsa was a chefs favorite.

I decided to give the tuna a try and I was not disappointed. I usually do not like potatoes with my fish (especially tuna), but I did like how the wasabi mashed potatoes complimented the tuna. The sushi grade tuna was nicely seared and sliced in a tower on top of the the mashed potatoes. Sides of fresh ginger and broccoli  accompanied the tuna and mango salsa.

Mike got the veal Parmesan with angel hair pasta. The meal had the right combination of pasta and veal, with a tangy marinara sauce. Our buddy Mark decided on the Chicken Sorrento with the eggplant tower with angel hair pasta. The eggplant was delicious combined with the chicken Sorrento.

Saint Joseph (San Giuseppe in Italy), is revered in Sicily, where legend has it that the island experienced a severe drought during the middle ages. The Sicilians prayed to San Giuseppe and rain followed. After their crops where saved, the Sicilians honored the saint with a large feast. Therefore, its fitting that we go out and honor St Joseph with our own feast! I have fond memories of my Italo-American father honoring St Joseph during the St Patty's day weekend. St Joseph's day is also fathers day in Spain and Italy. Happy Father's day Papa!

The Details:
3017 E. Commercial Blvd.
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Menu for Zuckerello's

Prices are moderate to high. Great early bird menu from 4 to 6, seven days a week, with most items under $20. Serving Italian and seafood favorites in a relaxed atmosphere. Clientele is a mix of snowbirds, senior citizens, locals, and Wilton Manors boys....Service is good and attentive. Atmosphere is warm and inviting.

Blogger/Innkeeper Greg enjoys a St Joseph feast at Zuckerellos in Fort Lauderdale!

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