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Arturo’s Restaurant

6750 N Federal Hwy.,Boca Raton, FL 33487
(561) 997-7373  -  www.arturosrestaurant.com       

 

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by Simone Zarmati Diament
 
 

The prestigious Villa d'Este of Lake Como in Italy closes in winter, till March, which leaves its chef of 43 years, Francesco Parolari, free to travel and explore other worlds, other cuisines.

But how can a chef not cook, especially when he is at an old friend’s restaurant? The occasion was a luncheon at Arturo’s ristorante in Boca Raton to launch a series of three nights of Villa d’Este cuisine.

The menu, straight out of Villa d’Este’s, started with three appetizers including the fabulously delicious zucchini flowers stuffed with vegetables and mushroom in a black truffle sauce and a seafood trilogy with aromatic oil and caperberries — the most outstanding of which was ribbons of cuttlefish lightly coated with a delicate carbonara sauce and set over a pillowy crêpe.

dsc09044At the entrance of the restaurant, a pasta maker is busy kneading and cutting the pasta of the day, thus igniting everyone’s pasta fantasies... The choices of the day listed a risotto with cherry tomatoes, buffala mozzarella and basil pesto — “to adapt to the climate in Florida,” said chef Parolari —;  tagliolini noodles with crabmeat,  and a Tortello, a large pocket of silky pasta stuffed with ricotta cheese, with a smoky Taleggio cheese fondue and black truffles.

For entrees, a tuna loin is rubbed with aromatic herbs, seared to your heart’s desire and accompanied with a crispy artichoke heart, a typically Roman dish, and panzanella, a hearty and refreshing rustic Tuscan salad made with day-old, crusty bread, fresh tomatoes, and mozzarella cheese.

The striped bass is a large slab of the freshest fish, moist and fork-tender, cooked to perfection and accompanied with a Mediterranean sauce.

Equally delicious were the meat offerings such as Lamb loin in parsley and mint crust with wine sauce and a three-inch thick beef filet with mushrooms and a Parmesan cheese zabaglione; or a perfectly roasted veal rack in crispy crust.  

dsc09050Desserts at the hand of daughter Elisa who spent time as an intern at Villa d’Este are all made in house.  

One of the oldest restaurants in Boca Raton, since 1983, the free-standing mansion-like building is a family-business owned by Vincenzo and Rosaria Gismondi.  Their daughters – except for the GM at Mesa Grill, Bobby Flay’s restaurant inNYC — work at par with their parents and the staff to make it one of the consistently best in South Florida. 

An underground cave with over 900 labels — the oldest wine here shown by owner Vincenzo Gismondi is an Amarone from 1967 — keeps their loyal customers and diners happy with a wide variety of mostly Italian wines that has earned the restaurant 'The Wine Spectator Award of Excellence' every year since 1993.

 dsc09047A room for private dinners and banquets is lined with pictures of Vincenzo’s family.  His father Arturo who came to the US as a young married man in the early ‘50s — you can see pictures of him as a soldier during WWII, as a groom with his young bride, as a new immigrant — opened a little restaurant, “actually a hole-in-the-wall, in Queens, NYC ” says Vincenzo, and built it up to become a famous Italian eatery.

In 1983, he came with his family to South Florida, bought land and built the impressive compound which is today Arturo’s Restaurant, managed by his son and his granddaughters. 

Arturo’s Restaurant

6750 N Federal Hwy
Boca Raton, FL 33487
(561) 997-7373   
www.arturosrestaurant.com         

 

 

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