Mancini’s Modern Italian is tucked away enough to give the location a personal, intimate feel, yet centrally located in the Las Olas District of Fort Lauderdale. The owner, Jack Mancini has recently relocated his established eatery to the new quaint location at 401 East Las Olas #501 and has spared no expense. Mancini’s is exactly what someone might expect from an upscale restaurant : attention to detail with decor, up beat music, an extensive wine list, a bar filled with young professionals enjoying happy hour, but beyond the exterior the heart of the restaurant thrives in the kitchen.
Chef Claudio Sandri’s dishes are made with love. Chef Claudio started cooking as a young boy in his mother’s kitchen in Italy. During this time, he realized there were two key aspects to cooking: perfection and passion. He makes food, “The way is should be done” and prides himself on the open kitchen that allows patrons to view all the steps from preparation to plating. He says, “You have to have a passion for food. You sacrifice your personal life because you love it. You’ve got to love it” and his dedication translates to his creations.
One of the main featured items on the menu is the pulled mozzarella made table side. The chef starts by pouring boiling salt water into the bowl with pulled mozzarella cheese, mixing it together by hand while chatting up the visitors. The mozzarella is then placed on a plate with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, pesto, salt and pepper and tomatoes. You have never had fresh mozzarella until you have had it made table side with fresh ingredients. It is simply an amazing experience.
Some small appetizer is always presented to the table along with the bread. On the night of my visit it was dates stuffed with goat cheese and wrapped in crispy pancetta. The combination of the smooth cheese with the sweetness of the dates and the salt from the pancetta was heavenly.
All of Chef Claudio’s dishes are made fresh with simple ingredients. He does not try to cover up the flavors with excessive amounts of butter and cream. Instead, he uses olive oil and spices to bring out the flavors. Lobster Carpaccio is sushi style lobster served with arugula, olive oil and lemon. Chef Claudio’s choice to use only a few ingredients highlights the food in many of his dishes. Overall, the menu is comprised of various salads, appetizers, meat and fish, but one of the more appealing items is the home made pasta. A few choices on the pasta menu are homemade and definitely worth savoring. Try the Gnocchi in gorgonzola cream with parmesan and chives. Also, try the Pappardelle in a traditional Bolognese sauce.
Mancini’s offers some notable promotions during the week. Meet a friend or coworker on Tuesdays for Local’s Pasta Night where patrons will enjoy half-off select pasta dishes as well as half-off Prosecco or Chianti. Ladies take advantage of $4 select appetizers and cocktails from 4-10pm on Thursdays during High Heel Happy Hour. Regular Happy Hour is Monday-Friday from 4-7pm. Patrons can enjoy 2 for 1 well drinks, wine and beer with discounts on select appetizers.
On your next stroll down legendary Las Olas Boulevard, stop into to Mancini’s for a drink or a taste of Italy.