I know what you’re thinking. In a year where black is white and white is pink and kneeling is disrespectful – but not in church – and well, just about everything is contrary to what it was last year (pause while trying to remember if last year even happened and if it did, was it “normal?” and if it was, that’s actually a question better discussed during happy hour and not in a blog post), sigh, you’re probably wondering why I still have “the nerve” to write about an Italian restaurant on, mio Dio!, Columbus Day. So let me be clear about my motive for this post because trust me, there is no political message involved here.
I just happen to like Italian food.
Meatballs. Pasta. Crusty bread smothered in olive oil and garlic. Chunks of hard Parmigiana Reggiano. Pizza Marguerita. Did I mention pasta fatta in casa (home made)?
And if you do, too, then make sure you add this local gem, Adriatico Trattoria Italiana (College Park) to your list of go-to restaurants when you are craving the good stuff, the autentico versions of all things Italian because this place is the real deal. In fact, don’t even try to talk to Chef Marco Cudazzo who hails from Ortona, Italy, located on the Adriatic Sea, unless you know your virgin olive oils from your extra virgin. Same goes for his charming wife and restaurant partner, Rosetta, a native of Sicily. Together, they manage this restaurant like any that you’d find back in the old country meaning fatto con amore in cucina and served with respect to both the customer and the whole Italian experience of eating. By all means if you are blessed to still have your own Italian Nonna around feel free to take her with you because she would definitely approve of this local trattoria. Yes, it’s that good.
So good, in fact, they’ve been awarded a very prestigious honor, that of Ospitalitá Italiana which is given out by the Italy-America Chamber of Commerce to select Italian restaurants in America that offer autentico food and service. And yes, Italians are kind of particular when they use that word authentic. Adriatico Trattoria Italiana is the first and only Central Florida restaurant to receive this seal of Italian quality and approval. If you’re like me and have never heard of this, watch this short video clip filmed at a South Florida restaurant when they received the same designation as it provides a great explanation to the importance of this honorary title.
If that isn’t enough to convince you about how great this restaurant is, how about this: Chef Cudazzo carries the honor of being awarded one of the Best Chefs in America designation which is given to an exclusive group of peer nominated Chefs who lead and inspire their kitchens to consistently create excellent food, strive to innovate with their dishes and service, and are respected by their peers.
But I realize that awards still mean nothing to some people. I get that, really I do. So I encourage you to go for yourself and taste the, well, just about anything on the menu ‘cuz it’s all good stuff!
You could start with this Burrata:
Then for your pasta course, try this:
Moving on to your Secondi Piatti, how about Scalloppine Pizzaiola:
What might you end with? During my recent visit, this was pretty amazing but then when it comes to desserts well, I’m easy to please:
So even though this post is coming at you on a controversial Columbus Day, don’t let that keep you away from opening up a new window to the sheer gioia of eccellente Italian food which is what Adriatico Trattoria Italiana did for me! With so many local Italian restaurants to chose from, this was such a refreshingly authentic find that I really did feel like I was transported to a bistro in any number of places I’ve visited in Italy. Saluto!