If you have been searching for the most authentic Italian restaurant set in a unique and elegant atmosphere, look no more. Valentino’s Cucina Italiana is prepared to transport you to the heart of irresistible Italian food. Chef Giovanni Rocchio will take you on a delectable journey through fine Italian cuisine from beginning to end.  The food, an inviting atmosphere and excellent service combine with the warm feeling you get when all your senses have been satisfied.Valentino - octopus

Enter the doors of Valentino’s and experience an inimitable feeling of satisfaction before dining. Be assured that pleasure awaits as you peruse the menu, the gateway to the restaurant. Each dish is designed with handcrafted detail and each delectable bite bursts with flavor, consistent goodness prepared exactly the same way each time.

At a young age, Chef Giovanni was bit by the culinary bug and found himself washing dishes in his father’s restaurant. As a teen, his desires changed and he wanted to be either an athlete or a rock star and when that failed he decided to entertain people through cooking. His travels took him to Italy to learn how Italians really cook and after many long hours in various NYC restaurants he came home to open Valentino’s.P3. RackofLamb_Valentino Cucina Italiana1

Evening specialties abound as Chef Giovanni and his capable culinary team orchestrate a majestic selection of uncommon appetizers, entrées and desserts. Aromas drifted through the air as we began our Italian culinary adventure with a tender Calamari Artichoke Tart with Bitter greens and toasted breadcrumbs as well as succulent Charred Octopus with celery, chorizo, arugula and black olives. Roasted Beet Salad with Mascarpone, apple, hazelnuts, mint, shallots, vanilla vinaigrette burst with flavor, while the Baby Lettuce with Heirloom carrots, fine herbs was drizzled with chardonnay vinaigrette. Creamy Burrata with Roasted pepper ragout, heirloom beans, and hen of the woods mushroom was perfect to share.

All home made pastas are perfectly al dente offering sinful Butternut Tortelli filled with butternut squash, and topped with crushed amaretto cookies and a pumpkin seeds. Delicate Fusilli served with shrimp, arugula, controne beans and sun-dried tomatoes and the Chitarra with Alaskan king crab, sea urchin, zucchini, and tomato was a seafood lover’s dream.Diver Scallops_Valentino Cucina Italiana

Don’t top there, Diver Scallops with roasted heirloom cauliflower, caper golden raisin puree and lemon brown butter was simply perfect as was the Maine Lobster served with braised leeks, pearl onions, fennel and blood orange. Perfectly Roasted Duck Breast is served with wild mushroom spaetzle, pomegranate, and sunchoke while the Slow Cooked Beef Shortrib with roasted brussels sprouts, chiodini mushrooms, and parsnip puree melted in our mouths. The 14 oz. Veal Chop with celery root, lardo, broccoli rabe and cipollini was cooked to perfection.P2. Roasted Duck Breast_Valentino Cucina Italiana1

Save room for a sweet ending of homemade delicacies including luscious Passion Fruit Panna Cotta with tropical fresh fruit, roasted white chocolate, chantilly, graham crumble and mango sorbet or decadent Panetone Bread Pudding with candied marcona almonds and eggnog gelato. Hot Bomboloni, delicately filled with chef’s choice pastry crème and served with coffee gelato and honey vanilla dipping sauce was a party in our mouths while the Flourless Dark Chocolate Silk Cake (gluten free) served with banana sorbet, milk chocolate nutella pastry cream, toasted hazelnuts and chocolate ganache was rich and decadent.

Quality endures and grandeur is common. At Valentino’s Cucina Italiana, located at 620 South Federal Highway in Fort Lauderdale, Reservations are recommended by calling 954-523-5767. An unforgettable dining experience awaits you. Bon Appétit…Chef Giovanni Rocchio of Valentino

Chef Giovanni, features Innovative Cuisine with a Modern Italian Twist and is offering an exclusive Guest Chef Dinner Series, with a world class Chef, from one of the highest Michelin rated restaurants in the world, Chef de Cuisine Fabio Pisani of Il Luogo di Aimo e Nadia, a two Michelin starred restaurant in Milan, Italy. Chef Giovanni Rocchio has worked with world-class chefs, side by side bringing their culinary expertise together for four different evenings as part of the Guest Chef Dinner Series through March 2015. The culinary journey that includes a reception, five-course dinner and wine pairings will conclude on March 16th with Chef Fabio Pisani. For more information, please call Kerry at 954-523-5767.

By Marla Horn Lazarus