In South Florida, Italian restaurants are a dime a dozen. No matter which neighborhood you’re in, you can’t turn your head without spotting one. Louie Bossi’s Ristorante, Bar and Pizzeria, which recently opened its doors on Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale, joins the long list of Italian eateries in Broward. Does it have what it takes to stand out from the crowd?
Our answer: a resounding yes. At first glance, you’d probably think it’s just another Italian restaurant with ho-hum food. Don’t be fooled: Its pastas, pizzas and large plates are deceptively delicious. The menu is extensive, ensuring that there’s something to please each palate, and the cocktail list is equally ample, making it ideal for anything from an office happy hour to a night out on the town.
Our evening started with a nice mix of olives to whet our appetites. Small, big, fat, pitted — any type of olive you could imagine is in this starter that’s paired with provolone. It was a perfect precursor for what followed: the tricolore and pear salad. The shaved parmigiano regianno, walnuts, fennel and blood orange vinaigrette work great together to create a refreshing — and bright — salad.
And thus began Carbfest 2015. There are two things we could eat every day: pizza and pasta. And if we could eat Louie Bossi’s pizza and pasta every day, we’d be very fat but very happy campers. On the pizza section of the menu, you have eight pies that run the gamut from the standard margherita to the fungi misti, which features wild mushroom, smoked buffalo mozzarella, parmigiano reggiano and truffle oil.
We opted for the salsicce, their sausage pizza with fior di latte and basil. It was a solid dish with a distinct kick; it’s flavorful yet simple. If Louie Bossi’s can pump out a memorable pizza with so few ingredients, we’re interested in seeing just how good their more complex pies are. Due to stomach space constraints, we chose pasta over another pizza.
We don’t regret the choice: The gemelli basilico is a rollercoaster ride for your tastebuds. Initially, though, we weren’t entirely sold on the dish. Reading the description — basil gemelli, housemade sweet fennel sausage, peppers and san marzano sauce — we expected the flavors to really pop. That didn’t happen on first bite. But once we really dug into the dish, we were won over. The san marzano sauce and the spiciness of the sausage balanced each other well, resulting in an ultimately tasty pasta. If you order it and aren’t impressed, keep eating — it sneaks up on you.
If there’s one thing you must order, it’s the ribeye. Seriously, do it. We will hunt you down if you don’t — no words can do this hunk of delicious meat justice. The outstanding cut was basted in garlic, butter, thyme and amazingness; it was juicy as hell and melted in our mouths. We would come back just for the steak, and we will (over and over again). We’re not exaggerating. Pair it with a side of the polenta — such creamy goodnesss — and you have yourself an epic plate. #foodcoma
Throwing our diets to the wind, we completed our culinary adventure with three desserts. Yes, just three. Of the three — tiramisu gelato, the budino and the cannolis — our favorite was the tiramisu gelato. The tiramisu gelato offered a nice twist on the typical tiramisu, and it’s a small portion so you don’t feel too guilty and hate yourself. The budino was an all-out war between sweet and salty, with the wrong side winning. We found the salted cream too salty, and the darker chocolate in the dessert amplified that taste. With that said, the dessert could be a winner with a little less salt and a little more sugar.
Overall, Louie Bossi’s knocked it out of the park with its Italian offerings. What may look like any ol’ Italian restaurant is a pretty damn good Italian restaurant — a pretty damn good Italian restaurant with an amazing ribeye. Welcome to the neighborhood.
Louie Bossi’s Ristorante, Bar and Pizzeria is located on 1032 East Las Olas Boulevard. For hours of operation and other information, visit their official website or call 954-356-6699.