What do you get when you marry an Italian man, a Dutch woman and a passion for food and wine? Andrea’s Restaurant — and what a combination it creates. In August, Ismini and Andrea Bozzolo, former partners in Divino Restaurant, opened their dream restaurant on Siesta Drive.
The delicacies on the menu (the restaurant has people flocking from all over for its white truffles) are matched by the love story between the chef, Andrea Bozzolo, and his wife, Ismini. The couple met aboard the Princess Cruise Line, where Bozzolo served as sous chef and Ismini worked in many roles, including the front office and tour office. Their friendship continued until they were reacquainted when she visited the restaurant Bozzolo had opened in Lake Maggiore, Italy. And, the rest is history — the couple has been married seven years.
Unassuming and unpretentious, Andrea’s is a small storefront with a cozy and minimalist interior. With only 10 tables, diners not only get to have their own culinary experience, they also get to experience fellow diners’ meals, because the intimate environment lends itself to friendly interactions.
From the first course to the cheese trolley finale, it is obvious that Andrea’s is all about the food. Bozzolo is continually experimenting with and creating a menu that changes every three to four weeks. With a commitment to freshness and supporting local trades, he shops at the Cortez Fish Market every morning and gets his vegetables from Plant City, planning the ever-changing menus according to what is in season.
“Seventy percent of what you’re eating in my restaurant is organic,” says Bozzolo. “All the dishes are made from scratch, including the pasta.”
Ismini recalls her husband’s never-ending creativity: “I keep a pen and paper by the bed at all times, because Andrea wakes me up in the middle of the night to tell me of a new recipe, which he will come in and create the next morning.”
It has been Bozzolo’s dream to open this restaurant — a restaurant focused on the concept of food as pleasure for the soul, body and spirit. He thrives on the connection he makes with each table and being able to converse with the customers and create different things for them to sample.
“I don’t work for the masses. I want to educate people on the difference of a great meal and a great dinner experience,” says Bozzolo, an avid wine collector whose restaurant’s wine cellar boasts one of the rarest collections in Florida. “I want people to walk in the door and forget the problems outside. I want them to relax and have a bottle of wine. It’s a place to enjoy and take pleasure in the food.”
Contact Stephanie Hannum at firstname.lastname@example.org
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2085 Siesta Drive, Sarasota.
Open 5 to 10 p.m. seven days a week.
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