Although the name may not be immediately identifiable as an Italian cafe, Supernova does conjure up the image of a cosmic event. One of the resulting characteristics of a supernova is the manifestation of an intensely bright light; a "cosmic spotlight" created when a star exhausts all of its nuclear energy. Perhaps a bit esoteric for the naming of a casual Italian dining spot, in the case of Supernova Café, it may have more meaning than meets the eye.
With an idea a few years in the making, Giuseppe Prestia opened the doors to Supernova Café last fall. Located at 1900 Main St., just across from the Hollywood 20, the Supernova Café is a casual, authentically Italian café serving coffee, fresh juices, lunch and dinner. Spotlighting its Sicilian specialties, all of the food is made fresh daily on the premises. In fact, the spotlight on an authentic Sicilian dining experience is so intense, the Sicilian chef makes sure there are no non-Sicilian influences in the preparation.
The menu at Supernova is large but not overwhelming, and it also offers a handful of daily specials. For our meals, we chose the following:
- Insalata Mista: Garden salad with a balsamic vinaigrette. $7.95
A good-sized portion of fresh and colorful veggies with a simple dressing.
- Individual pizza: Mozzarella, ham, mushrooms, artichoke hearts and hard-boiled egg. $6.95
A great lunch-sized pizza with crispy thin crust, the perfect accompaniment to a glass of Sicilian red wine.
- Sfincione: Baked dough stuffed with cauliflower, potato, tomatoes and onions. $6.95
A calzone-like dough, fully stuffed with fresh, flavorful ingredients; great presentation.
- Sfincione: Baked dough stuffed with spinach, ham and mozzarella cheese. $6.95
Another version, fully stuffed and extremely filling. The dough is crispy and slightly chewy, very nice.
- Insalata di Pomodoro e Tonno: Tomato, white tuna, onions and oregano in a light mayo dressing. $7.95Fresh, good-size lunch portion. A bit too much dressing — next time I will ask for “the dressing on the side.”
- Tonno or Salmon Tartare: Your choice of chopped tuna or salmon with avocado, celery, sesame seeds and onions, served with mixed greens. $8.95
Very fresh and flavorful; the tuna and avocado were a great rich combination with crunch added by the celery and sesame seeds. Perfect for summer.
- Pollo alla Griglia: Grilled fresh chicken breast, served with a side of mixed greens. $8.95
Delicious lemon-pesto, pounded-thin chicken breast; the side salad has a tomato pesto on top. Great simple flavors.
- Matriciana: Spaghetti with pancetta, onions, tomato sauce and red pepper flakes. $7.95 Add $1 for fresh, homemade pasta.
A rich and slightly spicy sauce makes this dish a standout for those of us who love a slightly bolder flavor to our pasta.
- Linguine Cozza and Vongole: Linguine with clams and mussels, white wine and garlic or fresh tomato sauce. $12.95 Add $1 for fresh, homemade pasta.
Had the fresh pasta, al dente, wonderful; just the right texture. The seafood was sweet and fresh and cooked just right.
- Gamberi Ripiene: Large shrimp stuffed with crabmeat and topped with bleu cheese crumbles. $15.95
Although it was a very tasty dish, the description was not quite correct. The bleu cheese was a very rich cream sauce that was severed over seven good-size shrimp and crabmeat. Also, it included a house salad.
- Tonno al Salmoriglio: Grilled fresh tuna served with salmoriglio sauce and a side of mixed greens. $15.95
This sauce, comprised of olive oil, minced garlic, lemon, oregano and parsley, added a distinctive Italian flavor to the fish. Flavorful and filling.
The Supernova Café offers a good assortment of beer, wine and soft drinks, including fresh, blended juices, to accompany your meal. In keeping with Italian café traditions, it also offers a selection of coffees throughout the day. We found the wait staff to be very friendly, courteous, quick, efficient and accommodating.
With a focus on offering an authentic Sicilian dining experience, Supernova is already setting itself apart from the typical casual Italian eatery. By carefully balancing its authenticity and affordability, while maintaining quality, Supernova Café’s star will continue to shine brightly.
1900 Main St.
Sarasota, Fla., 34236
9:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday
9:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Friday
4:30 to 10:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday