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Flavio's: Iconic, casual Italian dining on Siesta Key


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  • | 3:39 p.m. March 3, 2015
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An iconic Italian restaurant, Flavio’s Brick Oven and Bar has been serving its tasty fare for more than 20 years. Located in the heart of the Siesta Key Village, the restaurant maintains an understated island charm. With multiple seating options, one can have a pizza and beer in the bar area, a traditional multi-course Italian dinner in the white tablecloth dining room or something in between on the outdoor patio.

The menu also offers diners a wide range of choice. Large but not overwhelming, the menu consists of salads, hot and cold appetizers, pastas, traditional Italian entrees, specials of the day and brick oven pizzas. For our meals, we chose the following:

  • Insalata Ortolana:  Spring mix, tomato, cucumbers and black olives.  $7.95 A very simple salad and a great start to a wonderful meal. All ingredients were fresh and crisp.
  • Peoci alla Veneziana: Fresh mussels sauteed with garlic and tomato.  $11.50 The perfect little starter. Very fresh and flavorful. The fresh parsley was a great addition.
  • Antipasto Misto: A rich selection of Italian delicacies for two.  $14.95 The plate is filled with all the usual suspects, plus quiche and fried mozzarella. So many options — perfect for sharing. One of the best antipastos in town.
  • Arugola e Parmiggiano: Arugula with shaved parmesan and tomato.  $9.95 A wonderfully fresh salad, which was tangy, sharp and sweet.
  • Pizza Margherita:  Tomato, mozzarella and basil.  $12.95 Wood-fired, thick crust, chewy and topped with a well-balanced mixture of tomato and cheese.

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  • Fettuccine alla Carbonara:  Pancetta bacon, eggs, cream and parmesan.   $17.95 Many wonderful flavors in this dish. Creamy and salty with an al dente texture and a bit cheesy.
  • Paccheri con Ragu e Fungi:  Paccheri, meat sauce and mushrooms.  $16.95 Rich, hearty, warm and earthy. A perfect winter pasta.
  • Gnocchi alla Vodka: Potato dumplings with vodka pink sauce.  $17.95 The gnocchi were perfectly prepared: tender, light — almost fluffy — with a classic velvety rich vodka sauce.

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  • Orecchiette con Cime Di Rape: Ear-shaped pasta with rapini and sausage.  $17.00 A colorful, large portion with ground sausage, making it rich and flavorful. Pronounced onion flavor.
  • Gamberoni alla Griglia:  Large shrimp broiled served over spinach.  $26.95 The shrimp (5) and spinach were fresh and done perfectly. Even though this dish was delicious and healthy, it seemed a bit pricey for the amount served.
  • Saltimbocca con Fontina:  Veal topped with prosciutto and cheese.  $24.95 Thinly pounded veal, artistically plated, salty and savory flavor combination.
  • Bucatini Pescatora:  Mussels, clams and calamari with tomato garlic sauce.  $21.95 A beautiful presentation of fresh seafood in a rich, slightly spicy sauce.
  • Pollo Boscaiola:  Chicken breast, tomato, mushroom and roasted red peppers. (Choice side of vegetables or pasta)  $19.95 We chose vegetables, they were green beans and potatoes. Nice size portion of chicken, sauce was both light and flavorful.
  • Salmone al Forno:  Salmon fillet topped with shrimp in brandy sauce. (Choice side of vegetables or pasta.)  $24.95 This was a very rich yet light dish — very satisfying.

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  • Cobia Special:  Cobia is poached and then topped with a tomato salsa. (Choice side of vegetables or pasta)  $28.95 One of my favorites. The fish was well prepared and artfully plated.
  • Spada al Nero: Blackened swordfish, shrimp, white wine, tomato and garlic.  $28.00 A great visual presentation. Shrimp was fresh and moist. The blackened spices were a tad salty and overpowered the subtle flavor of the swordfish. The texture was a little mushy. The side of veggies and potatoes were very flavorful.

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Even though Siesta Key has a large population of visitors, I get the feeling Flavio’s is the type of place where one can quickly become a regular. In fact, on our second visit, we were warmly welcomed back from one of our waiters. No impersonal service here!

Looking for a relaxed casual dining experience? One where the food is good, the people are friendly and the prices aren't over the top? You need look no further than Flavio’s Brick Oven and Bar. You'll be pleasantly pleased.

Flavio’s Brick Oven and Bar

5239 Ocean Boulevard

Siesta Key

349-0995

Hours: 4 to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 4 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday