Two-story Italian restaurant to open on St. Armands in early 2024
15 South by Napulè, a Neapolitan-inspired concept, will feature pizzas made in an authentic, gold-tiled oven.
| 4:15 p.m. December 1, 2023
Arts + Entertainment
Eat + Drink
Diners in search of more options for Italian food on St. Armands Circle won’t have to wait long.
In early 2024, local restaurateur Alessandro Di Ferdinando will revive the “spirit” of 15 South Ristorante on St. Armands Circle under the new name of 15 South by Napulè at 15 S. Boulevard of the Presidents.
Di Ferdinando is best known for his restaurant Napulè, founded in 2017 and located at 7129 S. Tamiami Trail.
With 15 South by Napulè, Di Ferdinando aims to pay homage to the original 15 South that was a beloved mainstay of Sarasota’s dining and nightlife for almost 20 years.
While Di Ferdinando will handle the front of house operations, the food operations will be helmed by two of his longtime friends and collaborators.
Antonio Mancini, a former Napulè pizza maker and owner of Vesuvio Frozen Pizza, will man the authentic, gold-tiled Neapolitan pizza oven located near the first-floor bar, according to a media release. That multi-ton pizza oven is due to be installed next week when it arrives from Miami, said Di Ferdinando.
Chef Giancarlo Di Cosmo, who worked alongside Di Ferdinando at a Soho House concept in London, will handle the kitchen.
“And of course, we’ll have a lively atmosphere with a good martini and cocktail list and a dance floor upstairs,” said Di Ferdinando in a media release. “We’re going for eat, dance, love. And then maybe we eat again.”
The restaurant will offer an authentic Italian menu that includes scratch-made pasta dishes, Neapolitan-style wood-fired pizza, and a full bar on both floors.
Di Ferdinando said his goal is to offer delivery service, via his own team of drivers, for customers on Longboat Key, Lido Key and St. Armands, so customers don’t have to use third-party takeout delivery services. Di Ferdinando added that he’s already received positive feedback from area residents about that part of the concept.
This article has been updated to clarify that Antonio Mancini is the owner of Vesuvio Frozen Pizza.