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Angelo DiFiore addresses a crowd outside Sofia's, his new restaurant that opened at Main Street at Lakewood Ranch. (Photos by Jay Heater)

Sofia's opens as Mediterranean-themed restaurant in Lakewood Ranch

Sunday, Aug. 14, 2022 |

Angelo DiFiore addresses a crowd outside Sofia's, his new restaurant that opened at Main Street at Lakewood Ranch. (Photos by Jay Heater)

Angelo DiFiore cuts the ribbon to open Sofia's. He named the restaurant after his daughter.

Sunday, Aug. 14, 2022 |

Angelo DiFiore cuts the ribbon to open Sofia's. He named the restaurant after his daughter.

Waiter Julian Cohn discusses a bottle of wine with patron Susan McKinley of Sarasota. The wine is a Barolo.

Sunday, Aug. 14, 2022 |

Waiter Julian Cohn discusses a bottle of wine with patron Susan McKinley of Sarasota. The wine is a Barolo.

Lakewood Ranch's Ray and Janet Couchi join East County's Barbie and Jeff Brand at Sofia's while owner Angelo DiFiore talks to them about wine.

Sunday, Aug. 14, 2022 |

Lakewood Ranch's Ray and Janet Couchi join East County's Barbie and Jeff Brand at Sofia's while owner Angelo DiFiore talks to them about wine.

The invitation-only opening night featured a buffet-style dinner.

Sunday, Aug. 14, 2022 |

The invitation-only opening night featured a buffet-style dinner.

Angelo DiFiore addresses his staff and friends before opening to the public.

Sunday, Aug. 14, 2022 |

Angelo DiFiore addresses his staff and friends before opening to the public.

The Lake Club's Marybeth and Jay Traverso, standing behind Sofia's owner Angelo DiFiore, donated their labor to help get the restaurant open. DiFiore thanks them on opening night.

Sunday, Aug. 14, 2022 |

The Lake Club's Marybeth and Jay Traverso, standing behind Sofia's owner Angelo DiFiore, donated their labor to help get the restaurant open. DiFiore thanks them on opening night.

Sofia's owner Angelo DiFiore welcomes the first wave of patrons.

Sunday, Aug. 14, 2022 |

Sofia's owner Angelo DiFiore welcomes the first wave of patrons.

Chef Oscar Busch gets some mushrooms airborne on opening night.

Sunday, Aug. 14, 2022 |

Chef Oscar Busch gets some mushrooms airborne on opening night.

Bartender Kristen Compare pours some of the first drinks at Sofia's.

Sunday, Aug. 14, 2022 |

Bartender Kristen Compare pours some of the first drinks at Sofia's.

The lamb chops were a huge hit at Sofia's on opening night.

Sunday, Aug. 14, 2022 |

The lamb chops were a huge hit at Sofia's on opening night.

Musician/singer Taddeo Scalici entertained the crowd on opening night.

Sunday, Aug. 14, 2022 |

Musician/singer Taddeo Scalici entertained the crowd on opening night.

Lakewood Ranch's Janet Couchi tries a little of this, and a little of that at Sofia's.

Sunday, Aug. 14, 2022 |

Lakewood Ranch's Janet Couchi tries a little of this, and a little of that at Sofia's.

Angelo DiFiore met singer/musician Taddeo Scalici, who entertained the crowd, decades ago in Italy.

Sunday, Aug. 14, 2022 |

Angelo DiFiore met singer/musician Taddeo Scalici, who entertained the crowd, decades ago in Italy.

What is a Mediterranean cooking without a little more cheese? Chef Oscar Busch obliges.

Sunday, Aug. 14, 2022 |

What is a Mediterranean cooking without a little more cheese? Chef Oscar Busch obliges.

Lakewood Ranch's Marybeth Traverso and Alexis Meholic discus food at Sofia's.

Sunday, Aug. 14, 2022 |

Lakewood Ranch's Marybeth Traverso and Alexis Meholic discus food at Sofia's.

Say cheese, anyone?

Sunday, Aug. 14, 2022 |

Say cheese, anyone?

The food just kept coming on opening night.

Sunday, Aug. 14, 2022 |

The food just kept coming on opening night.

Sarasota's Dot Rogel congratulates Angelo DiFiore on opening night.

Sunday, Aug. 14, 2022 |

Sarasota's Dot Rogel congratulates Angelo DiFiore on opening night.

Waitress Breanna Trautweiler serves up some wine to Country Club East's Glenn and Barbara Welcher

Sunday, Aug. 14, 2022 |

Waitress Breanna Trautweiler serves up some wine to Country Club East's Glenn and Barbara Welcher

East County's Jeff Brand stacks up the food on opening night.

Sunday, Aug. 14, 2022 |

East County's Jeff Brand stacks up the food on opening night.

Sofia's had a favorite for everyone on opening night.

Sunday, Aug. 14, 2022 |

Sofia's had a favorite for everyone on opening night.

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