Our friends on the west coast of FL suggested Ristorante Enrico after eating there a couple of times. While I have grown less skeptical of restaurants in strip malls, I do sometimes feel that the experience could be less than perfect (and I swear I am not a snob about eating in such restaurants, as I have done so many times). Having said this, I was really surprised, in a very good way, at the atmosphere and food quality at this restaurant.
Once you step inside, the restaurant is quite charming, with a definite Italian bistro feel, and you can forget that across the street is a gas station. This being mid-summer and a weeknight, the restaurant was not crowded. The aroma of basil wafted through the place, whetting our appetites. We started with very tasty fried calamari and fried mozzarella with a terrific, tomato-y marinara sauce accompanying both. A splash of lemon juice on the calamari gave it an added zing. Other comfort foods followed, such as a hearty spaghetti and meatballs, veal parmigiana with more of that excellent marinara on the accompanying spaghetti, and a chicken marsala dish with a rich sauce, as it should be. Comfort might be the key word here, as service was unrushed, food was served hot, and Enrico himself proved to be a charmer himself, commiserating with all the customers. Our friends live in the area, so they will go back, and when we visit them, we'll also visit this restaurant again, as should you.
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