Orlando is one of the greatest cities in Florida for food alone. No matter what you are looking for, Orlando seems to have it covered! For me, I love to try new restaurants to see how they rank and put them head to head with my favorite restaurants! I had the chance to try out a new (to me) Italian restaurant located in the heart of International Drive called Vincenzos Cucina Italiana. Vincenzos has been opened for a little over a year now and showcases some of the most classic Italian food that Orlando has to offer. Lets look into Vincenzos to see where they come from, what they have to offer, and of course just how amazing the food is!
First off, Vincenzos is a family owned and operated restaurant that is located next to Kings Bowling and I Drive 360 on International Drive. The restaurant offers modern day Italian dishes that are not only delicious but also fresh. The chef is a big fan of buying local both when it comes to the produce as well as the vegetables. Something that struck me as amazing was the fact that if they do not have a certain item based on local availability then they will take it off the menu until it comes back. They are also a scratch kitchen which means that over 95% of the things they serve are made in house daily. The only things that are not local are some pastas (that are imported directly from Italy) and the bread (which is delivered multiple times a week from New York City!)
The restaurant itself is very beautiful with a huge bar and a wonderful selection of wines from Italy and other parts of the world. There is also a private area for large families, parties, as well as corporations to rent out and have dinner!
Lets move on to the real reason you are here… THE FOOD!!!
For an appetizer we started out with the 8 oz meatball. The meatball is set on top soft Polenta finished with Ricotta Cheese. The meatball was very fresh and had a lot of great flavor. We were then brought out a taste of one of their more unique dishes, the Bruschetta Al Cinghiale. This dish had Braised Wild Boar, Grilled Ciabatta and is topped with melted Burrata Cheese. I really enjoyed this dish as it was unlike anything I have had before! I also loved the fact that the boar is one of the dishes that is not always on the menu because they do not always get a pig in from the hunt!
Shannon and I then shared the Orecchiette Con Salsiccia which was my favorite pasta of the night! This dish was comprised of Orecchiette, Homemade Sausage, Broccoli Rabe, in a Cherry Tomato or White Wine sauce. We chose the white wine sauce and it was KILLER! I loved how the pasta was cooked, the flavor of the sausage and how it all combined together to make a great dish! Since we did the review we even went back just to have this dish again and it was just as good the second time around!
For main dishes Shannon had the Pollo Alla Caprese. This dish had Grilled free range Chicken Breast Scallopini, layered with local Beef Steak Tomatoes & Bufala Mozzarella, topped with Caponata & Arugula. She really enjoyed how this dish worked together to make a very filling dish that included some great local produce! She also thought the flavors of this dish worked great together. For myself I had the Filetto steak. I know what you are thinking, a steak dish at an Italian restaurant? This dish was a Prime Barrel cut Filet Mignon, Portobello Mushrooms, Celery Root Puree, and a Barolo Reduction sauce. The celery root puree sometimes are replaced depending on if it is available or not. The steak was very tender and had some amazing flavor. In all honesty it was one of the best steaks I have had in any restaurant, and hands down the best restaurant I have EVER had at an Italian restaurant!
After dinner I had the chance to talk to the pastry chef about the different desserts. First off the desserts are all made in house multiple times a week. He explained to me that he wanted to redefine how pastries are seen. In most Italian restaurants, the desserts are all heavy and very rich which means you either can only have a few bites or you turn it down altogether. The chef at Vincenzos doesn’t see dessert that way! He believes that dessert can be light yet tasty! After talking he sent a few portions of the desserts out for us to try as well as a shot of Limoncello which is made in house as well!
For dessert we sampled the Tiramisu, Poached Pear, Limoncello Cake, Panna Cotta, as well as the Nutella Cheesecake. As promised all the desserts were very tasty yet light enough to not feel like you had to stuff yourself! Shannon really enjoyed the Tiramisu, and my favorite was the Nutella Cheesecake! The Cheesecake was filled with Nutella and topped with Hazelnuts. I really loved this dessert and could have easily ate another piece (later on because I was SO FULL!)
So what did I really think about Vincenzos? I loved it! I have a great love and respect for Italian food and this place just shot to the top of my list! Vincenzos has redefined what good food is on International Drive! Vincenzos is one of those places that the locals should fall in love with due to the amazing quality and the taste alone! Next time you are looking for some great Italian food, check out Vincenzos on International Drive!! Tell them Orlando Fun and Food sent you!! For more information about Vincenzos and to make a reservation click here!