Diaspora

Restaurant review: Armani's Cucina in Vero Beach has tasty Italian dishes, special nights – TCPalm

Editor’s note: Each week, TCPalm will review a local restaurant in Indian River, St. Lucie or Martin county. The experienced restaurant reviewer dines anonymously at the newspaper’s expense.
VERO BEACH — Make no mistake, Floridians love Italian food. And pasta and pizza become favorites from the time toddlers begin solid foods. Our love for Italian food has sparked a plethora of Italian restaurants all over our region and beyond.
Hankering for some pasta, my guests and I visited Vero Beach newcomer Armani’s Cucina on a recent Friday evening. We weren’t the only ones. This restaurant, with indoor and outdoor dining available, has earned quite the respectable following. They are open seven days a week, unlike many other restaurants, and host special events such as Pizza and Movie Nights (partnering with Jekyll’s Basement), Pasta Mondays and Wine Down Wednesdays to keep things fresh and creative.
We munched on some truffle parmigiana fries ($9.95) and three nicely seasoned meatballs in a generous puddle of addictive Sunday gravy ($7.95) while we checked out the menu.
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As readers have correctly pointed out to me, in Italy the traditional meal structure is salad following the main course. We went the American route and started with a crisp wedge salad ($8.95) with pancetta and balsamic bleu cheese dressing and the unexpected but delightful addition of tiny, tender, sweet Peruvian peppers.
My guest’s eyes lit up when she discovered pear and gorgonzola cheese fiocchi ($20.95) is an Armani’s Cucina house specialty. These delicate little pasta purses packed full of flavorful filling were served in a light Alfredo sauce and drizzled with truffle oil. After allowing each of us a little taste, she made sure there was not one remaining on the plate.
The other two entrees at our table were chicken Marsala ($20.95) and shrimp scampi ($23.95).
Chicken medallions sautéed in Marsala wine sauce was delicious. Serving the chicken with creamy risotto topped with wilted garlic spinach completed a brilliant dish.
Armani’s Cucina chooses jumbo shrimp for the scampi entrée, served with linguine in a garlic wine sauce.
Smooth, sweet panna cotta with blueberry sauce ($7.50) and a plate of six house-made raspberry-filled, chocolate-dipped butter cookies ($6.95) was irresistible for sharing.
Armani’s ambiance can be best described as simply comfortable and clean with soft lighting. We found the service to be pleasantly attentive and the food to be consistently delicious.
Cuisine: Italian
Address: 1920 14th Ave., Vero Beach
Alcohol: Full bar
Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 3 to 8 p.m. Sunday
Phone: 772-907-5774; 772-400-8864
Online: https://www.armaniscucina.com
Maribeth Renne dines anonymously at the expense of TCPalm for #WhatToDoIn772. Contact her at maribeth.d.renne@gmail.com or follow @mebpeb on Twitter.

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