When it comes to Italian cuisine, family heirloom recipes are a sure way to win over a diner’s heart. Take the Strozzapreti served at Las Olas’ new kid on the block, Talento, for example. Executive chef Luigi Criscuolo, who hails from the Amalfi Coast, brings this seafood pasta dish and a wealth of other passed-down favorites to locals. He, along with owners Maurizio Turella and Sandro Picciurro, opened the contemporary southern Italian restaurant in the summer offering a lineup of Italian classics and some revamped dishes.
The restaurant is posh with upholstered, cream-colored seating and booths, and an eye-catching LED water feature separating the dining room from a marble bar that’s stocked to make a crisp Aperol Spritz. Guests can revel in the private wine room surrounded by vintage bottles that sits adjacent to a wrap-around glass showcase featuring imported meats and cheeses.
While Criscuolo runs the kitchen, his Sicilian-born wife, Angela Gullotta, manages the front. She’s easily spotted when giving guests recommendations on starters like the grilled octopus and grilled focaccia with olive oil.
What diners won’t find on the menu is “mainstream Italian.” Swap the spaghetti and meatballs for Pacchero Talento, a mix of crab and shrimp with tube-like pasta in a spicy tomato sauce. Other specialties include the Montanaro (sausage and Parmesan cheese risotto with fresh shaved black truffle), to Tomahawk steaks, to imported Branzino.
Fans of classics will enjoy a slice of the Emilia pizza topped with imported prosciutto, crushed tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, arugula and shaved Parmesan. The restaurant also caters to those with dietary restrictions by offering a large selection of vegan and vegetarian options, including tofu balls breaded and baked with spinach and almonds.
Get tastebud-worthy satisfaction for dessert while digging into Talento’s rich, creamy tiramisu or spoonfuls of silky hazelnut gelato.
Talento, 1307 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale / 754.206.4180 / talentorestaurant.com