2761 E. Oakland Park Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, 954-400-1415, SicilianOven.com
This burgeoning, traditional Italian chain, founded in 2008 in Lighthouse Point, has opened its sixth location in the former Michele's.
“We have had an overwhelming demand for more locations, especially in the Fort Lauderdale area,” co-owner Ralph DiSalvo says.
Cocktails ($10-$12) here are a first for the chain, such as Caprese Martini and Cucumber S&P.
“We thought it was time to add another dimension to the Sicilian Oven experience,” DiSalvo says.
Some dishes are named after the owners' relatives, such as sautéed Mussels Mario ($11) and the Marie with eggplant and pomodoro — one of the wood-fired pizzas ($13-$24). Eggplant, a hallmark of Sicilian cuisine, pervades the menu, such as in the pasta-free Sicilian lasagna layered with veggies ($13). Other highlights are tennis-ball-size stuffed rice balls with Bolognese sauce ($4 each) and fire-roasted shrimp Palermo ($18). Rich balsamic reduction is drizzled on several dishes.
The chocolate-caramel torte is a popular ender ($8).
Lunch and dinner are served daily amid open-air seating in the front, TVs, wood-porcelain floors and light walls that contrast a dark ceiling and furniture. The front of the bar is decorated with firewood, a nod to the firewood used to heat the oven.
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