Foodie Diaries - Valentino
This Italian gem shines bright in Fort Lauderdale. With its charming, circular Art Deco-like entrance, neon sign and floor to ceiling glass exterior, Valentino’s atmosphere is wide and open, modern, yet elegantly modest. Wood beam rafters and arched alcoves provide a touch of rustic, old-world allure. There’s a private dining area available for special events that seats up to twenty guests. In the main area, a few lucky patrons have the treat of “ringside” seats surrounding the gleaming, industrial-style kitchen, where Chefs create their masterpieces in an almost syncronized performance over flaming, stainless steel grills. Chef Giovanni Rocchio, who is also the owner, and Chef Luke Bergman, pour their passion and souls into each magnificent dish in an atmosphere that’s serene and inviting. No “Hell’s Kitchen,” antics here. More like “Heaven’s Kitchen”
Things we tried
Valentino’s menu, meticulously prepared by Chefs Giovanni and Luke, is a culinary tour de force of gourmet Italian cuisine that’s constantly evolving. Though the menu changes frequently to keep selections fresh and exciting, the impeccable quality is a constant. If you appreciate incredible taste and complex layers of flavor, get your napkin on and keep your knife and fork at the ready, because you’re in for quite the foodie extravaganza!
We primed our palates with this savory appetizer, served on a bed of thinly sliced cucumbers. Imagine bright, bursting finger limes housing tiny, caviar citrus nuggets. Delightful!
This has got to be the most delicate and tender veal ever! Pink and gorgeous, this veal dazzles in lightly drizzled, creamy tuna sauce with crispy fried capers.
Octopus with Chorizo Vinaigrette
This succulent dish is cooked to a perfectly crisp exterior. Each bite is saturated with mouth-watering, meaty chorizo flavor with an almost lobster-like texture. You’ll wish you had eight hands to keep this delicacy coming, mouthful after tasty mouthful!
Served with Tahitian vanilla bean, lime, and scallions, this to-die-for dish gets a definite two snaps up! The sweet and tangy flavor, with avocado mousse, smothered in fresh lemon and lime juice tickles the perfect spot on your tongue.
House Made Duck Sausage
Just when you thought the flavors couldn’t get any more explosive, this little delicacy proves you wrong! Topped with sunny side up duck egg, swimming in duck au jus, your taste buds will be overwhelmed by the decadent, rich flavor. Mmm.
Guancelli di Grouper (Grouper Cheeks)
This plate will make your own cheeks blush at how sinful it is! Marinated in miso with smoked baba ganoush, garlic toast points, and charred shishido peppers, this flavor combination is just beyond. The delectable baba ganoush alone should be it’s own entree!
The rustic warmth of traditional Italian meets fresh, refined, and modern Italian cuisine in this marriage made in foodie heaven! The oven dried tomatoes blend perfectly with the light and creamy flavor of the Japanese mint, Shizo. Add some creamy, Parmesan tomato with patty pan squash and you’ll be addicted, too!
This delicate dish is a flawless combination of braised veal, Prosciutto, Pancetta, golden raisins, and spinach harmoniously bundled together in hand crafted dough. Bonus: Xtra zesty chorizo!
Bone-In Veal Chop
You will not be able to resist this combination of veal chop, façade beans, and roasted cauliflower, sprinkled with Spanish spice. It’s cooked to perfection, with tender meat, creamy sauce, and scintillating flavors.
Chocolate Silk Dessert
You’ll definitely want to save room for this sweet decadence. Salty and sweet, this wicked concoction of peanut butter, gooey chocolate, and caramelized bananas is the perfect way to hook someone that claims they don’t eat desserts!
Tarragon Mascarpone Gelato with Filo Wrapped Yuzu Ganache
What more needs to be said about this salty, sweet treat? Actually, you won’t have much to say between glorious mouthfuls!
This caliber of culinary art will leave you wanting to take a piece home. Imagine how thrilled we were to find out that Chef Gio, himself presents Cooking Classes Valentino Style and includes Italian wine pairings! We can’t wait to enroll! Buon appetito!
620 S. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301