Best Italian in the Dr. Phillips Area
By Riesa Pascal
Game Plan Local
Address: 7600 Doctor Phillips Boulevard, Orlando, FL 32819
Phone Number: (407) 583-4472
If you’re ready for an elegant evening of fine dining on award-winning Italian dishes, look no further than Christini’s. My dining experience was a delicious, unforgettable delight from start to finish. Christini’s attention to detail was evident upon entering the luxurious establishment as an accordion player strolled the floor and provided the diners with beautiful background music. Our servers, Elmer and Dan, started us off with a basket of hot, fresh bread and a creamy eggplant-based dip. The bread was the perfect combination of crunchy on the outside, but soft on the inside and it paired beautifully with the dip. Our delectable appetizer came in the form of Calamari Fritti. The Atlantic baby squid was lightly dusted in seasoned bread crumbs, fried to a golden brown and served with a sweet marinara sauce. Each tender bite had the perfect texture and flavor, not too chewy or salty.
After much deliberation, my companion and I chose the Ravioli Aurora and Rigatoni Alla Zozzona for our main course dishes and we were not disappointed. The homemade four cheese ravioli came in a light cream tomato sauce that carried a hint of brandy which gave it a sweet, delicate flavor. As a bonafide meat lover, I was shocked by how much I enjoyed this meatless dish and even commented on the fact that being a vegetarian would be quite easy for me if all my dishes were that delicious. However, all vegetarian thoughts were quickly forgotten upon taste of my companion’s rigatoni pasta served with ground sweet Italian sausage and a Parmigiano cream sauce. The meat lover in me jumped for joy although the taste of the Italian sausage was very subtle throughout the exquisite dish. I finished off my savory ravioli with the starter bread which allowed me to get every last ounce of cheesy goodness off of the plate. I would (and will!) absolutely order this incredible dish again. The lovely and delicious evening ended with staff handing complimentary shots of limoncello, an Italian lemon liqueur, throughout the restaurant and a single red rose to all the women who were dining. It was a beautiful night filled with rich Italian food that continues to put Christini’s name up there with the best Italian restaurants in the Dr. Phillips area.
Address: 7721 Turkey Lake Rd, Orlando, FL 32819
Phone Number: (407) 363-5775
Fresco Cucina Italiana has been offering the best in Italian cuisine for almost 10 years and they fully deserve the tremendous local fan base they’ve built in this short amount of time. With a lunch menu that’s just as appetizing as their dinner offerings, guests can swing by at any time and be confident in the delicious, family-friendly dining experience they are guaranteed to receive. Must try favorites on the menu include Gnocchi Caprese or the Pappardelle Bolognese with large ribbon pasta served with their homemade meat sauce and peas.
Address: 7988 Via Dellagio Way #108, Orlando, FL 32819
Phone Number: (407) 440-2856
Peperoncino hasn’t been around as long as most of their competition, but they continue to blow them out of the water! This charming establishment is a fine example of a local, non-chain restaurant doing Italian cuisine right. They bring authentic, regional Italian dishes to Restaurant Row with fresh seasonal ingredients and in-house preparation done before your very eyes in their open kitchen. Any seafood lover must stop by to try the Linguine ai Frutti di Mare with fresh clams, mussels, calamari and shrimp in a flavorful pomodoro sauce!
Address: 8255 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819
Phone Number: (407) 745-4030
Vincenzo Cucina Italiana on I-Drive serves delicious Italian cuisine that boasts local ingredients and only the best imported items. Chef Vincenzo uses a ‘Farm to Table’ approach to cooking which leaves us lucky guests with some of the best authentic Italian dishes in Orlando. Menu items under pasta range from Spaghetti con Polpette with homemade meatballs and marinara sauce to Risotto al Pescatore in a fresh saffron tomato sauce.
Address: 7924 Via Dellagio Way, Orlando, FL 32819
Phone Number: (407) 351-5880
Prepare to be overwhelmed in the most spectacular way possible! BRAVO Cucina Italiana’s incredible pasta menu features dozens of signature dishes that are sure to get your mouth watering and leave your appetite satisfied. Mama’s Lasagna Bolognese under Chef Specialties has found a fan base amongst BRAVO’s many visitors for its generous portions and excellent combination of creamy alfredo and BRAVO’s signature meat sauce. The location provides a wonderful, family-friendly Italian dining experience that all can enjoy.
Address: 8633 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819
Phone Number: (407) 354-2467
Vito’s Chop House markets themselves as “a classic steakhouse with an Italian flair” and it’s easy to see why! You’ll be at a loss for options with their extensive Italian specialities menu featuring everything from Truffled Lobster Ravioli with seasonal fresh Maine lobster and white truffle sherry cream to Vito’s Meatballs Pomodoro with housemade meatballs simmered in marinara sauce. The menu also boasts USDA Prime and Choice grain-fed and hormone-free beef, aged four to six weeks on the premises.
Address: 8000 Via Dellagio Way, Doctor Phillips, FL 32819
Phone Number: (407) 872-2640
For not being an Italian restaurant, Urbain 40 sure knows how to do pasta! The American Brasserie and Lounge serves chef-crafted cuisine that offers imaginative staples for brunch, lunch, dinner and late-night dining. Their stand out pasta dish is the Bolognese with slow-roasted beef and pork, housemade pappardelle pasta and Grana Padano. Themed with the 1940s in mind, Urbain 40 has a lively atmosphere and is a great location for group dining. Just make sure someone tries a pasta dish—you won’t regret it!
#8 – Mama Louise
[UPDATE- CLOSED] – Unfortunately Mama Louise closed business at the end of 2017
Address: 7600 Dr Phillips Blvd #12, Orlando, FL 32819
Phone Number: (407) 345-1000
The real Mama Louise used to say, “Shut up and eat!” and that’s not hard to do at this delicious Italian restaurant inspired by Chef Joe Esposito’s mother. From baked dishes and pastas to specialty pizzas and more, Mama Louise is an establishment that every member of the family is sure to enjoy. With home-inspired dishes such as Fettuccine Alfredo or the Mama Louise Spicy Chicken Rigatoni, you’ll sit back and feel right at home as you shut up and eat their amazing food.
#9 – Stefano’s Grill
[UPDATE- CLOSED] – Unfortunately Stefano’s Grill closed business during the summer of 2017
Address: 7512 Dr Phillips Blvd, Orlando, FL 32819
Phone Number: (407) 668-4745
Stefano’s Grill’s Chef Steff isn’t kidding when he says their pasta menu is nearly endless and always changing! It features an impressive number of gluten free and whole wheat pasta options in addition to a few staple dishes such as the Three Cheese Parmesan which comes lightly breaded, topped with marinara, mozzarella, provolone, parmesan and served on a bed of spaghetti. As an added bonus, if you’re staying in the area and would like to dine in style, you can take advantage of the restaurant’s complimentary limo service!