When stepping into Pannullo’s, lanterns hang from the ceiling, brick walls line the entrance and rustic tiles decorate the floor. The interior of this Italian restaurant has a soft, European atmosphere. Upon entering, guests are suddenly transported to a foreign setting, reminiscent of a Venetian cafe.

The Italian gem, located on Park Avenue, is a reasonably priced and authentic taste of the mother country in Winter Park’s backyard.

With dinner specials exceeding $15, the cost may seem pricey, but is compensated by large servings. For example, appetizers like the Antipasto ($9.95) and Lobster Ravioli ($8.95) are large enough to serve as full meals or split between two dinners. To fill one’s appetite further, each dish includes a house salad and fresh bread served with an olive oil and garlic dip.

Making reservations is not required but recommended; Pannullo’s is busy, even during week days. Attentive servers make the half an hour wait bearable and one rarely has to ask for refills or extra servings of appetizers.

The menu has Italian favorites and also includes some imaginative dishes. The Chicken Coppertino ($17.95) is an appetizing dish wrapped in prosciutto ham, stuffed with mozzarella and topped with marinara sauce. Another favorite, the Manicotti ($13.95), includes cheese stuffed macaronies cooked to perfection with  a flavorful marinara sauce.

Featuring a diverse selection of pizzas and classic pasta specials, the cuisine puts Italian franchises, like  Olive Garden, to shame. Pizza slices made with rich hand-tossed crust and fresh veggies cost $2.75. The 16” Pannullo’s Deluxe ($17.40) includes any five toppings, ranging from  delicious green peppers to grilled chicken.

The only problems that arose were the long wait for dinner dishes and lack of cell phone service inside the restaurant. Still through minor complications, the decorative interior and delicious cuisine make this spot a four star restaurant.

Whether out on the town with friends or spending an evening with that special someone, Pannullo’s treats visitors like family and serves each like a treasured guest. With a large outdoor patio and courteous servers, the restaurant offers customers a scenic view and welcoming environment

By admin

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