After a day working in the yard preparing the fall vegetable garden, I realized that I was too pooped to cook dinner. I suggested that we drive deeper into the paradise that is SOG City and dine at Cellini's. We hadn't been there for a couple of years and I have no reasonable excuse for that. The food was always good and the restaurant is only a few miles south of Gandy.
We felt particularly sheepish when the owner, Michael, greeted us at the door and said how good it was to see us again. Instead of giving us the tongue-lashing we so richly deserved for our long absence, Michael inquired about our well-being and guided us to our table where we were presented with a tasty bruschetta...a basket of garlic toasted breads and a bowl of chopped tomatoes with basil and olive oil.
Jelena, our most charming wait-person, appeared almost instantly with menus and promptly departed to fill our drink order. On this night, we chose a bottle Chianti Reserva. My delightful dining partner ordered the Cellini version of eggplant Parmesan, the Eggplant Marchio. With the very first bite she declared that this was a winning entrée. I live for pasta and seafood and when our server described the Seafood Pasta dinner special I had to wipe the drool from my chin...figuratively speaking, that is. This special was loaded with mussels, clams, scallops, and shrimp over linguine tossed with a rich pomodoro sauce. There wasn't a dry or over cooked morsel of seafood to be found on the plate.
Between the warm greeting at the door, the friendly and professional service, and the superb food and wine, we would have to declare Cellini to be a gastronomic delight. Dinner, wine, and a well deserved tip came to $81.31. We will be back, and without the long gap between visits. We promise!
Click the Cellini link at the top of this page to pull up their web site. There you will find their lunch and dinner menus, and you may sign up for Cellini's newsletter delivered to your inbox. Michael mentioned that they will be announcing some "must try" specials from time to time.