528 S Park Ave Winter Park, FL 32789
- Business website Maestro Cucina Napoletana
What a great find while visiting Winter Park Fl. Maestro Cucina Napoletana & Pizza a trendy restaurant in the heart of downtown Winter Park. A bright open floor plan, outside seating, lovely warm wood interior. I love this town and could easily move here just for the food.
Service was prompt and friendly as the restaurant filled up our server always close. One thing that impressed us most, her ability to give a full account of the nightly specials in depth without stumbling or reading from a scratch card as is often the case. What also caught my eye a fully laid out Antipasto bar. Common in Italy, I have not seen one in the US for quite some time. There must have been 10 to 15 items to select at a reasonable price. We knew we were certainly going to indulge ourselves.
The plate when it arrived, had several cheese offerings, two meat choices, black and green olives, white beans in olive oil, roasted peppers, pumpkin, marinated carrot slices, two slices of bruschetta, marinated mushrooms, yellow squash slices, plus a large plump ball of burrata as the centerpiece. It could have been the meal. We were also served a basket of four different types of warm bread with a dish of dipping oil.
We paired the antipasto with a beautiful Insalata di Mare, a hardy sized plate of fresh mussels, clams, calamari, octopus, shrimp, extra virgin olive oil, and lemon. The fish was cold and crisp with a delightfully sweet flavor in each bite.
We each chose a pasta dish; my companion selected one of the nightly special offerings, Shrimp with Linguini in a lemon white wine sauce. I went with a menu option I have never seen at any of the restaurants I have dined in so far, the Paccheri Alle Cozze, those large, fantastic tubes, like huge pieces of garden hose. I was shivering with anticipation. Both dishes were amazing.
Shrimp dish, full of large pink translucent shrimp filled the plate, al dente pasta nicely dressed with the sweet wine lemon cream sauce a delight to behold.
My dish was equally as beautiful. The large tubes covered in a sweet garlic sauce loaded with tender, plump mussels. I cannot recall when I have enjoyed Italian food as much as I did with this dish.
We were full and should not have asked, but we did. Dolce? Who would eat Italian and not finish up with a sweet? We chose what sounded delicious, a Ricotta Cheesecake and what was describe as Lemon Cake but was more like a Torta sprinkled with powdered sugar.
The Ricotta Cheesecake would have been a win for me, but the addition of sweet, thick chocolate sauce ruined the experience. Had I know that was part of the dish I would have requested to leave it off. What I did eat of the cake was quite pleasant, tart, and not too dense. Perhaps the chocolate was the universe telling me I did not need this dish.
Now the Lemon Cake/Torta was a different animal. It was delicious, sweet and tart all in the same bite, creamy texture, and for sure you wanted to run your fingers through the powdered sugar that covered the plate. My companion took pity on me and shared her perfect dessert.
Overall our experience was a five-star event. Ambiance, service, food, this restaurant has it all. I want to return and try the Napoletana pizza from the fancy oven. I encourage you to do the same. If you live in this area, I envy you your restaurant options. Get out there and enjoy, get everyone together and make it a night to remember.