provided to The Santiva Chronicle
Tutti Pazzi Italian Kitchen opened Jan. 21 at 1200 Periwinkle Way and invited representatives of the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, Aug. 17 to officially celebrate the end of its first season in operation.
Owners Pasquale and Leanna Russo and Jeramie and Debra Campana evolved the former Matzaluna Italian Kitchen during a six-month planning phase and seven-week renovation that included installation of a special dough mixer imported from Italy and other new equipment, new reclaimed-wood tables and reupholstered seating, and new lighting throughout the dining area. The restaurant also has event space for special occasions and functions.
“We specialize in bringing classic and authentic Italian dishes from the 20 regions of Italy, made from the freshest or imported ingredients flavors, to Sanibel,” said Pasquale Russo. “Here, you enter as a customer, become our friend, and feel like family. In Italy, the dinner table is where magic happens. Friends and family gather to fill their bodies with good food and wine; and their souls with laughter, happiness, and love.”
Specialties include pizza classico baked in a wood-fired oven, pasta, seafood, and house-made desserts paired with Italian-themed specialty cocktails and an extensive wine and beer list designed by the team.
The Russos are first-time restaurant owners, but their partners bring a wealth of experience with Sanibel eateries, including Paper Fig Kitchen, The Fig East, and part ownership of 400 Rabbits. General Manager Meliss Harrity and Executive Chef Kia Snyder join the team at Tutti Pazzi, which has already demonstrated its community spirit supporting CHR, Sanibel School, and FISH.
“We welcome such an energetic enterprise to the island that not only satisfies our appetites for fresh Italian cuisine, but also joins in on the spirit of giving our business community is so well-known for,” said John Lai, chamber president and chief executive officer
“We are fortunate to have a chamber that is so supportive of our local island community,” said Russo. “We look forward to our participation and contribution to the chamber on key issues facing our islands.”