Recently, we were in Cape Canaveral, Florida and decided to try Zarrella’s Italian & Wood Fired Pizza. Friends have mentioned this restaurant to us, and it did not disappoint us.
Their menu had a good variety listed and they also had a few off menu options that looked and sounded amazing. One dish looked especially yummy from the pictures on the iPad. Unfortunately, I do not remember the name of one pasta dish. And, honestly, I couldn’t spell it even if I did remember it. I do know that it was amazing. The linguini was cooked perfectly al dente, the clams, shrimp and crab were not over cooked, and the sauce was light while having plenty of it made with butter, garlic, clam sauce.
The kids, of course, ordered pizza. Their personal pizza is an 11 inch pie, and they also have an 18 inch pie available for dine in only. Our daughter ordered a ham and green pepper, while our son ordered a pepperoni, ham, sausage, and bacon pie. The green peppers were diced small and were perfectly distributed on the pizza with the ham. The peppers were crisp, yet cooked. The sauce was in the right proportion to the crust and toppings and had a good flavor on its own, not too sweet, or overpowering.
The meat lovers (as we called it) was great. The toppings were evenly distributed. The pepperoni was wonderful with an authentic Italian flavor. The sausage was not too fatty with a nice balanced flavor, and not too spicy. The crust was not too thin, not too thick. It supported the toppings while not being thick as a bread stick.
Speaking of bread sticks, they have an appetizer of bread sticks with marinara that we really enjoyed. Lots of butter and garlic with a light but flavorful marinara. They did not last long on our table.
We also had a house salad. This was one of the best house salads we have ever had. Cherry tomatoes, thin sliced red onion, with a vinegar and oil dressing on deep greens, topped with shaved parmesan cheese. It was well tossed and well balanced. The dressing was evenly coating the lettuces without being too heavy. The parmesan was a welcome addition and added another layer of texture and flavor.
I ordered the Chicken Parmesan. They also offer Veal Parmesan. The chicken was perfectly cooked, with the right amount of sauce and cheese. It was served with spaghetti. I loved their spaghetti. Pasta was cooked al dente then finished in the sauce. It had a full flavor with garlic and Italian spices. Nothing was overpowering. The chicken and spaghetti together was a wonderful bite. I was extremely happy with my choice of this dish.
Then we come to dessert. We were stuffed, however, they brought us a dessert sampler plate anyway. Tiramisu, a chocolate cake, vanilla and chocolate cannoli. Everything was marvelous! Yes, we brought most of it home. It survived the drive home, and I almost did not share the cake with anyone. The cannoli were a nice blend of cheese and sugar, with subtle and smooth flavor. I am told that the tiramisu was amazing, although I personally don’t like it, so I would not be a good judge of that dessert.
The portion sizes were large enough, that none of us could finish. We brought home leftovers enough for another meal. I put the pizza in the oven to reheat it, I put the linguini in a pan with a little additional butter as some leaked out of the container on the way home. I also put my chicken parm with spaghetti in the oven to reheat. Everything re-heated well without drying out.
A friend had told us to get a meatball to try at home. We did, and it went in the oven as well to reheat. This meatball is the best meatball we have ever had. Other than beef, I have no idea what is in it, but I loved this meatball! It was the size of a baseball with cheese and sauce.
Zarrella’s does have a good selection of wine and beer, as well as soft drinks. I did not see sangria on the menu, so I asked if they have it or can make one. After checking with the bartender, our server came back with a yes! I was very pleased that they would go to the extra effort for me.
Over all, the service was 5 star service. Everyone was friendly and service oriented. I observed the service given to other tables as well as ours. The staff worked together as a team to ensure the high level of service for the diners. I was impressed. If the name sounds a bit familiar, you may recognize it from John Zarrella, a former CNN reporter. His sons have opened this restaurant. John assists with being an on-screen personality for them in adds. In the spirit of full disclosure, Kirk had worked with John on prior events not associated with this venture.
Zarrella’s is located at 8801 Astronaut Blvd, Cape Canaveral, FL. Their phone is (321) 613-3008. They do carry out also. Yes, it is an hour drive over to the coast from Orlando. I think it is worth it. I do not say that about many places we have tried in Cocoa, Titusville, etc. I would drive there just for lunch or dinner.
Find them online at zarrellasitalianfl.com
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