‘Gusto Cucina Italiana’ has a Sicilian touch
By BRIAN WIERIMA
When Vince Cangialosi moved from Sicily to Detroit, Mich., in 1987 along with his grandmother, mother and two brothers, he brought with him the taste of Sicily.
Cangialosi decided to share that flavor with as many people as he could and opened his first Italian restaurant by the age of 23.
Fortunately for food lovers in the Cape Coral area, Cangialosi wasn’t a fan of the Michigan cold after living in the warm climate of Sicily, and eventually made a move to Estero, where he opened several different restaurants, each one proving to be a successful venture.
Cangialosi brought his cooking talent to Cape Coral soon after, and has opened his ninth Italian restaurant – along with his wife Raquel – appropriately named “Gusto Cucina Italiana”, which is at 229 Del Prado Boulevard North, Suite 15.
Cangialosi specializes in Sicilian saute, as well as being trained under a renowned pastry chef from Italy, so the dining experience at Gusto Cucina Italiana is sure to be a well-rounded one.
“When I saute a dish, I densify the flavor,” Vince Cangialosi said. “I squeeze the flavor out of each ingredient to perfection. When I make a sauce and when you eat it, it has a smooth flavor, nothing overpowering. From start to finish, the dish should be addicting. If it’s not addicting, it shouldn’t be on the menu.”
Cangialosi has strong experience in the restaurant business, running both large- and small-scale operations. He is drawn to the smaller restaurant, like Gusto Cucina Italiana, because he can make sure the customer receives his best.
“Vince prepares all the dishes,” said Raquel, who grew up in Cape Coral. “His dishes are more unique and more authentic than your normal Italian restaurant.”
Although Vince knows how to run a successful restaurant, it’s his passion for making the perfect dish for each and every order which brings people back as repeat customers.
“My Grandma trained my palate well when I was a little boy in Sicily,” Vince said. “I’ve basically been trained since day one, so I’ve been spoiled. I use only my personal touch for every dish and I use only fresh ingredients.”
For the seafood lover, there are tasty appetizers to scratch that itch. Calamari Vincenzo is offered, which is lightly breaded calamari, fried to tender brown, along with banana peppers, tomato and lemon butter sauce.
A specialty is also sauteed mussels, served in a light plum tomato sauce, while salmon gusto is offered as a main dish. Shrimp scampi is also a popular item, as well as shrimp parmigiana, which is sauteed shrimp, marinara sauce, melted mozzarella cheese, with a side of pasta.
The veal Michelangelo is a featured item on the menu. Flavor abounds on the plate, which includes tender veal, sauteed shrimp, sea scallops, spiced tomato cream sauce, jump lump crabmeat and brandy sauce.
With a full menu, guests will undoubtedly have the ultimate Italian dining experience, capped off with an exclamatory dessert choice. House-made desserts include tiramisu, creme brulee and chocolate panna cotta.
But not only will the robust Italian flavor satisfied one’s appetite, they will be treated like family, as well.
“We connect with our customers,” Raquel said. “I love meeting people, getting to know them. We have customers driving all the way from Naples at least once a month and they say it’s the best authentic Italian food around. We treat everyone like they are coming into our home as our guests.”
With taste and high-quality, fresh food served, along with a warm welcoming staff to greet customers, Vince Cangialosi is reaching his goal of serving Cape Coral the best he can.
“We want to be known as a hole-in-the-wall restaurant, with great Italian food,” he said. “I love smaller restaurants, because it allows us to give you a special experience.”
To download Gusto Cucina Italiana’s menu, go to www.gustocucinaitaliana.com or call 239-458-5900.