Whether you want a little something to satisfy your sweet tooth or a sandwich and salad to tame your appetite, you can count on a truly authentic Italian experience at DOLCE & SALATO Italian food boutique. The charming transplanted slice of Italy is located in Naples Florida within strolling distance of one of the best beaches on the gulf coast and happens to be nestled in the the historic downtown district along the upscale and popular Fifth Avenue South. The clean, crisp and modern interior of the boutique has a comfortable cafe/deli style layout which includes a well equipped exhibition food prep area surrounded by display cases full of some very tempting offerings, a bar which features coffees, wines and a selection of imported waters and beers. Inside, well lit accommodating multi-use tables are often occupied by dinners and the occasional Free Wi-Fi user but I gravitate toward the exterior seating as I find the atmosphere of the courtyard and street side tables very inviting and relaxing. You can release your inner chef with the extensive selection of authentic Italian products offered or customize
a culinary gift basket for someone and choose from a great selection of wines, cheeses, olive oils, pastas and more. Beginning at four o'clock each day happy hour includes complimentary tastings from the menu and during one such tasting I had a chance to talk with owner/operators Agostino Nastasi and Natascia Marchesi and here is what I learned about the history, philosophy and mission of this newly launched endeavor. The two partners are both from Italy and share the same passions for food and both have extensive backgrounds in the food and beverage service industry.
Natascia's parents owned and operated a restaurant in Italy which inspired her culinary acumen and did her sommelier studies in Italy. Agostino's food and beverage experience includes opening and operating four restaurants in Manhattan. I commented on how good the consistent presentation of the food was and Agastino reminded me that "You eat with your eyes first." Offering the best food products imported from Italy is only part of the new business' charter. Serving fresh quality dishes that make
a visual impact is obviously of the utmost importance to the two entrepreneurs and it shows in every dish that goes out to every customer. The displays of candies, cakes and pastries are tantalizing and the cold cut and cheeses are arranged like works of art in a refrigerated glass museum. The walls are lined with shelves of an enticing variety of Balsamic vinegars, flavored condiments, various sweet and salty snacks, gluten free products and more. If you wish to plan a party at the boutique or have an event catered. Live music performances, book signings and other various cultural events are going to be part of the attraction beginning in October and of course wine and cheese tastings are planned.