Tucked away in a corner of Dolphin Plaza, is a very good little Italian restaurant. Diners have a choice of tables outside the front door by the parking lot, inside the restaurant, or on the back patio overlooking the alley and boat docks. We chose the latter because the air conditioning inside was way too cold. Although it was a little disconcerting to walk through the back hallway of the restaurant, past curtained rooms to get to the back patio, we enjoyed looking at the boats and watching dolphins jumping out of the water. The alley in between was distracting, especially when cars or trucks drove past. Nearby, we could see garbage cans, brooms and boxes that seem to collect in alleys. However, our server was pleasant and took good care of us. Warm bread served with olive oil and Italian spices is always a welcome start to a meal, and we thoroughly enjoyed the bread and house salads at Buona. Baked ziti was cheesy and yummy, but our group split on the spaghetti with marinara sauce -- some loved it and some thought the sauce was way too sweet and really rather bland. The meatballs scored high marks, and the Eggplant Parmesan was satisfying with lots of gooey cheese melted on top. The pizza crust was exceptionally thin -- almost too thin to support the pepperoni topping -- but tasty. Overall, the food and service were very good and the portions generous.
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