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“Superb”

Valentino Cucina Italiana
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Ranked #154 of 1,414 Restaurants in Fort Lauderdale
Price range: $20 - $55
Cuisines: Italian
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Reservations
Description: We are a fine dining restaurant featuring Italian cuisine with a modern twist. We source the very best products available, local whenever possible. Excellent wine list and full bar, served by professional waitstaff.
Reviewed December 29, 2013

I go at least once or twice a month. Great atmosphere (a bit noisy) and amazing food. I take a lot of foreigners used to going to the best restaurants in Miami, and they all conclude this is better than all of them.

The owner is actively in the kitchen and he knows what he is doing.

Just wish they would have a corkage fee. I like bringing my wines to restaurants.

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Thank biso67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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168 - 172 of 257 reviews

Reviewed December 21, 2013

I called to make a dinner reservation and the hostess told me they were too busy and to call back later. That alone should have been enough to write this place off. But with pressure from friends who were intent on going, once there we were presented with indifferent service and a noise level that needs dampening to make it comfortable dining.
Food was varied from usual Italian fare and some plates were quiet good while others just average and served cold. I've never mentioned portion size as I feel it's about the quality and execution that mattered but minimal portions at maximum prices was a shock. Doubt I would ever go back. Many other better Italian restaurants in South FL

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3  Thank Squamdoc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 19, 2013

We had heard very good things about Valentino from several of our friends so we decided to give it a try on our own. Everyone raved about the intriguingly innovative style of Fort Lauderdale’s hottest new chef. If you are looking for Modern Italian cuisine this is the place.

My wife and I visited Valentino on a Tuesday night. We had 7 pm reservations and were seated promptly at a table for four opposite the open kitchen located in the center of the house. We both opted to sit on the inward-facing bench adorned with soft cushions and comfy pillows so we could observe the activity in the kitchen.

Valentino chef and owner is Giovanni Rocchio. Giovanni’s culinary artistry was on display that night as he poured his heart and soul into every dish, bringing a creative culinary flare that is rarely seen. Giovanni orchestrated the bustling staff in the same way a conductor carefully crafts a symphony orchestra.

Beyond the delectable dishes and culinary delights found on the menu, you can enjoy the innovative nightly specials exquisitely prepared by Chef Giovanni and his remarkable team. Be prepared to be amazed!

After telling us about the nightly specials, our waiter, David, made some menu recommendations as well. Rather than sampling out-of-the-ordinary offerings, we opted to make our selections from Valentino’s innovative and inventive Northern Italian regular menu.

I started with a Roasted Beet Salad appetizer adorned with mascarpone, apple, hazelnuts, mint, shallots and a vanilla vinaigrette dressing. My wife had the Baby Lettuce appetizer consisting of a variety of fresh lettuces, greens and mixed herbs drizzled with Chardonnay vinaigrette.

For the entrée I chose the Osso Bucco, which David described as “not what you might expect.” How correct he was! It was off-the-bone, melt-in-your mouth delicious and the accompanying hand-rolled pasta made from scratch was “extraordinaire.” Wifey’s choice was a shrimp and fusilli pasta dish which she said was “perfect”. We enjoyed the meal with a bottle of Alexander Valley pinot noir (who says red wine doesn’t go with seafood?) and didn’t have room for dessert.

The atmosphere was very chic with little to soften the activity (other than crisp table linens and those fabric-covered seat cushions and comfy pillows) so it is somewhat loud although not overbearing. The table at which we sat was just perfect for having a conversation. The staff was very attentive yet not "in your face" and the entire experience would lead us to count the days until a return trip can be planned!

If you are looking for a terrific meal served in a nice, attractive atmosphere, this should make your list. Although a bit costly, sometimes you really do get what you pay for. Valentino is definitely one of those opportunities. As Sun-Sentinel food critic John Tanasychuk wrote in his review, “Anyone who's ever badmouthed Fort Lauderdale for its shortage of sophisticated restaurants, welcome to Valentino.” Enjoy!

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Thank Buzz L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 25, 2013

Dodger and the Missus hit Vs on saturday 11/23 with 2 other couples. First time. Cool place. great decor and vibe. Tight bar, decent pour. Noisy. Service was able and professional. Food was all good--apps: octopus, burrata and lobster, beet salad. Except for the octopus--the portions were a bit small. Entrees: terrific. Lamb shank--melt in your mouth; osso bucco-tender; pastas cooked perfectly; seafood (shrimp) plump and fresh. Nice sized portions, too. Desserts were average though--avoid the cannoli and biscotti plate. Stale and flavorless. hefty price tag with 2-moderately priced bottles of wine ($45/each). about $150/couple. Other options abound in FTL, for less $. Still-- a nice meal and experience.

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1  Thank TrolleyDodger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 9, 2013

Valentino is a Fort Lauderdale legend. I always knew it as a small but very special place on the west side of Federal Hwy just south of the New River tunnel. Times change and so have they! The new restaurant is a few blocks north of the old location; it’s much bigger with a beautiful open kitchen. The décor is fantastic, the ambiance …wow, what a great change. Our city so needs this type of restaurant!

Then you walk in and all begins to crumble a bit. Last night we arrived for our 8:30 PM res and we’re told our guests were in the bar area. The bar tenders did a pretty fair job attending to us but it’s safe to say they aren’t graded regularly on timeliness. Then the waiting began…by 5 past 9 I went and checked on our table and the hostesses (3 of them) told me there were 3 parties finishing so it wouldn’t be much longer. 5 or 10 minutes later when one of them came into the bar and approached us but she walked right past me up to another party who’d apparently been waiting even longer. Perhaps 5 minutes later another of the hostesses came and got us as our table was ready. By now it was about 9:15. No apology or any acknowledgment at all about the wait – training opportunity.

The waiter was professional- he did a good job apart from the fact that he gave us to another at the end without saying a word about it. He had to get home to his kids we were told- if they’d seated us promptly we could have all gone home to our kids!

The wine waiter was friendly and quite helpful- his suggestion was right on, great marks there.

We ordered the octopus, the tuna and buratta with lobster for appetizers. The octopus was overcooked and not very good, the lobster was fishy …like old fishy. All portions were too small.
For entrées I had the duck as did my friend. It wasn’t bad but it was lukewarm. It was served with a nice hash browned (I’m certain there’s a more elegant term for the preparation but I don’t know it) potato, it was good. I couldn’t identify the vegetable served with it and didn’t enjoy it all the same. My girlfriend ordered the king crab, pasta dish and found it average and my friend’s wife had scallops and enjoyed them very much.

The deserts came with mixed reviews as well.

In summary, we had a good time! The place is really nice and I’m glad to see it doing well. Fantastic décor, great ambiance, good vibe! But it is a restaurant, the food needs work. This is our 3rd time there with the same experience each time in food quality. Season will be upon us in a few short weeks so they’ll be packed with tourists but they have to rely on us locals over the summer …I hope they listen because I really want to like it.

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Thank Larry A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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