Since yesterday was my birthday, Bev and I decided to celebrate — along with good friend Theresa — at Bob’s Pizza and Amante’s Italian Cuisine in Deerfield Beach, located just a block away from the famous Deerfield Beach Fishing Pier (setting for some of the action in my novel, but I digress ). Orginally I’d planned on going to a nearby chain restaurant but at some point during the work day, it hit me: Hey, I live in Florida! Why not enjoy a birthday dinner by the beach?
It had been quite some time since I’d eaten at Amante’s and for Bev and Tre, their first visit to the Italian restaurant which started out in 1975 as a simple pizzeria. We opted to take advantage of the gorgeous weather by eating outside, where a talented, baritone vocalist entertained us with a variety of excellent music — from Sinatra to the Bee Gees. And might I add, the people-watching aspect of the evening was also quite enjoyable since all of us tend to forget we do live in a resort area.
Anyway, we started out by sharing a delicious traditional antipasta featuring prosciutto, salami, mozzarella balls, aged provolone, roasted peppers and artichokes. What a perfect way to begin our meal!
Antipasto is a traditional Italian favorite from childhood.
Next, it was time for our main course. Bev decided on traditional Eggplant Parmesan; Tre ordered Chicken Rollantini — boneless chicken breast stuffed with spinach and mozzarella in a marsala wine sauce topped with mushrooms — and I opted for the appetizer version of Eggplant Rollantini. With their entrees, Bev and Tre also received a side of spaghetti, though the restaurant also allows an upgrade to a side of Fettuccini Alfredo or Rigatoni Alla Vodka for an additional $4.00.
Chicken Rollantini with Marsala Sauce and Mushrooms.
Everyone raved about their choices and the generous portion sizes also guaranteed another meal for the next day (I plan to eat the rest of mine for dinner tonight).
Eggplant Rollantini for the birthday girl!
As with all special occasions, it’s the company that enhances the food, no matter how well prepared and last night was no exception. Amid a festive outdoor atmosphere, we shared funny stories and great laughs while savoring the distinctive flavors of Amante’s perfectly prepared selections. And of course, since this happened to be a birthday celebration where a live singer was performing, Bev and Tre enlisted his help in leading everyone in a round of “Happy Birthday” while our servers placed a slice of Key Lime Pie (my choice) with one burning candle in front of me. Being the chocolate lover she is, Bev also ordered a piece of decadent chocolate cake, piled high with rich frosting encrusted with chocolate sprinkles.
Nothing says Florida quite like a piece of Key Lime Pie!
Our verdict: Five Stars for Bob’s Pizza and Amante’s Italian Cuisine — a great place for natives, residents and tourists alike to soak up the tropical ambiance of The Sunshine State, savor a wonderful Italian meal and listen to the soulful sounds of live music. On a budget? Don’t worry, Amante’s reasonable prices put it all within easy reach. Visit them for your next special occasion — or anytime you have a craving for homemade Italian food served up by the beach.