By Anna-Marie Menhenott
FORT PIERCE -- A recent change in ownership at island favorite, Capone's Hideaway, doesn't mean that the menu, which has delighted foodies for years, has been altered.
The eatery, which prides itself on Italian cuisine, seafood and incredible desserts, will continue to offer favorites such as the macadamia nut crusted snapper, shrimp carbonara, chicken parmesan and filet mignon.
"I know how important it is to the people who have been coming here for years to still be able to order their favorites," said Francesco Ventura, head chef and new owner. "I'm going to also introduce some new dishes, some of my creations that I love, to the menu."
Mr. Ventura, a native of Italy, has owned three restaurants and has spent a lifetime perfecting his craft.
"My family and I moved to the area and wanted to get back into the business, and Capone's was available. This is a beautiful location and we were very happy to be able to work with Sal and Beth (Capone's former owners) to make the transition an easy one," Mr. Ventura said.
The restaurant was full of regulars who seemed to enjoy talking with Mr. Ventura and getting to know the new chef.
"Everyone has been very receptive," he said. "But, the food is what makes a difference. That and the family atmosphere and making sure that there is consistency."
And, everything that Mr. Ventura mentioned was hit on during my visit.
Upon recommendations from our very attentive server, my dining companion and I tried several of Mr. Ventura's favorites.
For our appetizer, we were served steaming bowls of cheddar broccoli soup and lobster bisque. The creamy, flavorful bisque is available on Friday and Saturday only, but well-worth making a trip on one of those days. The soup was delightfully flavored and full of pieces of fresh broccoli. Fresh, warm ciabatta rolls were served with the soup.
After we finished our soup, we were treated to a serving of shrimp gorgonzola. These plump, delicious shrimp were sautéed and served with a cheesy gorgonzola and spinach cream sauce.
For our entrées, my dining companion chose the chicken parmesan. The tender chicken was perfectly breaded, topped with marinara and melted mozzarella cheese and served over pasta.
I chose the fresh snapper scampi primavera. This entrée was pure perfection. The flaky fish melted in my mouth and was served over pasta with a lemon wine sauce. The pasta had broccoli, spinach, potatoes and red peppers in it, which combined for an incredible taste.
Our server brought out a dessert of tiramisu and zucotto. The tiramisu was creamy and just the right texture. The zucotto, a homemade combination of chocolate cake, ice cream and cherries, was incredible.
The restaurant has early bird specials that change each day from 4-6 p.m.
Capone's Hideaway is located at 1102 Seaway Drive, on Hutchinson Island. They are open from at 4 p.m. every night of the week. To make reservations, call (772) 460-5000.