By Anna-Marie Menhenott
JENSEN BEACH -- Tucked away from the main road that leads to downtown Jensen Beach is a delightful Italian restaurant that not only delights one's palate, but ignites a sensory overload.
Santo LoCicero was born in Palermo, Sicily, and by the age of 10, he had already started making pizza and cooking pasta at his family- owned business.
After developing businesses in New York and New Jersey, Mr. LoCicero brought his talents to Florida and opened Santo's Pizza Restaurant in Jensen Beach.
The restaurant is spacious with a gorgeous brick oven in the center that Mr. LoCicero built himself.
"We've done a lot to the restaurant," he said. "We have a great patio and have live music and the brick oven was built by me. We make great brick-oven pizzas in there in the evening times and the people love to come in and sit on the patio and enjoy the amazing weather and food."
Mr. LoCicero makes his own bread, sauces, and fresh mozzarella daily, along with homemade soups.
I was fortunate enough to sample a few of Mr. Locicero's favorite dishes, and the quality and passion was evident with every bite.
The garlic knots were not only incredible in size, they were incredible to taste. They were served fresh from the oven and covered with freshly chopped garlic and melted butter. Served with a marinara dipping sauce, these knots could easily be a meal by themselves.
Mr. LoCicero presented us with a Santo Margherita pizza that any pizza lover would enjoy. The pizza was topped with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, red sauce and basil. The crust was amazing and was a definite testament to the fresh quality of ingredients at the restaurant.
Italian specialties such as chicken francese and chicken marsala and imported red wine from Italy give the restaurant a fine-dining flair, whereas the wings, beer on tap and array of delicious appetizers lend the restaurant to the one of the hottest spots to relax and maybe catch a game on TV.
The restaurant offers many tasty treats, including homemade desserts for those with a sweet tooth. I would recommend the stuffed zeppole with canole filling. The divine dessert is made to order and would satisfy any sweet-tooth craving.
Santo's Pizza has a location in Stuart at 333 S.E. Ocean Blvd., and in Jensen Beach at 1319 Sunview Terrace, behind CVS on Jensen Beach Boulevard. There is live music at the Jensen Beach location. The next performance will be Jan. 18, from 7-10 p.m.
There are early bird specials Monday - Friday, from 4:30-7 p.m.
Santo's delivers to most of Martin County.
Take a look at their menu by visiting www.santospizzarestaurant.com.