By Brittany Llorente
PALM BAY - When you walk up to the strip mall where Sergio Svago's restaurant is, you expect to walk into a small pizzeria with diner-style booths.
Then you're greeted by a 'Bienvinuti!" from everyone in the restaurant staff, smiles on their faces and immersed in what looks like a five-star restaurant. Linen napkins and tablecloths adorn the tables including a small array of oils and vinaigrettes and comfortable cozy seating.
Sergio Genna, the owner and chef of the restaurant is as Sicilian as it gets. His charming deep Sicilian accent almost lends to the authenticity of the food.
The crispy crusted and warm and melty middle of the garlic knots started a medley of the richest flavors of food that anyone would appreciate.
The pasta fagioli soup was set apart by the fresh ingredients and warm flavors from the herbs that complemented the beans and broth perfectly.
Mr. Genna said there is no secret to the food being so tasty.
"I buy fresh food," said Mr. Genna. "Everything is fresh: fresh flour, tomatoes and cheese. We make everything fresh every day. I don't even have a microwave here. I don't like to reheat things."
The freshness of the ingredients was very apparent in my guest's Insalata Caprese, which had large helpings of fresh mozzarella cheese, crisp tomatoes and basil with a wine vinaigrette.
I had the Eggplant Rollatini, the mozzarella cheese melted over the lightly battered eggplant paired with the ricotta cheese was delightful, the flavors tasted even before the food hit my tongue.
The menu is described as continental by Mr. Genna, with zuppe e insalete, pasta dishes, pizza and cold and hot grinder sandwiches.
"I was the first person to bring fresh pizza to the Palm Bay area," boasts Mr. Genna, who has been in the area for 46 years.
For a simple meal, the calzones, strombolis and rolls are filling and light on the wallet.
For a more robust palate, there are also meals that feature chicken, veal, seafood and steak.
Lunch dishes run from $6 - $10. Their hand-tossed pizzas, with choice of mozzarella cheese, white cheese or Sicilian style can be purchased by the slice or the pie in small, medium and large.
All of the dishes include soup or salad and always with garlic knots.
"When people go out to eat they want good food," said Mr. Genna. "Here, I want them to feel like they took a trip to Italy."
Sergio Svago's is located at 225 Palm Bay Road, Suite 184, Palm Bay in the Hammock Landings Plaza. For more information, call (321) 821-4868.