Osteria Celli brings authentic Italian cuisine

Osteria Celli brings authentic Italian cuisine

A new eatery is bringing the flavors of Italy to southFort Myers.

Instead of fettucine Alfredo and veal picatta diners have come to expect from Italian restaurants in Southwest Florida, Osteria Celli has selected authentic flavors from various regions of Italy. The 60-seat restaurant has made its home in the space formerly occupied by The Cookout, bringing a true trattoria ambiance and menu to the area.

On Tuesday, chef and owner Marco Coricelli lightly grilled a marinated octopus tentacle and set it on a bed of kale and chickpea dressed in olive oil, garlic and lemon juice.

“It could be from Sicily, Sardinia, Calabria, Puglia – all of the coast from the south of Italy there’s tons of octopus,” he said.

As a child growing up in Italy, he remembers seeing octopus on the rocks so near, you could grab them with your hands.

The food is fresh and light. No cream. No butter. And Coricelli works with local purveyors to secure the freshest ingredients he can find, often selecting organic ingredients.

His menu is a modern twist on fresh fare found in different regions of Italy, such as butternut squash ravioli wrapped in fresh pasta and dressed in a walnut butter sauce with fresh sage finished with amaretto cookie crumbles, lamb lollipops served with sauteed potatoes and fresh peppers and handmade meatballs rolled with fresh herbs and stuffed with ricotta cheese.

“I could dedicate myself to what I enjoy doing – cooking and preparing specials and really focusing on the customer.”

The bistro style restaurant is casual fine dining, where the menu is small and there will be daily specials plus a selection of boutique wines and craft beers. He’s currently open for dinner, but plans to open in early January for lunch and will be offering dinner specials on New Year’s Eve. The restaurant’s open-format kitchen will also give Coricelli the room to mingle with guests first hand and keep an eye on service, he said.

“The aspect of cooking I enjoy most is creating and tasting new flavors and sharing that with others, Coricelli said.

The restaurant is located at 15880 Summerlin Road, Unit 308, in south Fort Myers. For more information, call 267-1310 or email osteria.celli@aol.com.

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