In the works for two years, Bavaro's Pizza Napoletana & Pastaria will open to the public on Friday, May 17, at 27 Fletcher Ave., Sarasota, in a beautifully rehabbed law office on the eastern edge of downtown. The restaurant is the fourth Bavaro's. Owner Dan Bavaro opened his first restaurant in Tampa in 2009, followed by a location in St. Petersburg and one at Tampa International Airport.
The focus here is on the pizza, a traditional Neapolitan pie made with few ingredients that are put together just right. Bavaro says the keys to his pizza are "doppio zero" flour imported from Italy, tomatoes grown in the volcanic soil near Mount Vesuvius, buffalo mozzarella and a wood-burning oven that can reach 900 degrees Fahrenheit. The Bavaro's crust is thin and blistered, both airy and chewy at the same time—i.e. delicious.
The pizzas run from a traditional Margherita ($14) to one with a black truffle burrata ($18), but the menu also includes a number of pasta dishes ($15-$19), salads ($9-$15) and more. A craft cocktail menu mostly reps Italian favorites like the Negroni ($9) and the ubiquitous Aperol spritz ($10), plus a martini made with basil-infused vodka ($10) and a bourbon and coffee liqueur sipper ($11).
Bavaro's is located at 27 Fletcher Ave., Sarasota, and will be open 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. For more info, call (941) 552-9131 or check out the restaurant's website.