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Valentino Cucina Italiana

You’ve probably driven by Valentino Cucina hundreds of times, and never noticed it. That’s how it was for me. The neon sign illuminating the fine dining Italian restaurant is just a glimmer in the corner of your eye before you rush through the Henry E. Kinney Tunnel on Federal Highway.

The intimate, rustic Italian restaurant, which moved to its current location in 2012, is a favorite among locals who know of it. Chef Giovanni Rocchio makes the pasta fresh daily, and is constantly learning new techniques to evolve the menu.

His creative recipes and high-quality ingredients really shine with dishes like the stuffed zucchini flowers with whipped ricotta, basil and tomato; and the Cassoncelli pasta with veal, prosciutto and rich browned butter. And if there’s one dish that you won’t be able to stop eating, it’s the Berkshire Pork Rack served with Venetian black rice and roasted heirloom carrots.

So the next time you’re flying by on Federal Highway, take note of the neon sign and make plans to stop in.

Valentino Cucina / 620 S. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale /