Louie Bossi’s Ristorante Bar & Pizzeria is one of the best and most popular restaurants on Las Olas. On any given evening, this boisterous eatery and tavern is packed to the rafters with young, attractive people enjoying delicious, scratch-made, traditional Italian food and delightfully refreshing cocktails as they mingle and socialize.
Louie Bossi’s is named after the chef who brought this thriving business to life, along with the help of Big Time Restaurant Group. Bosssi began cooking at home with his mother as a small child. He moved to Florida in 2000 and started with the company as a line cook. With hard work and dedication, Bossi was promoted to Executive Chef for Big City Tavern in just a couple of years.
Walking into the space takes you back to a different era. The owners and designers spent lots of time scouring Europe for architectural pieces to incorporate into this vast space that consists of a large bar, interior dining room, a vast front patio and a huge covered back courtyard. The interior and exterior design encompasses you and brings up the feeling of stepping onto a movie set. Layers of décor make for very sophisticated rooms, where no detail is left unfinished.
On a recent Monday evening, my dinner companion and I had a lovely al fresco supper. We were greeted by the new General Manager Michael Savitt. I’ve known Michael for years. He was the GM at Morton’s Ft. Lauderdale and I was a server there when we opened that location together over ten years ago. It was good to catch up with him!
The menu at Louie Bossi’s is extensive. All breads, pastas, gelatos, pastries and cookies are made in-house daily. Whether you only enjoy some delicious nibbles and appetizers along with your favorite classic Italian cocktails or trendy martinis or instead go for a three-course meal, there are lots of options to consider. We started off this adventure with the appetizer special: poached peaches with Burrata cheese and Prosciutto ($12). The syrupy sweet peaches were delicious paired with the bursts of creamy cheese and salty ham.
We requested that our server build a lavish meat (3 selections for $17) and cheese ($6 each) board especially for us, which also featured grapes, marinated olives, Marcona almonds, breadsticks and truffle honey. You can create your own or leave it up to the experts! Other traditional first courses include the Coccoli Fritto ($11) or little breads filled with ricotta and Prosciutto, meatballs with Marzano sauce ($12), a selection of Bruschetta ($11-12), Carpaccio ($15) and a huge selection of Pizza al Forno ($16.95-25).
With tons of fish, veal, chicken and lamb entrees, a lengthy list of long and short pasta specialties and a rotating daily special, there is no reason to leave Louie Bossi’s with your belly empty. We shared my favorite pasta dish, the Pazzesco ($28) which is a mix of short pastas with hearty sausage, juicy meatballs and tender pork ragu. If you are a meat lover, this dish is for you!
Stuffed as we were from that charcuterie and pasta feast, we shared the decadent Tiramisu ($9), washed down by a perfectly prepared cappuccino. Other sweet treats on the dessert menu include cannoli, chocolate cake, cheesecake, a homemade cookie platter and cool gelato. Don’t skip dessert!
Great drinks are not an afterthought at Louie Bossi’s. Try one of the amazing Italian classics like the Negroni or the vegan Amaretto Sour (both $11.50) or head over on a Monday for half-priced martinis! They prepare a delicious Grilled Fruit Sangria and a Negroni Affogato made with gin and Campari on tap (both $10.50). The bar boasts over 60 beers, so drink up! Of course, an extensive list of your favorite Italian wines is cellared for your enjoyment.
Louie Bossi’s is open daily for both lunch and dinner. The full menu is served until midnight on Friday and Saturday. Join them in their jumping bar daily from 4-7pm for Happy Hour and get $2 off all drinks and half priced pizzas. A fabulous brunch menu is presented every Saturday and Sunday until 4pm with unlimited Mimosa, endless Bloody Mary or bottomless Bellini ($14 each).
Louie Bossi’s Ristorante Bar & Pizzeria is located at 1032 East Las Olas Boulevard in downtown Ft. Lauderdale. Reservations are highly recommended, so call 954-356-6699 well in advance. Also, visit the second Louie Bossi’s location on Palmetto Park Road in Boca Raton.