Vinnie's Italian Restaurant offers delicious, authentic fare
By Meagan McGone
MERRITT ISLAND - Have a hankering for home-cooked, authentic Italian cuisine?
Dining at Vinnie's Italian Restaurant on Merritt Island will be sure to satisfy your craving.
Newly opened with improved recipes and spectacular service, but keeping the same name as the original Merritt Island staple, Vinnie's Italian Restaurant comes from the same husband and wife duo who brought Tommy's Pizza & Subs to Andretti Thrill Park in Melbourne - Thomas Miller and Tammy Southard.
"Vinnie's needed us," Ms. Southard said. "Vinnie's used to put out some awesome food, but in the past two years, its reputation changed. Now, all these people who live on Merritt Island and love the old Vinnie's will hopefully try us out. I think they'll be really happy."
The owners have put their 20-year background in the restaurant industry to good use, integrating fresh ingredients and quality products into every single recipe.
"We shred our own cheese, make our own sauces, bake the bread in-house and make our own meatballs," Ms. Southard said. "A lot of places have gotten away from that. We believe in doing things right. We put out good, quality products at fair prices."
Vinnie's Italian Restaurant offers a wide range of menu items, offering something for everybody in the family.
For example, a white pizza - topped with a creamy blend of ricotta and mozzarella cheeses - ranges from $9.50 to $13.50, depending on size.
From Tuesday through Friday, lunch specials include $6.25 pasta dishes, as well as $5.50 fresh-sliced, deli-meat subs that come with chips and a drink.
But the restaurant's claim to fame is its lasagna ($10.95), which features layers of pasta, meat, mozzarella, ricotta and parmesan cheeses. Tourists stopping by have sworn that they will permanently relocate to the Space Coast for the delectable dish.
"We have returning customers who come back just to get the lasagna over and over again," Ms. Southard said. "One customer even told us that she hadn't had lasagna this good since she had visited Naples - as in Naples, Italy. I was so excited. That compliment made my whole month."
The restaurant also offers great lunch and dinner specials to introduce both variety and value to its customers.
So far, the owners have received positive feedback for keeping a Merritt Island landmark alive.
"A lot of people have thanked us for not changing the name," Ms. Southard said. "For the most part, everyone is satisfied."
Vinnie's Italian Restaurant is located at 2137 N. Courtenay Parkway. The restaurant is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. It also offers delivery and catering.
For more information, call (321) 305-4924.