#16 of 95 30A Restaurants

Pazzo Italiano Santa Rosa Beach

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Pazzo Italiano SRB: Enjoy a Taste of Italy in Santa Rosa Beach
Local Expert's Rating:
4.5 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Pazzo Italiano SRB brings the best of Destin's beloved authentic Italian restaurant to Santa Rosa Beach. Enjoy sophisticated cuisine in a beautiful setting that is ideal for a romantic night out.

- The FloridaPanhandle.com Local Expert Team

Pazzo Italiano Ristorante & Bar is a fixture within the Destin culinary community, but the restaurant also boasts a location in Santa Rosa Beach. This additional establishment delivers the same romantic environment and elevated Italian meals that make Pazzo Italiano such a hit in Destin.

As the name suggests, this restaurant is all about Italian fine dining. It’s headed by award-winning chef Alfonso di Bonito, who began his culinary journey at the age of 14 by opening a bakery in Napoli. These days, he’s proud to bring the best of Italian cuisine to the Emerald Coast. He’s aided by entrepreneur Levente Tischler, who is clearly passionate about the restaurant business. Together, this pair delivers a sophisticated menu and environment that looks little like anything else you’ll encounter in Santa Rosa Beach.

A diverse array of seating options makes it easy to craft the exact culinary experience you desire. Depending on your mood, you can dine at the bar, get comfortable in a booth, or opt for a refined meal in the formal dining area. No matter where you sit, you’ll appreciate the friendly service and attention to detail.

The lunch and dinner menus at the Santa Rosa Beach location prominently feature authentic Italian dishes but occasionally incorporate local flair with Gulf ingredients. Several classic menu items are available, but many others bring a unique spin to traditional recipes. This gives the restaurant’s top dishes a simultaneous sense of adventure and comfort.

In addition to its diverse adult selection, Pazzo Italiano offers a ‘Bambini’ menu that appeals to young visitors. It includes several child-friendly options such as chicken tenders and fettuccini Alfredo. Adventurous kids may opt for the penne, which includes homemade pork and beet meat, served with a San Marzano tomato sauce so enticing, adults will also want a taste.

A few of our favorite menu items include the following:

Grilled Octopus Salad
If you’re feeling adventurous and in need of some fresh produce, look no further than this unique salad. It features mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, lemon, and, of course, a sizable portion of grilled octopus. 

Paccheri della Mamma
This filling dish features paccheri pasta and shrimp, as well as a creamy, yet flavorful zucchini tomato sauce with herbs. 

Osso Bucco
Served on the first Thursday of each month, this special is a hit. Arrive early, or you might not get the opportunity to sample it. Featuring pork shank and a ragu sauce, this hearty meal warrants a special trip to the restaurant.

Filet Mignon with Pappardelle Pasta
Treat yourself to an elevated dinner featuring a juicy slab of meat, wide pappardelle noodles, and a delicious sauce with cherry tomatoes. 

Parmesan-Encrusted Grouper
If you adore seafood and prefer to incorporate it in your top Emerald Coast dining experience, you’ll be pleased by the grouper served at Pazzo Italiano SRB. This uniquely Italian take on the seafood favorite includes Parmesan and a standout sauce featuring lemon butter and crab meat. It’s served over a sizable portion of asparagus risotto.

If you’re in the mood for fine dining in Santa Rosa Beach, plan your date night for the second location of Destin’s popular Pazzo Italiano. You’ll quickly fall in love with this elegant, yet comfortable destination and its delicious Italian entrees.

Insider Tips:
– Dim lighting and beautiful decor make indoor dining a delight, but there’s something to be said for the patio at the Santa Rosa Beach location. If the weather cooperates, request a spot outside.
– Pazzo Italiano regularly hosts special events such as fundraisers for local schools. Keep an eye on the Facebook page designated specifically for the Santa Rosa Beach restaurant, where you’ll find details regarding upcoming occasions at this location.
– In addition to events, the Facebook page for Pazzo Italiano is frequently updated with dinner specials. Often, these are among the restaurant’s most inventive items. While many specials are offered at both the SRB and Destin locations, some are exclusive to one or the other.