#40 of 182 Destin Restaurants

Pazzo Italiano

See all photos (63 Photos)
Pazzo Italiano: The Taste of Italian Passion
Local Expert's Rating:
4.5 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Pazzo Italiano brings authentic Italian eats to Destin while also providing a decidedly local spin on several classic dishes. Stop by for an elegant, yet relaxed dining experience complete with your favorite pasta dishes.

- The FloridaPanhandle.com Local Expert Team

If you’re on the hunt for authentic Italian cuisine in the heart of Destin, look no further than Pazzo Italiano. The restaurant has earned multiple awards and distinctions, including the Best In Destin Reader Choice Award for 2018. One bite of Pazzo Italiano’s addicting pasta dishes, and it’s easy to see why loyal fans return again and again.

A variety of traditional dishes are offered, including imported pasta and wood-fired pizza. While many of the establishment’s ingredients come straight from Italy, local ingredients are also regularly thrown into the mix. If you’re feeling adventurous, don’t hesitate to order a pasta dish featuring seafood from the Gulf — you won’t be disappointed.

Everything on the Pazzo Italiano menu is freshly prepared. The upside, of course, is that every dish tastes amazing — but some of the calzones and other meals may require a considerable wait. That’s not necessarily a problem, however, as you’ll enjoy relaxing and taking in the pleasant environment.

Those with food restrictions sometimes struggle to find a decent dinner in Destin. This problem should be put to rest upon discovering Pazzo Italiano, which offers multiple options for vegetarian and gluten-free visitors.

Several meatless pasta dishes are available, and we’re not just talking the Fettuccine Alfredo that occupies the entire vegetarian selection at some restaurants. Pazzo Italiano’s vegetarian dishes are so satisfying, they’re often ordered by admitted carnivores. Those limiting their gluten intake will be pleased to find an option for gluten-free noodles, which comes with a small extra charge. 

A full bar, an extensive (yet affordable) wine list, and an elegant ambiance make Pazzo Italiano your ideal destination for date night. The restaurant also appeals to families, as it has a kid’s menu complete with such favorites as chicken tenders and spaghetti with meatballs. The atmosphere is just sophisticated enough to warrant dressing up for date night, but not so much that you’ll feel out of place in your usual pair of jeans. 

A few of our favorite menu items include the following:

Pappardelle dello Chef
This mouthwatering pasta dish features egg noodles with a creamy smoked Gouda sauce and a drizzle of truffle oil. Flavorful Italian sausage and porcini mushrooms add the perfect touch. 

Penne Vegetariane
There’s no need for vegetarians to compromise; this penne is as satisfying as any meat-based meal. It includes traditional marina sauce, plus garlic and marinated vegetables. 

Napoletano Calzone
There is more to Pazzo Italiano than the expected pasta. The restaurant also serves three excellent dinner calzones, all of which are worth trying. The Napoletano, however, is the most likely to appeal to the vast majority of visitors. It includes mozzarella and ricotta cheese, plus salami, basil, and a delectable tomato sauce. 

Nutella Calzone
If the calzone described above isn’t quite up your alley, you’re always welcome to try this mouthwatering dessert. It might not be your typical calzone, but it sure is delicious. Designed to serve two, this unique dessert features melted chocolate and hazelnut within a warm calzone drizzled with chocolate syrup and sprinkled with powdered sugar and pistachios. 

Whether you desire traditional Italian fare or something a bit more unusual, you’re bound to find it at Pazzo Italiano. Arrive with a strong appetite — it’s impossible to leave this restaurant without a full stomach. 

Insider Tips:
-Reservations aren’t strictly necessary, but may be helpful if you desire to visit Pazzo Italiano during the busy evening hours. You can reserve your table over the phone or online via OpenTable. Simply select your preferred date and time on the restaurant’s website, along with the number of people you expect in your party.
-The restaurant occasionally hosts special events such as ladies night and gala dinners. Keep an eye on the official Facebook page for updates.