There’s an Italian in the Kitchen
Villa Palma Ristorante Serves Fresh and Authentic Italian Cuisine

Like the saying goes, don’t judge a book by its cover, such is the case for Villa Palma Ristorante. Located in a nondescript strip mall in Indialantic, the restaurant is a “hidden gem” for authentic Italian food lovers.

Owner, chef and manager Pepe Mazzella came to Brevard from Naples, Italy for a vacation and loved the area so much, he decided to stay and open a restaurant. Since 1987 the dishes are made fresh and dependable. Meals begin with fresh bread that is made daily and a delicious mix of herbs, oil and cheese. The satisfying combination threatens to fill you up before the real meal arrives.

Appetizer choices include mussels, fried calamari and escargot provinciale. The mussels are served in shells with a tasty sauce. The escargot is served in a butter and garlic sauce.

For entrees, pasta dishes are plentiful, as you would expect. Popular menu items include gnocchi with tomato or meat sauce, eggplant rolatini– stuffed with seasoned ricotta cheese, topped with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. Pasta dishes are served with a fresh salad and house balsamic dressing.

Other dinner specialties include veal and chicken parmigiana. The veal is tender and is served with a large portion of perfectly cooked pasta. For seafood lovers, the shrimp and sun dried tomatoes sautéed in garlic oil and spiced with a touch of cream with angel hair, is a popular choice.  The sauces in all the dishes are authentic and flavorful.

Desserts include Italian favorites like tiramisu, chocolate mousse and cannoli – all homemade.

The décor is simple and cozy. White table cloths add a touch of class, making it fitting for a date night that is unique to the normally casual beachside dining scene. The portions are generous for the prices, averaging around $12 or $13 for most entrees. The service is attentive as most of the staff has been with the restaurant for many years. Pepe has been offering the same menu, using the same traditional recipes since the restaurant’s opening. He’s now passing on those recipes to his son who works with him.

“It is like ‘Cheers’” Pepe said. “Everybody knows each other.”

Villa Palma Ristorante

874 N. Miramar Ave., Indialantic

Phone: (321) 951-0051

Hours: Open at 5 p.m. Seven days a week. Closing times vary.