Di Napoli Italian Restaurant serves good food at good prices

Rocco Di Martino and his mother, Maria, find joy in owning and managing Di Napoli Italian Restaurant.

By Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld….

Rocco Di Martino and his mother, Maria, find joy in owning and managing Di Napoli Italian Restaurant.

It’s Saturday night and you’re in the mood for Italian food. Where to go? In the Pinecrest area, if you’re looking for good food and a good price, Di Napoli Italian Restaurant should fit the bill.

Di Napoli has the real traditional dinners like eggplant parmagian, lasagna and chicken cacciatore. The restaurant originally opened in Suniland but moved to its current location at 11755 S. Dixie Hwy. in 1993. Over the years, they have installed the wood-fired ovens and added pizzas to the menu.

“I always wanted to make it bigger and we always wanted to add pizza,” says owner Rocco Di Martino. “We were able to stay in the area.”

The restaurant does a good business, even in this time economic slowdown.

“Di Napoli is doing well; summer is usually slower, but this year we were busier,” he says. “On weekends we get packed.” The secret to their success?

“We are very consistent; the sauce is always the same,” Di Martino says.

The portions are also generous, ensuring leftovers to take home and enjoy another day.

Di Martino’s family is from Italy, although he was born in Germany and lived there for many years. “We came to this country from Germany when I was 13,” he says.

When the Di Martino family arrived in 1973, they purchased La Pampa, a restaurant on 27th Avenue in Miami. “It was Argentinean when we bought it, then we added Italian food,” he says.

They ran that restaurant for many years, but closed it when the neighborhood and clientele changed.

“I saw the area declining; I started looking in the Pinecrest area. I found the place where the first Di Napoli was. It was closed down,” he says.

That location was in Suniland in the space where Sir Pizza is now located.

“We opened the Di Napoli in ‘87. We were there until ‘93 and then we opened the Di Napoli where we are now. Then we added the pizza.”

Nancy Hartner dines regularly at Di Napoli because she loves the food, especially the wood fired pizza.

“Di Napoli is a family type restaurant,” she says. “I like it because its family style. I go there with a group of 4-6 people and it’s one of those places where you can sit and chat and laugh. The atmosphere is easy and you’re going to see a lot of people you know dining there.”

Hartner not only loves the food and the atmosphere, but the desserts, too.

“My mother made a mission in her life of trying chocolate cake. In every restaurant she’s in, she orders chocolate cake,” Hartner says. “She announced in Di Napoli ‘this is the best chocolate cake I’ve ever had!’”

Hartner’s mother lived into her 70s, so she had the opportunity to try many different chocolate cakes! Hartner also loves Di Napoli’s prices.

“I can get in and out of Di Napoli within $15,” she says. “Di Napoli is easy on the pocket.”

That’s probably why Di Napoli does a thriving delivery business. Deliveries start at 5 p.m. Reservations are not needed, but they do like prior notice for parties of six or more.

For more information, call 305-255-0331.

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