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Di Napoli Italian Restaurant: Good food at good prices

Di Napoli Italian Restaurant: Good food at good prices

By Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld….

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

It’s Saturday night and you are in the mood for Italian food. If you are 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 parmesan, lasagna and chicken cacciatore. The restaurant originally opened in Suniland but moved to its current location 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,” said owner Rocco Di Martino. “We were able to stay in the area.”

The restaurant does good business, even in an economic slowdown.

“Di Napoli is doing well. Summer usually is slower but this summer we were busier,” he said. “Weekends we get packed.”

The secret to their success?

“We are very consistent. The sauce is always the same,” Di Martino said.

The portions also are 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 said.

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 said.

They ran that restaurant for many years, but closed it due to a changing neighborhood.

“I saw the area declining, I started looking in this [Pinecrest] area. I found the place where the first Di Napoli was. They had closed down,” he said.

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

“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.”

Customer 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 said. “I like it because its family style. I go there with a group of four to six 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 there.”

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

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

Hartner’s mother lived until her 70s so she had the opportunity to try many, many chocolate cakes.

Hartner also loves Di Napoli’s prices.

“I can get in and out of Di Napoli within $15,” she said. “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 of parties of six or more. For more information, call 305-255-0331.