When people grow up cooking and eating their favorite cuisine, then open a restaurant based on that culture, you know you’re getting a piece of their family history and the history of their native country. In this case, it’s Sicily, Italy. But other cultural influences wove their way into Chef Gaetano Cannata’s menu, the result of living in a tight-knit neighborhood in New Jersey and watching his father create elaborate meals for friends and family. Their home was a gathering place of many friends and family who knew when they got to the Cannata’s house they were in for a feast of authentic Italian fare.. So it was only natural that Chef Gaetano (Chef Guy for short )would bring that richness and cultural flavor to his restaurant, Ortygia.
Their home was a gathering place of friends and relatives, and Guy strived to recreate that same sweet atmosphere at Ortygia Restaurant in Bradenton. Chef Guy decided to move to Florida and work in various restaurants to accumulate knowledge of other cuisines and fine tune his own culinary talents. Seeing the laid-back atmosphere of Bradenton’s Village of the Arts, he converted a cottage into a charming and atmospheric restaurant, his Ortygia. This is the sweet atmosphere and meeting place for eating and hanging out where he serves up “Monzu” cuisine, a mixture of Sicilian and French cooking that actually dates back to Napolean’s time.
When I briefly met him he said his cuisine had grown to include a style of culinary arts that incorporate elements of Arab, Greek, Spanish and North African cooking styles that use the very best ingredients purchased from local distributors. He proudly uses Mazzone Extra Virgin Olive Oil in all of his scrumptious preparations. I was impressed that he would search out the very best because nothing passes by him without being checked by his strict standards.
Did you know you can cater your party or business meeting through Ortygia? Indoor and outdoor space is available with the perfect ambiance. And there are some very special retail products available for your home use in a retail corner of the store. Be sure to ask the staff. You can bring your whole family to Ortygia because the atmosphere is a laid back combination of family and singles with an ambiance that is pleasing to all. Chef Guy’s patrons already know what they want when they arrive at the restaurant and some have very discerning tastes, so it’s a fun and educational in the cuisine and the magic that he weaves into each dish. Log onto the Ortygia’s website at www.ortygiarestaurant.com and feast your eyes on the menus and perfect indoor and outdoor settings for your next meal.
Call 941-741-8646 for reservations and remember, Ortygia is open from Tuesday through Sunday to serve you. Lunch is served between 11:30 am to 2:30 am. Dinner is from 5:00 pm to 9:30 pm. I cannot wait to go again because there’s something special and different from all the rest, and the staff and Chef Guy are laid back and welcoming.
Chef Gaetano hosts cooking tours of the Mediterranean that you will want to sign up for. Learn about the cuisine sand see the gorgeous countryside of different regions of the Mediterranean as you have hands-on cooking lessons and tours and meals in the better area bistros and cafes. Look for the tab on the website to sign up or simply read and learn about how exciting these tours are, with pictures and comments from patrons.
My friend Sande Caplin, who is always searching out restaurants and taking friends along to enjoy the ride, gave me an excellent recommendation for Ortygia. He was very impressed with the unique cuisine at Chef Guy’s wonderful restaurant. In fact, Sande said that Chef stopped at his table to ask how everything was and answered all the questions about the origin of some of the dishes and was generous of his time. All around it was a delicious experience for Sande and his friends. Make your next meal out an Ortygia experience!
1418 13th St W, Bradenton, FL 34205