Cesare at the Beach
Now That's Italian!
Photo/Text by Donna Malloy
Owner Cesare Tini, of Cesare’s at the beach, enjoys socializing with his customers as much as he does cooking for them too!
If you're looking for "Italian lite," Cesare's at the south end of Clearwater Beach should be your destination. Cesare Tini, wife Sandra, and partner, Carlo Venditto, opened their Italian restaurant three years ago after Cesare came out of retirement. But Cesare is no stranger to the industry. The Tini's are third generation restaurateurs and Cesare cooks "some of my mother's regional recipes from Rimini, Italy, but "with an international flair."
The pasta is divine. Made from the basic ingredients of flour, eggs and water; the old fashioned way. And when you make your own pasta, you can mold it into any shape you want! The sacchettini, or "sack" of pasta is a Cesare creation that is filled with six cheeses, cinched at the neck and served in a smooth vodka sauce.
Cesare's manicotti entrée is a blend of ricotta, mascarpone and parmesan cheeses wrapped in a lite pasta shell and floats in tomato sauce seasoned with fresh basil.
The "Pollo Cesare Augusto" does not disappoint. The chicken is tender and moist and is topped with eggplant, mozzarella cheese and their famous pink sauce; perfection. Veal entrees also include Veal Piccata for those looking for their traditional favorites.
The Grouper Francese was a delight; cooked in white wine, lemon, cream and butter, served with asparagus and capers. Other pesce entrees from the sea include Salmone Norvegese, Cernia Al Forno (fresh grouper), Branzino Primadonna (fresh sea bass), Dentice Alla Livornee (red snapper) and Pesce Spada Pantelleria (sword fish).
No stranger to their clientele, Cesare and Sandra know most of their customers on a first name basis. Some of their loyal customers have followed them from their previous restaurant in Tampa; Donatello's. Cesare relishes in making recommendations to his customers and personally places their order in Italian to the kitchen. "Si, si, si" the cooks respond. On busy nights, it is not unusual to see Cesare assisting in the kitchen and when the entrée is "up," he will personally serve his patrons to insure that the pasta is aldente and the food is hot.
Cesare's extensive wine selection includes an Italian sparkling Zonin, a Ca'Bolani pinot grigio as well as a Silver Palm cabernet sauvignon. The house wine by the glass starts at $6.50 and imported and domestic beers from $4.00. But if you ask Cesare what his recommendation would be, he'll tell you that "Chianti goes with anything." Same for the Eggplant Rollatini or Tonno Alle Erbe
(premium tuna loin served with tomato aioli) appetizers.
It's Friday night. The tinkling of glasses, aroma of garlic and the laughter of good company fill the air. Surrounded by vista views of Clearwater Harbor and the twinkling lights of the Sand Key Bridge,
Cesare's at the beach is both comfortable and romantic. Even a fresh
red rose is available tableside at your request.
It is your birthday? Cesare is famous for his Italian rendition of happy birthday. And what would a celebration be without dessert? Homemade selections include Crème Brulee, Mousse al Cioccolato and traditional or chocolate covered Cannoli Siciliani, as well as Tiramisu. The Tiramisu is not to be missed; a creamy and distinct blend of flavors that will not disappoint.
Cesare's on the beach is open everyday except Monday and serves from 5:30 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. Most entrees range from $14 to $18. Dress can be "shorts to jackets," according to Cesare. Reservations are not necessary, but if you call, they will be confirmed unless you hear back from them..
Cesare's at the beach. 794 Gulfview Blvd. S, Clearwater Beach, FL. 33767
Phone: 727.449.8797 cesareatthebeach.com