HomeHotspotsL’Incontro Italian Restaurant, Lake Wales

L’Incontro Italian Restaurant, Lake Wales

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Louis Yamonico

L’incontro is an Italian word that means, “The Meeting Place.” It is a family owned place by its Chef Jose Uzcha and General Manager Alex Barrera. Chef Jose comes from a family of culinary talent. The youngest of 4 brothers, all Italian cuisine chefs, Jose began cooking at 17 years old. After gaining experience at a few places he went on to work at the famous Mandarin Oriental in NYC and personally cooked for high-profile people such as Oprah Winfrey, The President of France, and numerous other celebrities.

Our plan was to stop at another local seafood restaurant in the area that got high reviews. However upon entering the establishment we were greeted rudely and decided to look elsewhere. We were happy to find this place nearby and even more happy with our experience there. The staff was very friendly and accommodating and the atmosphere was very nice looking and reminded me of some places I enjoyed in Italy. We started off with an appetizer.

A classic Italian appetizer bruschetta can be prepared different ways. I have never had one anywhere with ricotta cheese on it so I was a little concerned about what to expect here. The bruschetta was very good. Much different then any I have tasted in the past. The ricotta was a little overpowering though and took away from the taste of the fresh tomatoes and olive oil you expect when eating a bruschetta. The Tuscan fresh baked bread was absolutely delicious as well as the goat cheese added to it. We also received a complimentary basket of mixed bread which was very good. On to dinner.

Once again we had our friend Jason with us so got to experience 3 dishes instead of two. Maybe it is the Italian in me but when I eat Italian I usually want to taste a places “gravy” as my grandmother used to call it or sauce for if you didn’t grow up with an Italian grandmother. So I ordered the L’Incontro Pasta which is homemade fettuccine with sausage, roasted garlic, whole peeled tomatoes, basil and a dash of cream and I also ordered a side of meatballs to try them as well. Although I am not a big fan of cream in tomato sauce this was done sparingly and just right. The gravy was delicious and the sausage a nice touch. I can see why this dish bears the name of the restaurant on it. The meatballs were also outstanding.

Jason ordered the Spaghetti Con Polpette which is the Italian classic of spaghetti with homemade meatballs. He said he loved the way the sauce stuck to the pasta in a way he never experienced before. He also found the meatballs and sauce amongst the best he has had and would purchase that sauce if the ever bottled it.

Quennie tried one of my all time favorite Italian dishes the Shrimp Fra Diavolo Shrimp sautèed in a garlic and white wine sauce with a touch of spicy pepper in a marinara sauce served over linguini. This was also delicious although it could have been a bit hotter but that is my personal preference and how I would have ordered it. Quennie thoroughly enjoyed it and it was her first time trying that kind of dish.

Unfortunately we arrived late to the restaurant and it was full so we could not get any good shots of the décor. We did get some good shots of the meals however and this is a place we would diffidently return to. A real Florida Hotspot!

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