When it comes to sampling Italian cuisine, it doesn’t get much better than a visit to Caffe Positano in Apopka; the self-confessed watchwords of this establishment are Passion and Perfection - which pretty much sums up a meal here.
We take a look inside this wildly popular eatery to discover just what it is they’re getting so right and what you can expect from a trip to this very special venue.
Caffe Positano is owned by four family members: two brothers and two cousins, who remain committed to offering their guests the freshest ingredients and flavors to be found on the Amalfi Coast.
Head Chef Pasquale Barbra was born and raised in Positano and spent years developing and fine-tuning his culinary skills across various regions of Europe. Along with his brother and cousins, Pasquale has been serving up fine Italian dining at the Caffe since 1997.
Before diners have ordered a single dish, they’ll already be enjoying the gentle, intimate, and cozy atmosphere of the restaurant; the owners are keen for every guest to have a relaxed experience and enjoy their food in comfortable, welcoming surroundings.
The tiled floor and simple wooden restaurant chairs and tables promote a vintage, rustic vibe, which is perfectly in harmony with the authentic Italian dishes that the chefs create for their diners.
Of course, the star of the show is the food itself. Appetizers include Prosciutto with Homemade Mozzarella, Fresh Black Mussels in Garlic, and Portobello Battara. ‘Light Plates’ of Market Grilled Fish, Ahi Tuna with Arugula Salad, or Chicken Primavera make for delicious smaller-sized meals.
For mains, there’s a tempting selection of specialty pasta, such as Penne alla Vodka, Baked Eggplant Rollatini, and Penne Aum Aum. Diners can also opt for one of the chickens, veal, or seafood dishes or the generously topped pizzas that the restaurant is known for. Gluten-free options are on hand, too.
The desserts are just as exquisite as the other dishes: Jack Daniels Cake, Tiramisu, and New York Cheesecake all feature on the menu along with a selection of other sweet delights.
The chefs here are proud of the fact that it’s only freshly cooked meals that come out of the Caffe Positano kitchen: nothing prepackaged or pre-cooked is used in the dishes that are prepared on the premises every day.
Monthly Specials are also offered, and another reason - as if you needed one - to pop in for a visit regularly; keep up with these changing dishes via the restaurant’s social media accounts, where you can also view some of the mouthwatering meals that the chef has been whipping up, including some made as per a customer’s specific request.
Caffe Positano boasts an impressive cellar, too, and staff will be happy to provide advice on wine pairings. Come in for the daily happy hour between 4 - 7 pm to sample a glass of something special before dinner.
Many of the meals featured on the restaurant’s menu can be ordered for take-out, meaning that diners can experience authentic Italian cuisine - including a range of sides and appetizers - in the comfort of their own home.
Gift cards are also available so that you can give someone special the gift of a fabulous date night or a leisurely meal with friends. The restaurant also offers a catering service and is happy to provide delicious fare at events such as weddings, parties, functions, corporate events, and more. Menus can be fully customized to suit preferences and dietary requirements, and staff will assist in planning a feast to fit any budget.
Tripadvisor currently ranks Caffe Positano as the number one restaurant in Apopka, according to ratings given by diners. The food, service, atmosphere, and value for money are all cited as being excellent, with the waiting staff being frequently commended for their welcoming, professional and friendly manner.
Generous portion sizes are also universally admired, as is the restaurant’s ability to cope with large parties: slick, nothing-too-much-trouble service is maintained. The authenticity of the dishes is also regularly remarked upon, with many diners stating that Caffe Positano is their go-to Italian restaurant and an establishment where they know they’ll enjoy a sublime meal.
It’s the true passion that Chef Pasquale and his family bring to the food prepared and served at Caffe Positano that has kept this restaurant at the pinnacle of Apopka’s many eateries. For the four owners of the restaurant, creating authentic Italian dishes isn’t just about business; it’s a way of life.
This ethos is evident in The Pasquale Project, whereby the chef, via a series of DVDs, recipe books, and monthly workshops, aims to teach those signing up to the program how to cook exquisite Italian food to impress at dinner parties or an intimate meal for two. As well as his recipes, the project also gives Pasquale a chance to share his culinary history and heritage, both of which are fundamental to his cooking.