In the interest of fairness, and nostalgia for the past of this Punta Gorda landmark, our original review is below, unedited:
A classic Italian restaurant, it reminds me of many I've enjoyed back in Dallas. Casual decor, friendly staff and outstanding fresh food.
We tried the Clams Casino. Very tasty. Fresh clams served with a topping of garlic, butter, prosciutto, bacon and pimento. The clams were meaty and fresh - but no surprise, this is Punta Gorda after all.
The restaurant is currently located in a lease space near Publix in Punta Gorda. They moved to the lease space after Charlie destroyed the original restaurant. According to the waitress, they are about to break ground and rebuild the restaurant on the original location where they started 30 years ago.
I ordered the stromboli and Gayle had the manicotti. The manicotti was really tasty, plenty of cheese and not swimming in excess sauce like many places do. Nice balance.
The stromboli was a real treat. Most places have too much dough and a watery filling, with an interior mostly made of air. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was totally stuffed with cheese, peppers, onions, sausage and pepperoni. I'm a big guy and I couldn't finish it. It's easily a meal for two.
We look forward to coming back for the pizza. This place is highly recommended.