Speaking as a 2nd generation full blooded Italian American. I have trouble eating at Italian restaurants, because it does not ever match up to the cooking of my Grandmothers, Aunts or my Mom.
Especially when it comes to their "Red Sauce" Which is how I judge all Italian restaurants
But let me tell you about
Fusillys Italian Kitchen.
Located at 606 Manatee Ave W, Bradenton, FL 34205
There is plenty of parking in the back, and an entrance into the restaurant, so that you do not have to enter in from the very busy Manatee Ave.
We were cheerfully greeted by some of the servers and by Rocco as if were coming into the home of a relative! Rocco paid special attention to my 83 yo Italian Mom, and her friend whose birthday we were celebrating.
We were guided into a room where the rest of our family and friends were, and from the moment we sat down our servers took very good care of us.
We all ordered our food, and then we were brought a couple of bowls of salad, and served family style. The salad had a wonderful sweet/vinegary Italian dressing, and it was what we call a "Wet Salad" where every bit of the salad was generously covered.
Our main dishes came out, and when I say the portions are big; it is a understatement! I had one of the nights specials, which was baked rigatoni, meatballs with ricotta cheese baked in a skillet with a thin pizza dough cover. They called it a pot pie, and was hugh! Some at our table had been there before and knew enough to split dishes.
Let's just say that between my wife , my mom and I, we have enough to eat on for the next few days!
My wife had the Seafood Alfredo with gluten free spaghetti, and there were plenty of scallops and shrimps and clams.
My mom had the Chicken Franchise and that came with a hugh bowl of spaghetti and their awesome red sauce.
Rocco came over and check on us a couple of times like he was our uncle and made sure my mom and the birthday girl were comfortable and well taken care of.
our server ( I wish I could remember her name) came by and pack all our left overs for us, then we were surprised with a tray of Cannoli's on the house. They Cannoli's were crunchy and creamy, and with the ricotta cheese filling was sweet with just a hint of cinnamon. The server came over and sang Happy Birthday! Usually it can be cringey in some restaurants but these ladies made it fun.
I work as a barber so I get plenty of customers who are down here on vacation, as well as residents. Alot of time we all commiserate that there is no good Italian restaurants like back home, up in CT, or NYC. That has changed! I will be telling all my clients who are looking for a great meal, and a great atmosphere, all about Fusillys Italian Kitchen!