Chef and restaurateur Mimmo La Innusa is no stranger when it comes to an Italian kitchen, and he plans to share his love of food as he opens Mimmo's Restaurante Italiano in Destin.
"We’re serving the freshest food, prepared by true Italian chefs," Mimmo said.
The Palermo, Sicily-born Mimmo, who is a partner in the award-winning Fat Clemenza's, started construction on his new restaurant back in February and is planning for a May opening.
Mimmo's will feature Mediterranean-inspired and thoughtfully crafted brick oven pizzas, made-from-scratch pastas, prime meats, local seafood, and a full bar. With everything from the traditional margherita pizza to pies topped with fresh prosciutto and blue cheese, the food will be nothing less than extraordinary.
Drawing on his influences from his travels and the various regions of Italy, Mimmo says his menu will have a "little bit of everything" — and all of his recipes are from Italian family cookbooks.
"Everything started with my family," Mimmo said. "Cooking is my life’s passion."
In addition to the standard menu at Mimmo's, the restaurant will also feature "Blackboard" specials, which will rotate regularly. This allows the chefs at Mimmo's to flex their culinary muscles and create unique dishes that are sure to please.
"Our chefs are artists in the kitchen," he said. "This will allow us to be creative." Guests can experience the art of authentic Italian dining.
Mimmo's will seat more than 150 hungry patrons, which makes it an ideal meeting place for large gatherings, holiday parties, or corporate lunches.
While the restaurant is still under construction, Mimmo and his wife, local Realtor Meghan Hall, told The Log they can visualize a restaurant full of people laughing, sharing drinks, telling stories and having an amazing meal.
They described the restaurant's future interior, which was designed by Christopher Quinn and Merritt Peterman of PQ Design, as "coastal Italian," with a rustic, but modern look.
"It's going to be an atmosphere that is warm and inviting," Hall said.
Mimmo's Italian Restaurant will be located in the heart of Destin at the 98 Palms Plaza, near Walgreen's, at 979 U.S. Hwy. 98 E. The restaurant will be open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
With the expected opening just weeks away, Mimmo said he is nervous, but also very excited to open his doors to the public.
"When you invest in something like this you are nervous, of course," he said. "But I've been doing this a long time and I have people in my kitchen who are really good, so we are going to have fun."