Marco Sironi knows coffee. From his first coffee shop in Milan, Italy, to his newest, Capriccio Café in Destin, Sironi has always tried to offer both the best local and international brews he can find.
Sironi first visited the Gulf Coast in 1984. He decided then that he wanted to live here one day. That dream came true last year, when he moved to Fort Walton Beach from Philadelphia, Pa.
“I like Philadelphia, but I don’t like, too much, the people (and) their mentality there,” Sironi told The Log. “I always wanted to come to Florida.”
Soon after moving, Sironi noticed there weren’t many local coffee shops on Destin’s main thoroughfare. This was a welcomed surprise to Sironi, who still owns a coffee shop in Philadelphia.
“I’m surprised there aren’t more coffee shops, where people can grab a coffee and go; or grab a coffee, sit down a moment, use the Wi-Fi or their tablet and enjoy their coffee,” Sironi said.
Sironi serves an Italian brand of espresso called Segafredo Zanetti. For coffee, he gets his beans from Lucky Goat Coffee, which is headquartered in Tallahassee.
The quality brews at Capriccio Café, located just off East Highway 98 on Gulf Shore Drive in Destin, were even good enough to lure away Patrick Tatum, a long-time employee of a certain Seattle, Wash.-based coffeehouse chain.
Capriccio Café is more than just a coffee shop, though. It is also a unique eatery that offers a combination of local and Italian-influenced sandwiches and salads. The sandwich menu features local delights like grilled salmon or tuna, as well as meats imported from Italy, including mortadella of Bologna and prosciutto crudo, a dried, cured ham.
“I think we cover a spectrum with the sandwiches that gives people something different, most of all. You can have a chicken sandwich anywhere. You cannot have a salmon sandwich all over,” Sironi said.
The café also offers salads with toppings such scallops, shrimp, tuna and salmon. The Runner’s Salad features sliced bresaoloa, a cured Italian beef that is low in calories.
“There is no fat in it at all,” Sironi said. “We see all these runners going up and down (the street). That would be a perfect meal for them.”
For those who don’t eat meat, the café offers a caprese salad as well as a veggie sandwich, filled with grilled seasonal vegetables and provolone cheese on flat, oven-baked Italian bread called focaccia.
Desserts — tiramisu, cheesecake of the day, crepes and muffins — round out the menu.
Capriccio Café was ready for opening day in the spring, until Sironi received news that his mother was sick. Sironi put the café on the backburner and headed back to Italy to be with his mother, who passed away three weeks after his arrival.
“After she died, I did all the bureaucratic things, like taking care of the house. I had to do all that, because I am the only son,” Sironi said.
When he finished wrapping up his mother’s affairs, Sironi returned to Destin and opened The Capriccio Café on July 18. Business has been slow, so far, Sironi said, but he is optimistic that it will take off as the weather clears and he begins to advertise.
Capriccio Café, which has a Facebook page, is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Sundays. Tatum said customers shouldn’t worry about coming in just before 7 p.m. and staying around a while.
“If we have customers here, we’ll be happy to stay open past 7 p.m.,” Tatum said.
Call 850-460-7050 for more details.