Chef Mimmo La Innusa is proudly serving an authentic taste of Italy in the heart of Destin, after opening Mimmo's Ristorante Italiano earlier this month.

"I was both excited and nervous to open," Mimmo said. "I didn't know what to expect, but so far everybody loves it."

Walking into the restaurant, guests are immediately transported from Destin's sugar white beaches to Mimmo's family kitchen. With a menu inspired by Italian family cookbooks and carefully crafted recipes, Mimmo's tantalizes taste buds with a variety of made-from-scratch brick oven pizzas, calzones, pastas and salads.

Whether you like the traditional Margherita pizza, with fresh basil, oregano, mozzarella and tomato sauce, or something a little bit more adventurous, such as the Quattro Stagioni, which blends ham, mushrooms, artichokes, black olives, mozzarella and tomato sauce, there is no shortage of pizza options on the menu.

Check out the full menu, click here.

If pasta is more your guilty pleasure, Mimmo suggests his personal favorite, the traditional Pasta Carbonara, which marries pancetta and onions before it's finished with and egg yolk and cream sauce. For Mimmo's wife, local Realtor Meghan Hall, it's hard to pass up the Linguine Corleone that melds together sautéed sausage, onions, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes, and is topped with a wine cream sauce.

"You can see the passion that he has in this business," Hall said. "This is something he's wanted for so long. There is an attention to detail because he wants everything to be perfect."

With almost a month of business under his belt, Mimmo, who is also a partner in the award-winning Fat Clemenza's, told The Log that there are already some clear favorites on the menu, such as Costolette D'Agnello (rack of lamb) and the Linguine Frutti Di Mare (seafood linguine).

In addition to the regular menu, there are also "Blackboard Specials," which rotate on a daily basis. Mimmo said this allows his chefs, who are all classically trained, to use their creativity.

Mimmo's is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Friday and from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. With an array of lunch options under $10 on the menu, Mimmo says his namesake restaurant is the perfect place to sit down and relax during your lunch break.

"You can come and take your time and enjoy your lunch," he said. "There is no need to hurry."

Mimmo's Ristorante Italiano is located at 979 Hwy. 98 E, Suite 5. To learn more about the restaurant visit, email, find them on Facebook or call 850-460-7353.

With the restaurant's opening a success, the team at Mimmo's is now looking to offer a "Happy Hour" menu, as well as other specials to complement their full bar.

As they sit back and look at their new business, Mimmo and Hall are excited about the opportunity to share what they love with the community.

"This is exactly what we had pictured," Mimmo said. "It's good food, a good atmosphere and a good time."