By Don Pickard, Pickard & Pickard REALTORS
Pastabilities from the oven, Il Forno Restaurant and Pizzeria has been serving quality Italian cuisine since 2004. The restaurant is located in Merchant’s Walk at 3615 South Florida Avenue.
The family restaurant is the creation of Michele “Mick” Pugliese. His background consists of culinary training and years of experience in Italy, Switzerland, England and the U.S. Mick crafted a menu that highlights family recipes, fresh ingredients and an old fashioned approach to cooking that features natural flavors that are not masked by extra spices.
On what was supposed to be a four-month sabbatical to Italy, Mick discovered through his employees that customers were missing his presence in the restaurant. They seemed to ‘expect’ to see him at the restaurant so he cut his trip short to get back to Lakeland.
Il Forno offers lunch and dinner menu selections. Additionally, Mick features special entrees for a greater variety of dining experiences. Many of the pastas are homemade and the pizza crusts are hand tossed.
The entire crew at Il Forno is dedicated to the customers dining experience and great service. They are thankful for their loyal customers and invite new diners to try their quality food and hospitality.
The staff is also dedicated to the restaurant’s success and the owner. They demonstrated their loyalty by redecorating the interior of the restaurant as a surprise for Mick’s return.
Michele is actively involved in a variety of civic causes and activities. Exploration V’s -Night at the Museum, March of Dimes, and also participates in events that support our law enforcement community.
The Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce would like to congratulate Il Forno Restaurant and Pizzeria as Small Business of the Month for June.