Labor of Love brings a
Little of Italy to Marion County
Every morning, post their espresso gulps, Luigi Barile sets up the cooking line at Chefs of Napoli restaurant. Chunky tomato sauce heats on the gas stove, stock for the sauté dishes warms, fresh Italian flat-leafy parsley is chopped, parmesan is grated, and minced garlic is soaked in a pool of olive oil, salt and pepper. Antonio Cacace busies himself making the day’s bread. One by one cutting off squares of dough and shaping them into loaves, dusting them with flour and sliding them into the oven with a wooden paddle. The morning ritual also includes grinding of day old bread for crumb use in other recipes like their freshly made meatballs.
“You see, everything here is made from scratch,” Barile says as he and Carace smile. They are proud of their food and living their dream.
Antonio Cacace and Luigi Barile moved from Naples, Italy. “I grew up in a restaurant,” said Cacace. Their hometown is the port town of Pozzuli. Both of their fathers were fisherman and Cacace’s relatives owned a restaurant. Their families lived next door to each other – so close that the windows and doors were left open so that they could converse from house-to-house. “Everyone was always in the kitchen,” says Barile “these recipes are the same ones we learned to make as young cooks,” he continues.
Some years ago, the pair got word from friend in their hometown that a restaurant in Palm Harbor, Florida needed help. The lure of travel and life in a new country was too good to pass up. Things did not go exactly as planned and the pair ended up on opposite coasts of the state for work, but they kept in touch daily. They did not do much beyond work and saved their money. Learning a new language proved to be more daunting than either thought and they almost gave up and moved home. They eventually met people, their English got better, and they both ended up in Spring Hill where they started up the first restaurant together.
The success of that restaurant inspired the opening of other restaurants and luckily, 0ne of those is in Ocala and another is in Wildwood. Chefs of Napoli IV is located in the Heath brook Commons Publix Shopping Plaza, 5400 SW College Rd in Ocala. When you walk into the restaurant, it is like stepping into Italy. The décor, aromas and atmosphere, in general, takes you away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and places you in a far away place. The food furthers the fantasy as your taste buds experience authentic Italian dishes and drinks.
Offering Zuppa (soup), Insalatas (salads), Antipasto, Casseroles, Pastas, Chicken, Veal & Seafood Specialty Dishes, Pizza, Heros, Focaccia, Italian Deserts and so much more, Chefs of Napoli is quickly becoming a first choice in fine dining for the Marion County area. The restaurant is open 7 days a week, Mon-Thur, 11am-9pm, Fri 11am-10pm, Sat Noon-10pm and Sun Noon – 9pm. Reservations are available but, not required and Happy Hour is from 3pm-5pm daily with 2-for-1 house wines and draft beer but, they serve $5 House Martinis (run or Vodka) and Sangrias all day, every day.
Chefs Barile and Cacace invite you to experience their “labor of love,” by stopping in for a meal at the Chefs of Napoli or order to-go with easy pick up. For more information, contact Chefs of Napoli at (352) 857-8111, visit their web site at www.thechefsofnapoli.com or check out the latest edition of the Ocala Paper Net where you will also find discounted offerings.