At Chianti’s Ristorante Italiano we believe in creating an atmosphere where great food, delicious wine and excellent entertainment come together to become the supreme dining experience in Sarasota. Our Italian Chefs are the real deal. They make all of our pastas in-house from scratch and use the best imported ingredients in our house recipes. We serve the best Tuscan style Italian food in Sarasota and beyond.
Chianti was founded by Eduardo Pizzuti. Eduardo emigrated to Buffalo, NY from Italy with his family as a young boy. Being from an Italian family, he grew up watching his mother make homemade pastas, delicious sauces and delectable meats. You could say his first love was Italian food.
In 1967 he married his second love, Josie and soon after started a family. Eduardo earned a business degree from Briant and Stratton school of business and served his new country, in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam war. After the war, he moved his family to San Francisco where he opened Vikings Giant Submarine, one of the first sub shops in northern California. The sub shop was a hit and he soon opened 8 more stores throughout California. In 1979 the desire to open an Authentic Italian restaurant led to the sale of the sub shops and the opening of “La Trattoria Pasta House” one of the first true pasta restaurants in California, making homemade pasta with the help of mamma Annita Pizzuti in the exhibition pasta room near the restaurant's front window.
Fast forward to 2012, Ed & Josie decided to retire and move to Sarasota but soon discovered that retirement was not for them. After spending the summer of 2012 in their new home and visiting local restaurants, they saw a demand for their type of Italian cuisine and felt an obligation to provide it. They found the perfect location at 3900 Clark Road and got to work on renovating the facility and hiring local executive chef Al Massa who previously worked as executive chef of Michael’s on East and spent 10 years with Emeril Lagasse in New Orleans. Eduardo, Josie and Al combined their expertise and created a menu of delicious authentic Italian cuisine that has been the talk of the town ever since.
In 2018, Olga Larina came into Chianti for dinner and was smitten with the charming ambiance, loved the food and saw the potential of Eduardo's framework. Olga owned and managed a large catering business for over 20 years and had recently moved to Sarasota looking for a new business venture. When she learned that Eduardo wanted to move back to California, she saw this as the perfect opportunity to use her catering experience and management skills to evolve into a restaurant owner.
During the many years that Eduardo owned Chianti, Antonio Becherelli was right beside him. Antonio is originally from Tuscany and is well versed in wines from all over the world, especially Italian viticulture. Prior to working at Chianti he managed several restaurants including Ceviche, Casa Antica and Gabiannos.
Since Olga took over Chianti, she has put a bigger emphasize on sourcing quality ingredients and creating more handmade products in house. As a result, all pastas are now made fresh and sauces and signature dishes are more flavorful and memorable. In addition to bettering the menu, Olga also expanded the entertainment hiring a different musician to perform seven days a week. Antonio's experience and knowledge of Italian cuisine, hospitality and wines coupled with Olga's business mind and managerial skills have transformed Chianti from a pretty good Italian restaurant into a delightful dining experience.