Michelin-Starred Chef Takes Center Stage
Teatro, 11515 Bonita Beach Road S.E., Bonita Springs, (239) 389-6901, teatrofl.com
Award-winning chef Michael Psilakis is at the helm at Teatro.
Courtesy of Teatro
WHY WE LOVE IT: Local clubowner Brien Spina, of ROW and Off the Hook Comedy Club, thought to bring in serious star power for the new restaurant he was building to anchor his latest project, the Southwest Florida Performing Arts Center. Cue Michael Psilakis, a Michelin-starred New York chef who rose to fame in that city for crowd-pleasing casual joints like the Greek taverna Kefi in addition to fine-dining establishments. In Bonita Springs, he’s taking the middle ground with an ode to haute Italian comfort food.
IDEAL MEAL: The nightly culinary feats dazzle from Psilakis’s team, despite what may or may not be happening on the other side of the wall—Teatro shares the same roof as a theater, but many locals don’t realize it stands alone. Book a table to try Psilakis’s signature gnudi, the fluffiest ricotta-based gnocchi enveloped in a rich fonduta. Or, even though the menu veers more toward the Italian side of Psilakis’s expertise, his Greek heritage shines in all the right ways in dishes like a lemony Mediterranean branzino with an heirloom tomato and olive salad. What’s better is that not much tops $30, something you wouldn’t expect from a restaurateur of his stature.
VIBE: Dramatic. Cathedral ceilings hover over a sea of white quartz tabletops solely adorned with napkins and flatware. Gigantic spherical balloons and two compact bars with mosaic tiling augment the look. The acoustics can get a bit out of control; there’s a near-constant din from sounds ricocheting off the hardwood floor and exposed ductwork 30 feet above, but even if you prefer to dine in quiet, don’t let that deter you. The restaurant is open daily for dinner and anticipating adding lunch soon. Choose a less crowded time because the food deserves a round of applause.