Forget El Niño, Chef Vincenzo Betulia is the Real Reason Florida's Restaurant Scene is Heating Up

This was a very good year for Chef Vincenzo Betulia, who scored a double whammy when he was honored with two 2015 Naples Illustrated Dining Awards: one for Best Restaurant and the other for Best New Chef. Born in Sicily, Betulia grew up in Wisconsin (which might account for his stellar house-made sausages) before settling in Naples, Florida where he opened Osteria Tulia in January 2013. He quickly followed the eatery up the next year by opening Bar Tulia right next door.

During a recent visit, we sipped the Silent Assassin craft cocktail while taking in the chic, old-world farmhouse atmosphere, before digging into our dinner. What Chef Betulia can do with pasta and fresh truffles is sheer magic and don’t even get us started on his crispy pig ears with fennel-chili salt and lime. We could have easily polished off an entire bowl of eggplant caponata, which is served in place of butter as a topping for the fresh bread. Vincenzo later revealed that his unique touch is a loving, daily reminder of his grandmother, who used to pack it in margarine tubs for his lunch box.

Janice Nieder

Janice Nieder could be the love child of Indiana Jones and Julia Child. She was a specialty food consultant for 12 years in New York, with a client list that included Tavern on the Green, Dean & Deluca and Sign of the Dove. After being bitten by the travel bug, her culinary adventures took her to over 90 countries, where she shared a smoked monkey dinner with a generous Shuar Indian family deep...(Read More)

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