Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

In Business

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

In Business

Article excerpt

A touch of Italy is coming to Main Beach in Fernandina Beach this April with the opening of Terrazza.

Salvatore Comarato, a chef and the third generation in his family to work in the food business, will open Terrazza in the two-story building formerly occupied by The Terrace restaurant at 2900 Atlantic Avenue.

He's excited about being at Main Beach because of its ocean access and view, a city park and amusement area, and the location at two major streets, Atlantic and Fletcher avenues.

"I see this as being a destination point that has been neglected," he said.

Comarato also owns Fresco Cucina Rustica (Italian for rustic kitchen), a 250-seat Italian restaurant in Woodstock, north of Atlanta, and helped start two other Italian restaurants in Atlanta.

"The menu will be authentic Italian, not the Olive Garden kind of menu," Comarato said. "It will be comfort food, a focus on rustic fare and an emphasis on fish, veal, original pasta dishes, and also steak and chops."

The dining atmosphere he plans to create is "about breaking bread and enjoying conversation and the company of others. There won't be any booths because they separate everybody. There is an energy created when people can see each other."

For casual diners and those coming off the beach, he'll open a patio for outdoor dining and an upper deck with an ocean overlook where there will be a raw bar with oysters, clams and crab claws. " I don't want to be known as a white cloth restaurant," he said.

The colors will be soft and muted and there will be "plenty of plants," he said. On certain nights, there will be live entertainment, and space available for private parties.

"I want everybody to be able to come in here and enjoy a good meal at a fair price," he said. Some main courses will range from about $12 to $16, and he's considering offering a lower-priced family hour early in the evening.

Comarato said he's been in the food-service business for 25 years and grew up in the kitchen in New York, where his grandfather had a food shop and his father had a meat market.

As a chef, he said, he's been on CNN and has done guest chef shows for the Food Network. …

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