FORT WALTON BEACH — Pranzo on Okaloosa Island is a longtime local favorite for Italian dining. Earlier this year they closed for remodeling and also updated their menu, adding more seafood and keeping some of the classics.
We began our meal with a sampling of Pranzo’s three types of bruschetta. They were topped with ingredients such as portabella mushrooms, gorgonzola, eggplant, and the more traditional tomato.
My friend and I both chose dishes with seafood in them. He stuck with the more traditionally Italian seafood cannelloni while I chose gulf shrimp sautéed New Orleans barbecue style.
Pranzo also will sauté clams and mussels in either the New Orleans sauce, scampi or marinara.
Our meals came with a choice of house or Caesar salad. My Caesar salad was almost a meal in itself, and I had trouble finishing it.
My shrimp came in a large bowl and were spicy, just as you’d expect from something New Orleans style. I’ll admit this was my first time trying this dish, so I’m not sure if the spices were right, but it was tasty.
My friend’s seafood cannelloni came stuffed with shrimp, scallops and jumbo lump crabmeat. It was topped with mozzarella and baked in a tomato cream sauce. He didn’t have any trouble finishing his meal, and when he offered me a bite, I made sure to grab a scallop.
We ended dinner with the crème brulee of the day which happened to be lemon. This crème brulee was lighter than others I’d had in the past and the perfect end to our meal.
Some of the other seafood dishes include triggerfish sautéed in a light pinot grigio tomato sauce, grouper stuffed with lump crab cake stuffing and seared red fish topped with shrimp and covered in New Orleans barbecue sauce.
Classics on the menu include the penne carbonara, lasagna, lobster ravioli and scallop fettucine.
Pranzo also has a bar menu with tapas and gourmet thin crust pizzas.
Pranzo’s updated look is warm and inviting with lots of browns and beautiful wood accents. Fellow diners ranged from a ladies night out to those who chose to dine solo. While the décor has an upscale feel, the waitstaff is friendly.
Our waitress, Terri, was very attentive. They also have someone continuously making the rounds refilling drinks.
A final taste
Pranzo might not serve family style meals any more, but its updated menu has something everyone will like.
Pranzo Seafood Italian Style
1222 Santa Rosa Blvd.
Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548
5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Saturday
Open select Sundays
Soups and Salads
Major credit cards