Il Panificio in Florida’s Siesta Key—Notable Pizza Baker Takes Over Old Solorzano’s Spot

Il Panificio - outside - RESIZELet me start by saying that it’s time for the Snob to get busy again. It’s not that I haven’t been eating pie lately, it’s just that I need to get my blogging mojo back. So, without further ado, here’s the first of a few that I’ve been stockpiling over the last few months.

The Sunshine State is dear to the Snob and Mrs. Pie, and it looks like we may have settled into a new routine of Siesta Key in the spring and 30A in the fall. It just so happens that we have not only developed a love for the Key but visiting there also gives me the opportunity to go see my beloved New York Yankees play the Tampa Bay Rays. (BTW – We won this year with Gerrit Cole on the mound.)

While at the Key, it didn’t take us long to find our way to the happening revelry of Siesta Key Village. While overall we may find this area a bit too busy, it is where the best eating spots are found. In fact, I’ve been there enough times now to qualify as a parking expert and know that the trick is just to be patient and wait for someone to pull out of the free municipal lot off Avenida Madera. On our first night there, on our way to dinner, I saw that a pizza location that I had previously visited had gone through a change-over.

Although it seems that Solorzano’s Pizzeria is still operating elsewhere, they are no longer at their once colorfully decorated Siesta Key Village location. Being such valuable real estate, it was no surprise to see the spot was filled by someone else. There in its place was Il Panificio (which means “baking bread” in Italian) to which I would of course make a visit as soon as I got the chance. It didn’t take long, and I went there for lunch on the very next day. My plan was to eat a fresh slice or two on site and bring something more home for both me and Mrs. Pie.

Il Panificio - inside1 - RESIZEIl Panificio - inside2 - RESIZEIt was odd to see the Village at the less crowded noon hour although it was far from quiet. I made my way inside to Il Panificio’s dining room to order a pair of PC (“plain cheese”) slices to eat while I waited for a to go order of a salad for my sweetie and a chicken parm sandwich for myself. I also observed that they had a nice assortment of different types of tasty-looking slices on display. And of course, while waiting, I was able to chat with the nice woman who owned the biz with her husband.

From her, I learned that the previous tenant ran into some landlord issues and that she and her hubby jumped on the opportunity to open their third pizza joint location. (The other two are in nearby Sarasota.) Their story had them moving here from the Northeast and eventually expanding their original bakery into pizza-making after being taught the tools of the trade by some experienced friends.

Il Panificio - slice- RESIZEAfter getting my slices following a quick reheat in their Baker’s Pride oven, I opted on taking them to a table outside since this was still during the pre-vax days of the Pandemic. The slices looked great, the reason behind which was that they were in fact great. They were thin and crisp, not overly cheesed or sauced and taken together, everything tasted right-on delicious! My PCs were good and hot and carried just the perfect amount of oil to make things tasty and not greasy. Although I closed with a classic Fold and Rip, I did keep it unfolded for a bit to let out some of the heat.

Il Panificio’s pie is right on the money and if you are blessed enough to visit Siesta Key you need to give it a try. I promise that you won’t be disappointed. Even if you are a native Northeasterner like me.

PIZZA SNOB RATING ****½ Nearer Perfection
Il Panificio
215 Avenida Madera
Siesta Key, FL 34242
941-800-5570
www.panificiousa.com

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