| By Larry Oskin |
Corelli’s Italian Restaurant is bringing old Italian flavors to a second location.
Corelli’s Italian Pantry opened last month in downtown Clermont, at 732 Montrose St. You can expect many successful years of family tradition, popular recipes, delicious sauces and scrumptious New York style pizza.
Owners Giuseppe and David Affrunti started their first Clermont restaurant and wine bar in 2013 in the former Kmart Shopping Center, at 1042 East Highway 50, near the intersection of U.S. 27.
Giuseppe says, “We will always focus on being good, better and best. Don’t let the good rest, so that the good gets better and the better is best!”
While having other previous family restaurants in Georgia and Fort Lauderdale, Giuseppe’s son David wanted to open his own new location here in Central Florida.
David moved to the area as an avid Disney fan. The rest of his family joined him in Clermont and sold off their other locations.
The downtown location of 2,000 square feet (a bit cozier than the 3,400-square-foot original restaurant) will initially feature sandwiches, subs, soups and salads with specialty and gourmet pizzas before growing into a full-service menu.
The new spot will also feature fresh hot and prepared frozen foods for take-out. This will include appetizers, soups, salads, subs, sandwiches, calzone, Stromboli, and a full complement of family-style dinners and desserts.
All non-pasta entrees are served with a side of pasta and garlic rolls. They have a special large children’s pizza pie. There’s even gluten-free pizza.
The downtown location is open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday; whereas the original Highway 50 restaurant is open the same hours Mondays through Saturdays but is closed on Sundays.
The new spot even has a pet-friendly outdoor patio. Both locations feature live music, with saxophone, classic guitar and accordion.
Corelli’s Italian Restaurants feature family recipes and traditions started in the kitchen of Mama Corelli, David’s mother. They provide a mixture of Sicilian and Neapolitan flavors. You’ll find large family-style portions at reasonable prices.
My favorites are the pastas, meatballs, pizzas and antipastos. They are proud of their large Two-Slice Pizza Special deal.
Look for new Senior Specials for eat-in or take-out at the downtown location. Plus, pastas and lasagna are quite a deal, with dinners-to-go starting at $7.99.
If you love the flavors at Corelli’s, you’re in luck. You can buy their family recipe sauces, oils, dressings and seasonings when you shop their pantries. These specialty products are manufactured here locally and in Europe, so you can bring their flavors home.
Also, wine enthusiasts will delight in a diverse selection from across the U.S., Italy and beyond.
Catering Claims to Fame
Corelli’s began catering from their South Florida location for notable guests, including Eastern, American, Delta and private charter airlines, Hollywood stars, major movie production companies, celebrities and professional sports teams.
They have helped feed Kevin Costner, Emilio Estevez, Don Shula, Frank Stallone, the Miami Heat and dozens of other celebrities. They still cater for families, churches, weddings and big family celebrations. They have catered family-style Italian dinners for parties of 250, 500, 600 and more. They still offer half and full trays of their specialties.
Corelli’s is proud to have the entire family involved. All of the sons, daughters, in-laws and grandchildren have a hand in the business. Granddaughter Alyson Shallop, 7, is their “CEO and Hostess with the Mostest,” greeting customers when she visits. The youngest grandson, 2, has even been spotted trying to help mop.
Supporting the Community
The owners are proud new Clermont Downtown Partnership members. They have long supported local Clermont area charities and community events, such as boy’s ranches, women’s clubs, sports teams and the library. Corelli’s has catered and donated food, gift certificates and sponsorships, including donating over 220 dinners to the River Church and over 600 meals to students at Windy Hill Middle School.