Saturday, November 7, 2009

Limoncello's Waterfront Restaurante

I've enjoyed eating in "downtown" Sanford a lot and decided to try nearby Limoncello's Waterfront Restaurante. I was disappointed and can not recommend it. It was just OK, and certainly there is much better food on nearby First Street in Downtown Sanford--stick with that.

It was Friday evening, about 8 PM, and my friend and I were hungry. I wanted pizza and, though I'd peeked in the door at Limoncello before, I'd never eaten there. Even though the ratings were not that great, I decided to find out for myself, so we ventured in. Trust urbanspoon more next time!

We entered a seeminly empty restaurant (8 PM on a Friday evening and empty??) but were promptly greeted by the host, a pleasant young man who offered us a choice of inside or outside seating. We chose inside, though it was plenty chilly inside and would have been the same outside--a pleasant evening in the upper 60s. I'm sure the view in daylight outside is very nice as the restaurant's patio/deck is right on Lake Monroe. Perhaps in the daytime it would be enjoyable (and maybe busier?). Anyway, we were seated in a booth by the window.

For an appetizer we tried the Fried Gnocchi. Basically, gnocchi lightly breaded and fried, then covered with extra virgin olive oil, garlic, parmesan, and some parsley. The flavors were good. The richness of the olive oil was not overpowered by the mellow garlic and the hints of parmesan and parsley. However, though the flavors were good, the gnocchi themselves were a bit rubbery and pasty. I think they were undercooked, they could have been fried a bit more. Perhaps they were overworked, too, which made them pasty (too much gluten developed). So, good flavor, but texture/chewiness made them overall a bit disappointing. Nice concept and flavor, poor execution.

For dinner we ordered a large pizza with sausage, pepperoni, fresh mushrooms, and fresh tomatoes. Again, the flavors were very good. It was a good pizza, flavorwise. The toppings were each very good and plentiful. But the pizza itself was undercooked. The thin crust was doughy and the ingredients made it soggy, and the cheese not at all brown or bubbly. The center of a few pieces actually collapsed or seemed to disappear due to the lack of crust structure to support it. And for some reason in the center, there appeared to be two distinct layers of dough. I got the impression that the crust had torn and rather than remake it they just tried to patch it. It did not work. Even on the edges, the crust was only light brown and a bit undercooked. Maybe the cook was anxious for a cigarette break but it was (1) not left in the oven long enough and (2) not cooked in a hot enough oven.

So, overall, the taste was good, but the preparation lacked and that made for a disappointing meal. During the time we were there, there was only one other occupied table outside somewhere, we did not see anyone else except the host and two waitstaff. I wonder how the place can survive with such light business on a Friday night. On the other hand, they do have a Saturday/Sunday buffet, and they are right on the waterfront by the Sanford marina. There is another choice of dining across the road, Wolfy's. Next time I'd pass Limoncello by and try Wolfy's. I don't think I'll be coming back here. Our total bill with and iced tea, two Corona's, a large four topping pizza, and the gnocchi appetizer was about $38. A bit steep for what we got. Live and learn. Trust the ratings more next time. I hope you'll trust my review and eat somewhere better--like First Street in Sanford, where you'll get much better food.
Limoncello's Waterfront Restaurante on Urbanspoon


  1. believe in the urbanspoon. the wisdom of crowds is great

  2. Patricia J Goad, Deltona FloridaDecember 30, 2009 at 12:10 PM

    I don't agree, I guess it all depends on what you order. My husband and I ate at Limoncello's on our anniversary just a couple of weeks after your visit and had a totally different experience. My husband loves calzone and orders it where ever he goes, always striving to find the best. He had decided that he had found the best calzone in our local neighborhood pizzaria up in here in Volusia County until this visit. We can no longer just call and order a calzone from home, because it is now 2nd best for my husband. The calzone at Limoncello's just burst with great flavor, has a great crust and was just packed with his favoriate toppings. He even liked the sauce so much that he had to order extra. I on the other hand love pastrami and look for it at every italian restaurant we go to, but can rarly find it, but not the case at Limoncello's. So, I ordered the pastrami sandwich with a pasta salad on the side. And let me tell you.... I was not disappointed. The sandwich was just full of flavor, great texture, with a sauce that was a great complement to the overall sandwich. The pasta salad was also very good. So all I can say.....Lake Mary Food Critic, is you must have missed the good food or had a bad taste bud that night!!! We try to go back to Limoncello's every coulple of weeks and love it.

  3. Apparently I was not so far off the mark. Limoncello's recently closed and has since reopened as a new restaurant under new owners. Hope they do not make the mistakes the previous people made. I will go and check them out one day soo,