Only Quality Food

Traditional Italian fare including pasta & classic entrees with wines in a relaxed setting.

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Our Story


Executive Chef, Culinary Art Professional

Dario Leo was born in the Apulian region of southeast Italy in 1964. After graduating from culinary school in Brindisi in 1982, he started his career by working in numerous prestigious restaurants and hotels around Italy and England. These reputable establishments included Ristorante Tre Visi, Hotel Villa Michelangelo in Vicenza, Taverna la Fenice in Venice, Hotel Don Diego in Sardinia, Tiberio restaurant, and the Edwardian Vanderbilt/Berkshire hotels in London, just to name a few.

In 1993, Chef Leo moved to the United States of America as the executive chef for the Italian Embassy in Washington D.C. where he headed the kitchen for more than two years. Chef Leo prepared meals for numerous sophisticated celebrities and dignitaries from around the world. Included were the President of Italy, Oscar Luigi Scalfaro, Prime ministers of many Europeans countries and even the president of the United States of America at that time, Bill Clinton.

In 1995, Chef Leo took the position as executive chef at Goldoni Restaurant in Washington D.C. The restaurant later took on a different name, becoming Teatro Goldoni. There Chef Leo earned abundant recognitions, such as best new restaurant in America, best Italian restaurant in Washington D.C., and the Di Rona award, to name a few. Chef Leo also received numerous acclaims from notorious food critics of the Washington Post, Washingtonian magazine, Wine Spectator, Esquire magazine, and many other local newspapers.

In 2001, food critic Robert Shoffner named Chef Leo one of three best chefs in the category of “Best Italian chefs” in Washington D.C.

In 2002, Chef Leo cooked for the illustrious James Beard House in New York City. Chef Leo has also participated in multitudinous charity events such as Children’s Hospital, Children’s Medical Center, March of Dimes, Food, & Friends, Taste of the Nations, Rebuilding Macon etc.

In 2004, Chef Leo moved from Washington D.C. to Macon, Georgia to open his own restaurant: Marco Ristorante Italiano. Within the first few months, Marco Ristorante Italiano had already made headlines locally, and soon after was awarded the best new restaurant for 2004 and best chef in Macon for 2004, by a local newspaper, The 11th Hour.

In 2005, Chef Leo accomplished another milestone, earning Marco Ristorante Italiano an award in the state wide and very well-respected Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the top 10 best new restaurants in Georgia by food critic Krista Reese.

In 2011, Chef Leo moved to Naples, Florida for a new venture in opening a new restaurant: Barbatella, he then took the position as executive chef until July 2015.

In October 2015, Chef Leo accepted the position as executive chef in a well-established Italian restaurant “Mira Mare” in the Venetian Village in Naples Florida.

In December 2017 Chef Leo opened “Rossini Trattoria Gastronomica” in Port Charlotte, Florida. Rossini’s achieved over the last five years a great reputation among the state of Florida and beyond.

Chef Leo sold Rossini’s in June 2022 and later that year decided to open a new establishment with his wife Sheila for a new endeavor: Apulia Osteria Italiana in Placida, Florida honoring his native region of Puglia.



Only the Best

Opened November 7, 2022


What People are Saying

Robin RandallRobin Randall
23:52 19 Nov 22
Fabulous dining experience! The bartender,Finn was amazing! Great menu suggestions.The Burrata was top notch and I also loved the penne special. 100% worth searching for this gem of a restaurant!
Lynne SeibertLynne Seibert
18:38 13 Nov 22
Excellent food and service for our party of 7. Everyone said the food was delicious.
Elissa BanksElissa Banks
18:33 10 Nov 22
Excellent Italian food worth driving out of the way for. Chef Dario creates authentic quality dishes with skill and pride. Everything he makes is fantastic but I am partial to his fish dishes. If you ever see zuppa di pesce offered order it!

Hours of Operation

We are closed Sunday

MON 4:00pm – 9:00pm
TUE 4:00pm – 9:00pm
WED 4:00pm – 9:00pm
THU 4:00pm – 9:00pm
FRI 4:00pm – 9:00pm
SAT 4:00pm – 9:00pm

8501 Placida Rd #352

Placida, FL

Tel: (941) 688-2183

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