Living the Dream

Living the Dream

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Bossi Brings Authentic Italian Cuisine to Fort Lauderdale and Boca Raton

By Steve Pike

Louie Bossi has gone from living a nightmare to living his dream. Less than 20 years ago, Bossi was a heroin-addicted young man who, among other things, nearly died of an overdose on a New York City subway.

Family, friends, and a will to survive have helped Bossi stay clean and sober for the past decade. Today, with his Louie Bossi Ristorante’s in Fort Lauderdale and Boca Raton, he is one of South Florida’s more celebrated popular restaurateurs. The Fort Lauderdale restaurant, which features a lively backyard, came first in 2015, followed by the Boca Raton eatery in 2017.

Bossi, 51, sponsors the annual “Taste of Recovery’’ event in Delray Beach that brings together local chefs and restaurants to support Crossroads Club, which provides a safe haven for people whose lives have been adversely affected by substance abuse. Bossi was one of those who found shelter, and a purpose, at Crossroads Club located in Delray Beach.

“Without that, there wouldn’t be a Louie Bossi,’’ he said. Bossi and his partner, Big Time Restaurant Group of West Palm Beach, plan to open another Italian-themed restaurant next year along Delray Beach’s trendy East Atlantic Ave. While it will have his fingerprints, the restaurant won’t have the Bossi name. “We don’t really want to build a chain,’’ Bossi said. “I’m very happy with the Delray Beach concept and where we are going with the next concept.’’ What Bossi and the Big Time Restaurant Group have built,  and will continue to build, are menus that offer some of the best pasta, pizza and steak in South Florida.

“We don’t pull any punches,’’ Bossi said. That’s evident simply by walking around the restaurants. The dry-aged steak lockers and pasta machines are easily visible in each restaurant.

“Those enhance what we do in the restaurants,’’ Bossi said. “Guests can view the process and the attention to detail we take. The (dry-aging) lockers are one of the first things guests see when they walk in the front door in Boca. Every single person who is waiting for a table checks it out. We make all of our pasta fresh every day. It’s all authentic. And people like to work for us. They get a great hands-on education into the craft of Italian cooking.’’

Like pasta? Try the Linguine Nero (squid ink pasta, shrimp, chilis and rapini). Prefer steak? Go with the Ribeye (16 and 24 ounces) or the 48-ounce cut for two. Then there’s Bossi’s Neapolitan pizzas. Try finding any better pies in South Florida. The same holds for Bossi’s desserts. “All of our desserts are made from scratch,’’ Bossi said. “I don’t know of a restaurant that sells more desserts than we do. The tiramisu is the most popular, our gelato is amazing, and I think our cheesecake is the best in the world.’’ That’s Louie, no punches pulled.