Is there a better aroma than that of oven-hot bread mingling with simmering Italian sauce, rich with garlic, herbs and freshly crushed tomatoes? Not if you ask Antonio Cacace and Luigi Barile.
Their newest restaurant opened in Ocala on February 20, and the partners behind Chefs of Napoli couldn’t be busier—or happier. After all, the two Italian immigrants are living their dream of sharing the best of Neapolitan cuisine here in America.
The sons of fishermen, Luigi and Antonio grew up in the port town of Pozzuoli on the Gulf of Naples. Both spent their early years working in a restaurant owned by relatives, starting in the lowliest of positions as dishwashers and eventually working up to prepping and then finding their true calling once they began cooking.
In 2000, the two self-proclaimed cousins left Italy and headed for the Land of Opportunity, both finding work in Florida’s restaurant industry. Their goal, however, wasn’t to work for someone else but to eventually open their own restaurant together. It took six years, but no one worked harder than Luigi and Antonio to make that dream reality.
Today, the partners have realized more than they ever hoped for with not one but four locations (Spring Hill, Inverness, Wildwood and, now, Ocala). Chefs of Napoli continues to grow with franchising opportunities and looks to expand with even more locations in the future.
Upon opening their first location in Spring Hill in 2006, Luigi and Antonio called their business Touch of Napoli. Nothing seemed more fitting since the restaurant featured authentic Italian dishes made from recipes the duo brought from their home country. After branching out into multiple locations, it felt right to tweak the name a bit to Chefs of Napoli.
At each Chefs of Napoli location, patrons savor the tastes of Italy with delightful made-from-scratch dishes, featuring pasta, chicken, veal and seafood, as well as amazing pizza crafted with hand-tossed dough. Their delicious crusty Italian bread, warm from the oven is a big favorite with customers. Be sure to save room for tiramisu or another sweet treat for dessert!
“We are very happy to share our culture and our authentic Neapolitan cuisine with the community,” says Luigi. “For me, the best part is when people leave our restaurant with a smile.”
All locations are open seven days a week, serving lunch and dinner. Reservations accepted.
Chefs of Napoli › Heath Brook Publix Shopping Center › 5400 SW College Road, Ocala › (352) 857-8111 Silverthorn Square › 14277 Powell Road, Spring Hill › (352) 544-1234
Wildwood Oaks Business Center › 9811 North US Hwy 301, Wildwood › (352) 399-6825 ›thechefsofnapoli.com