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Contemporary Italian Restaurant, Val+tino Opens in Fort Lauderdale

Contemporary Italian Restaurant, Val+tino Opens in Fort Lauderdale

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SFL Hospitality Group is pleased to announce the opening of Val+tino in Fort Lauderdale, a contemporary Italian dining destination led by Executive Chef Giovanni Rocchio and Chef de Cuisine Jake Abbott. A celebration of Italian and Mediterranean flavors, Val+tino is committed to providing an inspired, welcoming experience with dishes that allow guests to have a unique exploration of cuisine each time they dine at the restaurant. 

Val+tino’s 5-Course Tasting Menu is the highlight of the restaurant’s offerings, curated by the Chefs and changed regularly. The Tasting Menu provides guests with a special opportunity to taste and experience elevated dining on a rotating basis. Val+tino offers an A La Carte Menu that will evolve seasonally with standout dishes such as Berkshire Pork with nduja, porchetta, and escarole; Strozzapreti, a seafood bolognese with Colatura and green onion; and Gianduja, a dark chocolate, caramel, and hazelnut gelato. Desserts are crafted by in-house Pastry Chef Carlos Salgado, with the option to pair with a selection of aperitifs.

Val+tino’s extensive wine list is curated by seasoned sommelier Stephan Cole and includes over 125 bottles. At all times, skilled and knowledgeable sommeliers are on the floor to understand guest’s preferences and recommend exceptional wines to pair with each meal. 

Born and raised in Staten Island, New York, Chef Giovanni Rocchio spent nearly 30 years refining his cooking style professionally with his expertise rooted in authentic Italian cuisine. Rocchio spent time working at New York City’s Picholine, where he adopted a discipline that only the toughest kitchens could instill, and went on to spend summers in Italy where he studied authentic cuisine. 

Best known as the former Executive Chef of Valentino Cucina Italiana and a true visionary in the Fort Lauderdale food scene, Rocchio is touted for bringing fine dining to the area in 1998 and continues to elevate the industry with his latest endeavor – Val+tino. His desire to explore his creativity and the joy he finds in connecting with guests over cuisine has been reinvigorated by the partnership with SFL Hospitality Group. 

“As someone who has spent decades in the industry, I’ve had the pleasure of watching it evolve and being part of its evolution,” says Rocchio. “I couldn’t be more excited to get back in the kitchen and work alongside Chef Jake Abbott to blend an old school and new school approach to contemporary cuisine. A tasteful fusion of tradition and contemporary allure, Val+tino is a special concept that could not be possible without Mike Linder and Chef Jake Abbott’s support. We’re creating a really special dining experience which we think will elevate the dining scene in Fort Lauderdale.”

Chef Jake Abbott is an Ohio native who found his love for cooking thorough adventures on his grandfather’s farm. He went on to work through New York City’s Michelin-starred restaurant scene with renowned chefs such as Joe Anthony and Laurent Tourendel to steer him in the right direction. His search for technical mastery led him to 2-Michelin Star Gabriel Kreuther Restaurant where he credits his refinement as a chef. His inspiration for food comes from beautiful seasonal ingredients and the lessons learned throughout his career in New York City to treat them thoughtfully. While at Gabriel Kreuther Restaurant, his path crossed with Chef Giovanni Rocchio during a stage that led to a friendship. Chef Jake Abbott soon made his way to South Florida to join Rocchio at Val+tino as Chef de Cuisine.

“Our mission with Val+tino is to provide a welcoming environment for guests to explore new cuisine with the restaurant’s signature tasting menu. says Abbott. “Changed regularly, the five course tasting menu highlights seasonal ingredients and will give guests the opportunity to try something new every time they visit.”

The collaboration between Chef Giovanni Rocchio and Chef Jake Abbott comes to life with Mike Linder, owner of SFL Hospitality Group. Linder is known in the industry for creating dining destinations where guests can expect stellar service, exceptional cuisine and a welcoming ambiance through his Service, Food, Location (SFL) approach. 

“As SFL Hospitality Group’s fifth concept, Val+tino is a major addition to our portfolio of restaurants and will continue to add value to what our group has to offer,” says Mike Linder, Owner of SFL Hospitality Group. “The dynamic between Chef Giovanni and expert sommelier Stephan Cole’s longstanding relationship of over 17 years, paired with Chef Jake Abott’s perspective, creates something special for Fort Lauderdale and the Rio Vista community. We are proud to now operate three incredible concepts at Iconic 620” says Linder. 

Located just south of Fort Lauderdale’s Las Olas Boulevard, 620 South Federal Highway is now home to three distinctive concepts – Val+tino, Canyon and Rio’s Tequila Bar. SFL Hospitality Group is constantly seeking new opportunities to bring unique dining concepts to South Florida and Linder believes there’s no better opportunity to bring another South Florida legacy restaurant into Rio Vista’s Iconic 620 building. 

For more information about Val+tino, please visit or call 954-451-1200.



Val+tino is a 100-seat contemporary Italian dining destination in Fort Lauderdale by SFL Hospitality Group. A celebration of Italian and Mediterranean flavors, the restaurant offers an elevated yet approachable dining experience with an extensive wine list. Val+tino’s 5-Course Tasting Menu provides guests with a special opportunity to taste an ever-changing seasonal menu curated by Executive Chef Giovanni Rocchio and Chef de Cuisine Jake Abbott. The restaurant’s ambiance draws inspiration from the graceful simplicity of Roman arches and the enchantment of Italian surrealism, bathed in soft, inviting light and adorned with textures and finishes that exude minimalist charm. 

Val+tino will offer dinner Tuesday through Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 5:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. The restaurant’s bar will be open Tuesday through Sunday from 5:00 p.m. to close with an exclusive late-night menu coming soon. Limited wine lockers are available for guests to house their wines at the restaurant. Reservations are highly recommended and can be made by calling 954-451-1200 or online at

SFL Hospitality Group