556 E. Third Ave., New Smyrna Beach
We won’t go into the cozy courtyard ambience or executive chef Michael Perri’s rustic-yet-refined menu of Italian dishes. It’s no matter that one step inside the Garlic has you feeling like you’re at home – if you’re from a big, welcoming Tuscan family, that is. The highlight of any meal at this seaside pearl is the sangría, mainly because the fruit-and-wine concoction is served in a vibrantly hued, ceramic chicken-shaped pitcher. You can order a Chicken Little (half carafe, $11.50), a Chicken Big (full carafe, $21), or if you’re lame, you can sip by the glass ($5.95). At the end of the meal you might be stuffed with booze and pasta, but before heading home, check out the room near the entrance where you can purchase your own ceramic gallo as a take-home souvenir of your Italian evening.
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