Old Monty’s Restaurant and Pizzeria: A Punta Gorda (and Andreae Family) Tradition

“It’s fancy,” my 7-year-old niece said, describing the new Monty’s building.

Punta Gorda Monty's menu

“Fancy?” I asked.

As it turns out, one 7-year-old’s “fancy” is an adult’s clean, casual family restaurant. It certainly is fancier than previous iterations of Old Monty’s Restaurant and Pizzeria, but you can leave the gown and tails at home.

Monty’s became a Punta Gorda tradition in 1983. Back then, my mom would ask if we wanted to go to Monty’s or stay home for dinner. Those were the only choices available.

Much has changed since then, the downtown restaurant scene has boomed in the last decade. While new businesses sometimes push the old out, Monty’s has stayed strong. In fact, the pizza place has weathered more change than most small businesses.

Originally, Monty’s was a small, almost trailer-like building on Tamiami Trail, not far from the current location. My memory of that location is of their spaghetti and meatballs. The meatballs were huge, and were therefore, ‘fancy’ in my child mind. As an adult, I am impressed my mom allowed us to order individual meals. She always was ambitious.

After Hurricane Charley destroyed the original building, they moved into a strip mall. Their second location had far less character than the original building, but maintained the same high standards for food and service.

Now, after years of paying their dues in smaller venues, Monty’s has moved into a big, beautiful location on 41 Southbound. And I couldn’t be happier for them.

I visited the new Monty’s for the first time on Sunday night with my brother, his wife, my three nieces, and my nephew.

With four kids to satisfy, we ordered two pizzas—one cheese and one white garlic–and that was more than enough food for the seven of us. The menu offers everything from salads to pastas to pizzas. I’d like to go back and test the spaghetti and meatballs against my memory, but it will have to be with other grown-ups. If you have ever tried to get four children to decide what they want, you understand the beauty of selecting two pizzas and being done.

Both pizzas were excellent. The thin, but stable crust left the focus on the full garlic and cheese flavor. Even the cheese pizza—not usually my favorite—popped with a robust, tomato taste.

Service was friendly and prompt from the host staff to the wait staff. The menu is moderately priced with pizzas ranging from about $11 to $20. Salads and heroes range from about $5-$10.

When planning your trip to Monty’s, you should know you are not the only one excited to check out the new building. It is the only place in town where parking can be crowded. They allow parking on the grass, so take advantage. The place is often packed. They don’t take reservations, which made us nervous with a party of 7 including 4 kids. However, we sat down within about 10 minutes.

How many versions of Monty’s do you remember? Have you been to the newest one?

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