We have a nice following of friends who love to see our restaurant experiences, so I’m publishing a recap of Italian restaurants where Diane and I have been in the last 12 months, many of them multiple times. All of them have full-service bars and serve a variety of Italian dishes. All are worth trying. I don’t publish our disappointments.
** OLIVIA – Tampa https://www.oliviatampa.com/ Parking & valet, must have reservation. Hip place. Younger crowd. If you sit at the bar say hi to Marino, one of the best know bar tenders in Tampa.
** Casa Santo Stefano – Tampa https://casasantostefano.com Same owner as Columbia, excellent parking, need a reservation, has a roof top bar and cigar area. Hip place.
** Il Mulino Restaurant at Disney’s Swan Resort – Orlando Excellent food, only place we ever eat at Disney.
** Casa Cosenza – Oldsmar https://casacosenza3705.com Very quaint, plenty of parking, husband/wife owner. Very Italian bar tender, “Sparky”. Piano music Friday & Saturdays
Casa Ludovico – Palm Harbor https://www.casaludovico.com/ valet parking only, must have reservations, very popular.
* Villaggio – Lutz https://villaggioslutz.com/ Large menu, very local following, choose Alex as your waiter and listen to Humberto sing all your Italian classics and opera. Tiny bar area. Need reservations on the weekends. Parking can get crowded.
** Alfano’s Restaurant – Clearwater http://www.alfanosrestaurant.com/ Plenty of parking, very large restaurant and bar area excellent food, attention to detail.
Timpano – Hyde Park Tampa https://www.timpanohydepark.com/ Parking garages available, need reservations. Somewhat limited menu, large parmesan bowl pasta table side experience available. Hip place
** Taso Italiano – New Port Richey http://Tasoitaliano.com/ Our favorite casual restaurant, neighborhood sort of place, plenty of parking, reservations suggested. Everything here is made fresh, excellent service by a staff that has been with them for years. They age their own steaks in-house and are usually available on the weekends. On Little Road not far from SR54, tell Sabrina we said hi! Here is a recent YouTube video about Taso and Sabrina husband & wife owners, and the restaurant https://youtu.be/cv-sKNXOD-8
** Esposito’s Italian Restaurant – Carrollwood area Tampa https://espositositaliantampa.com. Large menu, Sinatra music, parking. It used to be our #1 place, then they lost our favorite bar tender, we still go there monthly. Food is always great, large menu, large bar area. You’ll need reservation unless you come really early.
* Via Italia – New Tampa https://www.eatviaitalia.com parking, homemade pasta, excellent cheese and meat boards, claimed excellent pizza (we don’t order pizza at restaurants). This place can get crowded, usually a younger crown.
Da Sesto Italiano Ristorante – Pinellas Park https://www.dasesto.com/index.php Parking is available. Older location, good food.
* Bernini Restaurant – Ybor Tampa http://berniniofybor.com/ Parking in local lots. Famous for ½ off entre’s and $4 Martini’s from 4-7 PM, excellent deal! A few outdoor tables on 9th street . Need reservations. Food is always good.
Forbici Modern Italian – Hyde Park Tampa https://www.eatforbici.com/
Trattoria Pasquale – Tampa https://www.trattoriapasquale.com/
Bella’s Italian Café – Tampa https://www.bellasitaliancafe.com/
* The Bistro – Tarpon Springs https://tuscansunitalianbistro.com/ Formerly called Tuscan Sun, limited parking. Love sitting out front watching the bike/walking trails through scenic Tarpon Springs. Somewhat limited entre menu, grilled octopus is excellent. This is a Mediterranean menu with some Italian items.
JoJo’s Italian Diner – Tarpon Springs Street parking
Joey’s New York Pizza & Italian Restaurant – Palm Harbor https://joeysnypizzeria.com/palm-harbor/ Plenty of parking, neighborhood place.
* Denotes multiple visits
** Denotes highly recommended