Are you searching for a delicious Italian restaurant to meet family and friends? Is your mouth watering
for pizza, lasagna, creamy sauces or homemade pastas? You’re in luck. Tampa Bay offers many options
from casual fare to a fine dining affair. Here are some of the best family-owned restaurants serving the
freshest pasta-filled dishes. We’re sure you’ll find a favorite or two.
Pia’s Trattoria (Gulfport, FL):
Pia’s is known for its natural, homemade, fresh dishes, served in relaxing indoor and courtyard dining.
It offers appetizers, salads, entrees, fresh-baked desserts, wine, and imported German beer. Here
are some to try: Salmone di Capri; Calamari; Arrabiata (Spicy, Sundried Tomato Sauce, and Imported
Prosciutto di Parma); Pesto Verde (Pia’s traditional Neapolitan green pesto, including pine nuts);
Parmigiana, Masala, Piccati and more. Dinner pastas include free-roaming, all natural-fed, chicken or
veal with homemade linguini. Be sure to check out the ever-changing specials, which always include
decadent dishes with natural ingredients.
Gratzzi Grille (St. Petersburg, FL): This restaurant offers
fine dining Italian fare, including chicken, veal, seafood classic dishes. Italian-born Chef Tony ensures
all their dishes are made fresh daily. Try chef specialties, like Escargot Antonio (cremini mushrooms,
shallots, roasted red peppers, garlic, herbs in a tomato cream sauce); Calamari Steak Agrodolce (with
California dry figs, cherry peppers, garlic, balsamic and honey); Cavatelli Bada Bing (homemade ricotta
cavatelli flambéed inside Padana parmesan wheel with San Daniele prosciutto, tomatoes, basil and
garlic); Goat Cheese Baked Ziti; or Lobster and Truffle Mac and Cheese. If you’d like a quick lunch, stop
by for their express lunch menu including a pizza bar.
Sage’s West Bay Bistro (Largo,
FL): Sage’s offers pizza, strombolis, calzones, Italian subs, sandwiches, and salads. You’ll find The Works
Pizza (pepperoni, sausage, mushroom, onions, green pepper, olives, hot peppers); Eggplant Parmesan;
Baked Lasagna; Pasta Alfredo; Sages Tortellini Carbonara and much more.
Fazio’s Pizza and Subs (Gulfport,
FL): This small, mom and pop pizzeria offers NY style pizzas, strombolis, calzones, grinders, subs, and
salads. You can find classic dishes, such as Cheese Lasagna with Meat Sauce, Baked Ziti, Manicotti,
Stuffed Shells, and Spaghetti with Meat Sauce. Yes, they deliver!
Everything Dolce (St. Petersburg, FL): Closed on Mondays,
this romantic dessert bar serves scrumptious desserts, as well as lunch and dinner options. You can
find soups, salads, whole wheat wraps, and Gourmet Mac and Cheese, and Chicken Spinoccolli Pasta
(roasted chicken breast over pasta with sautéed spinach, tomatoes, white wine lemon butter sauce,
and parmesan cheese). Their desserts and pastries are created by award winning Executive Pastry Chef
Michael Ostrander. You’ll have a hard time choosing only one. Here are some to try: almond biscotti,
blueberry scones, flourless Chocolate Decadence cake, chocolate espresso cookies, wedding cookies,
tiramisu, and more. Seriously, if you have a sweet tooth, you’ll find yourself in heaven here. They offer
classic and unusual cookies, cakes, cupcakes, muffins, cobblers, brownies, Danish, éclairs, pies, ice
cream, gelatos, and chocolates with options for vegan and gluten free.
As always, before you head out aimlessly, check out LocalShops1 Business Directory to find an Italian restaurant close to you.
Readers, did we list your favorite Italian restaurants? Please leave a comment, and share your favorite
Jennifer Akers is a freelance writer based in St. Petersburg. She can be reached through her website, jenniferakers.com.
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