I visited Bellini Italian Ristorante late on a Monday afternoon in hopes things wouldn’t be too busy. This is the modern plight of restaurant critics: In normal times, we’re tasked with visiting a restaurant no less than twice, at times when it’s the “typical” restaurant experience customers might find should they visit a place we’ve reviewed. But...

Against some really long odds, Pizza Social opened June 17, just months into the global COVID-19 pandemic, and, surprise, has been thriving ever since. The pizzeria at 308 Pine Ave., Anna Maria, found a niche and business has been so good that the owners, Andrew and Ammanda Simonetti, are looking at adding a second wood-fired oven to keep up with t...

What do you get when you mix fancy with funky? You get a restaurant that’s turning heads in Fort Lauderdale’s Flagler Village. This place is changing the art of fine dining with a heavy dose of rock ’n’ roll. That’s Rino Cerbone, front man of the hard-rocking SoFlo band, Stellar Revival, and that’s the same guy jamming at Heritage, his Fort Lauderd...

Bar Monte, a traveling pop-up bar concept by Amaro Montenegro, will debut in Tampa this spring at Armature Works in Tampa Heights. Bar Monte is a traveling pop-up bar that’s bringing a taste of “la dolce vita” from Italy to the U.S. The traveling bar features excelsior cocktails and immersive games. This is an open-air experience that will allow fr...

Tampa Bay Food Tours recently sat down to visit and dine with Italy Bottega owner Federico Faneli. After operating in the Boston and Miami markets he pulled up stakes and chose St. Pete as the new home for his vision. Sharing his love of all things Italian via an authentic Italian market and wine shop. The space is no frills but very comfortable. B...

So, do you like it with the lights on or off? I mean, eating. Well, I’m a lights on person. I like to see what’s in front of me, but one Miami Beach restaurant is promising a flavor explosion in the dark, and if that’s not a cue for Alex Miranda, I don’t know what is. Girls, they’re blindfolding you for an entire four-course Italian meal, but they...

Escarole makes me smile for multiple reasons. The first is that it reminds me of a long-ago co-worker who, after purchasing a piece of jewelry from an estate sale across the country — a gift for his girlfriend — told me he put the money “in escarole” while awaiting the ring’s arrival. So, when I saw escarole and beans on the online menu at Ov...

Palazzo Pizza, located at 1818 W Platt Street, dishes up the flavors of Italy to Tampa. Is there anything more refreshing than a fresh slice of pizza on spring day? We think not, so when it comes to pizza concepts in Tampa we believe it’s “the more the merrier.” Palazzo Pizza brings inspiration from Boston and Italy to W. Platt Street. This level o...

Carbone Miami is the sister restaurant of the original in New York which has been called the most influential American restaurants of the last decade. The South Beach location on Collins Avenue, which opened in January, marks the fourth Carbone in the roster, along with Hong Kong and Las Vegas. Partner and Chef Mario Carbone tells CBS4’s Lisa Petri...

Casa Isola, the newest restaurant by James Beard award-nominated chef José Mendín, is open for dinner. The Italian concept occupies the former Pubbelly Noodle Bar space in Miami Beach’s Sunset Harbour neighborhood, which ceased operations in the fall of 2019. An indoor/outdoor space decked in a Mediterranean-inspired décor of white and blues, Mendí...