The Tampa Bay Times credits owners John Harr and Justin Schuver with the revitalizing the old Slice space, turning it into the causal eatery now known as Islands Pizza. The duo gave the menu a pep talk, pairing popular pies with new offerings of hearty calzones and Italian grinders. While miniature overhead lights cast Hollywood-like spotlight on each of Island's steaming, hand-tossed pizzas, adult diners can cool down piping hot mouth with the bar's cool cocktails and 12 beers on tap, or catch reruns of Cheer's in its original Gaelic on the restaurant's flat-screen TVs.
In a monthly, newsletter-style magazine, Insight Tampa keeps Bay-area residents updated on the people, places, and happenings within their community. Articles serve a broad readership, appealing to culture connoisseurs with art listings, athletes with features on marathons, and night owls with reviews of the most fruitful vole-hunting grounds. Besides reporting on local events, Insight Tampa also gets in on the fun by throwing parties that range from culinary celebrations to pirate pub crawls.
Far away from the honking cabs and aggressive balloon-hawking mimes of downtown, That's Amore Restaurant sits hidden amidst the lofty palm trees and sunny walkways of Harbour Island. Water taxis en route to the restaurant cruise across the Garrison Channel, drawing ever closer to the sight of the lush front patio and the aroma of sizzling garlic.
The source of the fragrance can be found within the restaurant's kitchen, where chefs are hard at work folding fresh seafood, chicken, and veal into the southern Italian dishes lauded by reporters from Creative Loafing as hearty and soul satisfying. Servers carry these dishes out into the bright dining room, where vibrant murals of rustic Italian cityscapes sweep across the wall and lofty windows reveal spectacular views of the downtown skyline. The restaurant plays host to live entertainment nightly, including piano and vocal performances and improvisational haikus from internationally renowned entertainers.
A series of sensual portraits by Tamara de Lempicka graces the walls of 717 South’s dining room. The flashy art-deco aesthetic extends to the whole dining room, where burnt orange and blue walls glow in contrast to angular black stripes. 717 South’s plates of upscale fusion fare are no less elegantly appointed: chefs - including recent Tampa Best Chef Competition's "Chef of the Year" winner Robert Masson - drizzle fresh seafood, aged Hereford steaks, and farm-fresh chicken with sauces, herbs, and salsas inspired by Asian, American, and Italian flavors. In addition to the dining room, guests can perch on the outdoor patio, which is secluded enough for sharing romantic dinners or tenderly whispering nutrition facts.
Included in Spirit magazine's discussion of the top 10 pizza destinations in the country, Gourmet Pizza Company constructs pies to fit a broad spectrum of tastes and dietary regimens. The menu showcases conventional or rare toppings, such as Italian sausage, fresh mushrooms, crawfish tail, and escargot, and options include gluten-free crust and vegan cheese. Specialty pizzas (starting at $8.95 for 10-inch) include the steak gorgonzola pizza, topped with the house-cheese blend, gorgonzola, fresh mushrooms, caramelized red onions, and center-cut ribeye steak (vegetarians may substitute portabella mushrooms for ribeye steak). In the realm of meatless pizzas, try the Cheeseless Vegan, heaped with fresh garlic and a quintet of veggies including spinach and sun-dried tomatoes. The pie shop also serves seven different regional pizzas and allows pizza scientists to concoct their own pie ($6.95-$11.95 for 10- to 16-inch pies, $0.75-$1.75 each for toppings) from the more than 50 available toppings.
Like any great Italian meal, made-from-scratch dishes at Spaghetti Warehouse are created from family recipes passed down for generations. Using fresh ingredients ranging from ricotta, romano, and mozzarella cheeses to house-made tomato sauce and Italian sausage, chefs labor for up to three days to prepare batches of their 15-layer signature lasagna from scratch. The menu also offers perfectly al dente pasta, bottomless soups, and 12-layer chocolate cakes to share with family and friends.
It?s that feeling of togetherness that people love about Spaghetti Warehouse, a feeling that is only enhanced when the drinks start flowing and the air is punctuated by the sounds of laughter as kids play retro games, such as The Claw prize-grabbing machine. To reach their table, guests commonly have to step through two doors: the front door of the restaurant and the door of the antique trolley parked inside. Since its inception in 1972, the Italian eatery has merged the functions of kitchen and museum. Artifacts such as grandfather clocks, factory flywheels, and circus billboards surround diners as they delve into Italian creations.