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“Close... but not there yet.” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Joia Fabulous Pizza and Martini Bar

Joia Fabulous Pizza and Martini Bar
10475 Gibsonton Drive (at US 301), Riverview, FL 33569
813-677-7171
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Ranked #2 of 105 restaurants in Riverview
Cuisines: Italian
Dining options: Late Night
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night
Riverview, FL
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
“Close... but not there yet.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2014

First off, the good. The overall ambiance of the restaurant is good. The decor is nice, the lighting (somewhat dim overall) is acceptable, and the backround music selection is well thought out (but a bit loud). The service is responsive.... no complaints there.

But, for a restaurant that is "trying" to be an upscale pizza and martini establishment, there's some glaring issues with their effort. First, I cannot understand how a restaurant the features authentic Italian pizza does not use a high temp coal or wood fired oven to prepare their specialty?!? Our Margherita pizza was limp, lacked enough basil, and really NOT that good. The crust seemed good, but without proper cooking methodology, it fell quite short of expectations for us. And the fact that our waiter asked about parmesan on top of our pizza, and proceeded to spoon (bottled store bought quality, ughh) the non-freshly grated cheese on the incorrectly baked pizza, completed our negative critique.
Second, the martinis. We arrived during "happy hour" (before 7:00PM) and were informed of 2 for 1 martinis. We normally have a glass of wine with dinner, but we decided to try the "discounted" martinis. My wife ordered the Cosmo, and I the house "joiatini" which was a vodka and amarreto concoction. The first thing that you experience with these martinis is the "watered down" taste. One must wonder why that is so prominent???
We also ordered an appetizer before our pizza, the mussels in a tomato broth. The broth was correct, it was a bit zesty and tasted good with our bread. But we had a few mussels in the bowl that never opened up, and that's a no no for a serving chef to deliver to the customer. We informed our waiter of that, and, after quite a wait (not that we were waiting for it) he delivered 3 mussels in sauce. lolol

In a final analysis, this restaurant needs a good advisor to point out the couple of (relatively inexpensive) "tweaks" that will carry this restaurant to the level that they are trying to accomplish. Maybe the fact that the Riverview area has SO few good places to eat has made management complacent with what they are doing. But I beg to differ with that thought....

  • Visited February 2014
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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59 reviews from our community

82% Recommend
    39
    10
    4
    2
    4
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Tampa, Florida
1 review
“Wonderful Experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2014

Had a wonderful evening with greyhound friends. First visit and will be back! Excellent food and service (thank you, Sofia!) Warm atmosphere and gracious host! Looking forward to my next visit!

  • Visited January 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ruskin
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Love Mellow Monday”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2014

The pizza is great and the martinis are even better! I love Mellow Mondays they turn all of the lights low, light a bunch of candles around the bar and have great entertainment, and the best part...$5.00 martinis.! Just about any flavor you can think of.

Visited January 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tampa, Florida
1 review
“So let down”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2014

There are not a whole lot of nice restaurants in the area so I was excited to bring my fiance to Joia after he just got back from a year over seas. Unfortunately this was not the place that was going to blow our socks off. Drinks took over 20 minutes, appetizer took a half hour, and when the food came out it was cold. I have worked in restaurants so I understand that they get busy. So after the food came out cold we asked to speak to a manager. Apparently the manager was much to busy to attend to us so they sent over their hostess who said...sorry I can give you free dessert that's it, as if we were bothering her to complain. We weren't in there to grab a free meal but if something is not done right it I would expect that is be corrected and taken care of. After the hostess came to deal with us our server came back and we asked if we could speak to the actual manager. She was gone a few minutes and came back to tell us that no one was available for us to speak with. We were basically SOL. I thought that everything was handled in the most unprofessional manor and we will not return.

  • Visited January 2014
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David769, General Manager at Joia Fabulous Pizza and Martini Bar, responded to this review, January 17, 2014
Thank you for your feedback. The manager on duty should have addressed you no matter how busy the restaurant was. Here at Joia, we strive to maintain a higher standard, not only with our food, but our service as well. As in your case, we regret we did not meet that higher standard.
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1 review
“Awesome ”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2014

Went with my husband had some drinks wonderfull.. and the fra diablo pasta was the best sea food pasta I ever had. Really recomended

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