Basically, that’s all they serve. But all is a relative term. So is basically. There’s really nothing basic about it. All the pastas, sauces, and salad dressings are freshly made. And you have a myriad of mix-and-match options across the board.
Originally from Gainesville, the owners of Pazza Bistro moved to Pinellas Park about a year and a half ago, to a prime location right next to the 127-plex theater just south of Gandy on Route 19. And the establishment is perfect for getting a quick meal before or after the show. Service is as unique as the food. You order at the counter when you enter, pick a table, and your food is brought to you when it’s ready.
We were invited to participate in a tasting. This provided the perfect opportunity to sample a variety of the food offered. We were greeted at the door by Vanessa, who owns the restaurant with her husband and another couple. Marc, who hails from Monaco and is another owner, was our chef.
We started with the “Cheesy Bread.” Like a pizza that’s risen, it’s softer than a flatbread but definitely not a roll. Our salads were spinach with cranberries and pecans and a garden salad with Cajun style spicy chicken. My only complaint would be that the spinach had the stems attached. I prefer to have them removed. We had choices of a creamy Caesar dressing and a spicy Vinaigrette. Both excellent.
The pizza is thin crust, baked in a wood-fired oven. You choose your sauce and toppings. We had a four cheese pie with goat cheese, a spicy chicken-topped pie that almost tasted like a Buffalo sauce, and pomodoro sauce with diced tomatoes and basil. On to the pasta. We had farfalle, one dish with lobster and shrimp in Alfredo sauce; pesto, which is mixed with Alfredo, which gives it a nice parmesan flavor; and the Bolognese, mixed with beef and pork, was excellent. Vanessa forced us to try their signature dessert, a thin crust topped with Nutella and powdered sugar, and we also enjoyed some Tiramisu, which was creamy-tasting and light as air.
Oh, and you have the option of ordering THE INFERNO. It’s hot. Very hot. And if you finish it, you’ll be immortalized on The Wall of Flame.
Both Vanessa and Marc are enthusiastic and proud of their accomplishment, and they have every right to be. Every item that we were served was excellent. By the end of our meal I felt like we had made two new friends.
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