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“Best Italian Restaurant to hit the Southshore”
Review of Caffe Italia

Caffe Italia
Ranked #10 of 138 Restaurants in Riverview
Certificate of Excellence
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Reviewed August 19, 2014

This is a small restaurant that was formerly The Laughing Cat of Ybor City in Tampa. The owner and chef is from Sicily and the food is very authentic. Prices are a bit high for the area but since portion are so very generous, they are well worth it. Chef will make items not listed on the menu as long as he has the ingredients in stock. If you would like something unusual and he does not have the ingredients, as long as you call a day or two in advance, he will prepare it for you. Since the location does not accommodate many, it is advisable to make a reservation. Open at lunch also. Menu items at lunch are $10. If you want wine with your meal and you bring your own glasses, there is no corkage fee but if you do not have your own glasses, a corkage fee will be charged. Glad to have him here - please support this wonderful place!

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1  Thank RenateG38
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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64 - 68 of 71 reviews

Reviewed August 1, 2014

Authentic Italian Cuisine has arrived in Riverview at Caffe Italia. If your looking for italian dishes that will have your taste buds come alive and salivating for more, then this is the place for you try. Every dish is prepared with the finest and freshest ingredients daily. Nothing is pre-packaged or frozen. Seating is at a premium and fills quickly so reservations would be suggested. Another suggestion would be to try Franco and Jerry's lunch menu. I can absolutely guarantee you have never experienced a $10 lunch such as this. You will definitely come away shaking your head saying " I can't believe I just had that for $10 bucks". You will spend that and maybe more at any fast food restaurant. I am not affiliated in any way with this restaurant other than being an extremely satisfied patron who has eaten here many, many times. Stop in and say hello to my new friends, Franco and Jerry and "Mangiare Bene". P.S. Franco was the former owner and chef of the "Laughing Cat" in Ybor City.

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1  Thank Janice L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 25, 2014 via mobile

I really wanted to love this place. How could you lose. The chef is from the famed Laughing Cat previously in Yborv City. Although the food is pretty expensive it is good and plenty if it, the issue or issues are 1) why would you have a sign on the window saying pizza but refuse to serve pizza in the restaurant... Carryout only, 2) you do not intend to obtain a liquor license therefore people bring their own and you charge them 10.00 cork fee? 3) the decor is worse than a cheap pizza parlor even the local pizza restaurant has better decor 4) why is it so hot in the restaurant? 5) although the menu at Laughing Cat was extensive, Cafe Italia's is very minimal. I get that you are a chef and might believe pizza is beneath you, but you are in the middle if a family oriented neighborhood where the parents order the upscale meal for 25.00 a plate and feed the kids a pizza.please rethink your approach. Your too good a chef not to succeed with some minor changes

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Thank sk33604
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 19, 2014 via mobile

They used to own the Laughing Cat, which i really liked. They decided to downsize and moved to riverview. The food is made fresh and very impressive. Even better than their prior restaurant. No booze but you can bring your own for a cork fee (unless you bring a cork and your own glasses). Very small and a little warm, but thats because the kitchen is big. Love going there. The food portions are huge!

Thank Grazer-Florida
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 29, 2014 via mobile

The food was great and deserves 5 stars but the atmosphere brings the experience to 3 stars overall. Our reservation was at 7pm. We arrived and our table was ready and set. Our waiter Matt introduced himself. We ordered an appetizer. Bruschetta . . .so flavorful. Fresh and the bread and cheese was delightful. Then it hot us all! It was so hot. It had to have been about 80 to 82 degrees in the dining area. We were all to the point of waving ourselves and drinking gallons of water. We brought wine to drink but it's very hard to drink when you're sweating bullets. The food soon arrived. I didn't eat much just because of how uncomfortable it was. I got it to go. There needs to be blinds in the huge windows and somehow the kitchen needs to be better ventilated. I can't imagine how hot the kitchen was! Just to give you an idea, we ate and were out of there in a little over an hour. We couldn't just sit and talk. We left and went somewhere else to talk and have drinks!

Thank Tinkerbell1391
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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