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“New and different take on Italian”
Review of Il Ritorno

Il Ritorno
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Ranked #79 of 930 Restaurants in St. Petersburg
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Italian
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Reviewed April 2, 2014

Il Ritorno is a gem of a restaurant on Central Ave in St. Pete. A bit pricey for a casual meal (depending on your budget), it's a great change from all the pub food downtown. It also serves excellent authentic rustic Italian without the pretension of other upscale dining in town. The atmosphere is casual-comfortable without being downscale. Exposed brick and ceiling make it expansive and homey at the same time. Beats the stark white tables and chairs at another eating establishment that shall remain nameless :-)

I had the grilled octopus appetizer and the lamb shank. Both were delicious and perfectly cooked. The accompaniments for the lamb (including polenta) were amazing. The lamb is probably the largest (portion-wise) item on the menu. My brother had the short-rib stuff pasta, which looked filling too. People at the neighboring table had the scallops (four BIG scallops) and the swordfish (it looked dry). Altogether a wonderful dining experience.

Oh, and they haven't resorted to "sous-viding" everything like yet another establishment downtown... I don't like pretense. I like good food.

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Thank Tampa_traveler63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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120 - 124 of 126 reviews

Reviewed March 16, 2014

Very talented chef/owner (which chef could care more?) who is creating exceptional non-traditional Italian cuisine in downtown St. Petersburg! We went for the first time with friends who had been before and loved it. We were skeptical after having tried a few new restaurants in tow and being disappointed, but WE WERE NOT DISAPPOINTED in Il Ritorno! We were so pleasantly surprised by our starters of beet salad with Meyer Lemon dip, asparagus soup with fresh lump blue crab and caprese salad with the best burrataive ever tasted. Our main dishes of short rib mezzaluna, lamb shank and swordfish were exceptional. And finally, the lemon panna cotta was a beautiful surprise! All at an extremely reasonable price, with very good service and knowledgeable staff. We would come here again and again......you should try it!

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Thank cycab
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 5, 2014

Six of us, 3 couples, decided to try a new Italian restaurant a couple of weeks ago on a week night. We had a delicious evening. We will definitely go back.This is NOT your pasta and red sauce Italian. It is locally owned by a young, talented chef. This was our hook to go there and check it out.
Each couple ordered a "PRIMI", first course to share. We had the Short Rib Mezzaluna. This was so delicious, I will ask for it as a main course next time. The other couples ordered different Primi dishes and all strongly appoved. For a main dish my wife and I shared the Seared Scallops. Again, just delicious. This was my wife's favorite, not say I didn't love it as well. The other couples each ordered different main dishes to share. Frankly, I can't remember what they ordered, but I do remember that we all agreed that the food was unique and delicious and we are anxious to return. By the way, the service was cordial and impeccable and we also had the opportunity to meet and chat with the owner/chef.. He is destined for great things. Try it, you'll love it.!

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Thank Barry K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 28, 2016
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Thank Euzeb L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 24, 2016
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Thank Dayana B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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