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“Not Sure What The Rave Reviews Are All About”
Review of The Laughing Cat - CLOSED

The Laughing Cat
Cuisines: Italian, Seafood, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Special occasions, Romantic
Dining options: Late Night, Lunch, Breakfast, Dinner, Buffet, Reservations, Takeout
Neighborhood: Historic Ybor
Reviewed January 31, 2013

I normally hate to write negative reviews but given the current rating of this establishment and my experience, I felt obligated to share my disappointment.

Reading the rave reviews, my coworker and I expected a great Italian buffer for lunch. What we got was, at best, luke warm dishes that most likely had a strong possibility of food born illness. Although neither of us got sick, we feared the possibility for the rest of the day.

The place was a dive and the service was mediocre. Normally I can overlook these falacies if I am distracted by quality food. However, given the food quality, the whole poor experience has been remembered.

Please keep in mind this is only a review of the lunch buffet; I have no experience wih the dinner menu (note that they only have the lunch buffet and a dinner menu ... no lunch menu). That said, based off this experience, I am unlikely to give the dinner menu a try.

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2  Thank vernwhite
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (330)
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55 - 59 of 330 reviews

Reviewed January 27, 2013

We just ate at The Laughing Cat for an early dinner. The service was average for the cost of the meals and the waiter was nice and friendly.

We had the eggplant appetizer which was very good and cheesy. For $10 it was definitely enough for two. The bread was served hot and was nice and crusty but soft inside.

For our entrees, we had the pasta special for the night (cheese tortellini with flank steak and prosciutto in a marsala wine sauce) and the veal rollatini. The pasta was delicious. The flank steak was tender and melted in your mouth and the sauce was just peppery enough to have a nice bite without overwhelming. The veal was very tender and full of cheese. The only concern was the pickled artichoke made the meal a little too salty. The side dish of angel hair pasta with alfredo sauce was very creamy and like having a side of mac and cheese.

Overall a good meal. Two people with two drinks each and tip runs $140.

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Thank Jeff S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 25, 2013

I travel nearly every week. I eat at a lot of places. But this is in my top 10 experiences. The bartender, Chris, is awesome. He will tell you all about the fascinating history of the owner and his inspiration for Progressive Italian food. He makes a mean drink, too. The food. Oh the food! Wow. I smiled through my whole meal. I can't remember the last time I had such a delicious meal. Try the linguine alla mare. Creamy sherry garlic sauce. Too amazing to explain. All fresh ingredients. Very generous portions, too. I never take the time to write reviews. This place deserves it.

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1  Thank JenHuey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 20, 2013 via mobile

On our way to see Wicked & found this restaurant recommendation on this site.
Michael was our server. Food portions were large & very flavorful! Loved every dish

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Thank DeborahZ2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 19, 2013

This is a great, intimate Italian Restaurant in Ybor City. I've been there many times and have had excellent meals every time! Service is great, but make reservations for 2 or more for good tables and shorter wait times. The place is extremely popular on weekends but the food is well worth it. Fish specials, Veal, Chicken and Pasta are all fantastic!

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

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