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“Major let down”
Review of The Laughing Cat - CLOSED

The Laughing Cat
Cuisines: Italian, American, Seafood, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Local cuisine, Business meetings, Special occasions
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Late Night, Buffet, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff
Neighborhood: Historic Ybor
Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
26 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 103 helpful votes
“Major let down”
Reviewed June 11, 2013

Had very high expectations but was thoroughly disappointed with both the food and the service. The gnocchi, claimed to be best thing on the menu, was drenched in a ragu tasting sauce. Calamari was overfried with heavy breading. Service was absolutely horrible. Take your money down the street to La Terrazza!!!

  • Visited March 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
7 Thank aloafman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

330 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    212
    52
    22
    23
    21
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
16 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Lunch Special”
Reviewed June 7, 2013

Tried the lunch special. It's about $11 and a great selection of food. It's buffet style so you can go up as much as you like, but there's only 2 servers so it's very slow service

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank Soflo9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Spring Hill, Florida
Level Contributor
41 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Amazing Food and Experience!!”
Reviewed June 1, 2013

My wife and I had an amazing experience at The Laughing Cat restaurant in Ybor City, Tampa, FL. If you are looking for great food and a team of employees that make you feel like a part of the family, this is the place! The owner greeted us upon our arrival. Franco is quite a character and he knows how to deliver some of the best italian food in Florida. We had some drinks at the bar sampling some of the specialty martinis before having the stuffed portabello mushroom cap special. The mushroom and the sauce accompanying it were divine. We lapped up every last bit with some of the fresh bread before letting them take the empty plate. It was that good. the bartender, Jake, treats his work like an artform, putting decorative touches on each signature drink and took the time between filling orders to converse with us and make us feel at home. The owner even made a batch of garlic knots just for us, which was a very special touch. Before switching into dinner mode, we each tried a soup. They were pretty good. My wife tried the pasta fagioli and I had the seafood bisque. There were large chunks of crab in the bisque and it was a nice transition before the meal. We went on to share a pitcher of the red sangria, which was exceptional. We could not finish it all, but it was a nice touch before wandering the streets and happenings of Ybor City. But I digress. Dinner was certainly the high point. The platters of food are enromous and fit for Kings and Queens. I decided on the Pork Chop special, which as promised was a "Fred Flinstone" chunk of meat. It was huge. The butterflied chop was stuffed with meat and cheese and lathered in a delightful cream sauce. If I had more room, I would have devoured every single bite. After the other courses though, a box was required. My wife had the homemade knocchi with chunks of filet mignon, mushrooms, onions, and prosciutto. It was delicious as well. Needless to say, we both took boxes and will finish every last bite shortly. All I can say is that the experience was exceptional. Every single employee was friendly and kind making you feel like a part of the Laughing Cat family. As is true in most cases, this is a clear reflection of the superior management team, Franco, Troy, and Gerry treat their employees well and balance a relaxed work environment well with precise delivery and cullinary expertise. I love the Cat and will be back soon and often. If you are in Tampa or Ybor City, make sure you stop for a visit and then spend the night at the Centro Ybor Comedy Club or Movies, if you can manage to ever leave this fantastic establishment. Bon Appetit.

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Chris E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“The worst Italian Restaurant in all of Florida”
Reviewed May 28, 2013

Terrible dinner. It started with a bruschetta that was cheesy bread with tomatoes on it. Calamari were rubbery and tasteless. I dot a pork chop special that was drenched in a cream sauce. The wife got tortellini that had cubed fake mozzarella on it. The white wine was warm and all I wanted to do was run away from this place. The worst part of it was that we went there because everyone on this website reviewed so highly. So I am wondering if I went on a bad night or they paid all these people to write a good review. I will never go anywhere in the vicinity of the laughing cat.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank PiccoBelloNaples
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Claremont
Level Contributor
30 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“fantastic seafood pasta”
Reviewed May 27, 2013

I've been here on a couple of different trips to Tampa and I'll be going back again. It's a great little place, with great service and food. the buffet seems to be very popular, but I've ordered off of the menu, seafood past is my favorite. a huge portion of pasta and seafood, shrimp, scallops and fish - all in a great marinara sauce.

  • Visited September 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Duane B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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