Thursday, November 5, 2009

Not Much News

Since the trip to NYC, life in Tampa has been fairly routine, hence no posts in the past week. Although I should mention that we ventured to a new restaurant at International Plaza, Brio Tuscan Grill. Yes, it is a chain, with locations throughout the country. And being a chain serving Italian food, we approached it with caution. Well, the decor was knock-your-socks-off over the top, typical for a well financed chain. The food on the other hand, was OK, not bad, but no way near as good as you can get in an independent local Italian ristorante, like Vino e Pasta in Tampa or Primi Urban Cafe in St. Petersburg. Frank and I both started with a very ordinary Caesar salad. I order the Shrimp & Scallop Risotto, which was loaded with shrimp and bay scallops (nice), in a heavy tomato cream sauce (not quite right). The rice seemed to be an afterthought, which is just all wrong for a risotto. Send the chef back to Tuscany for remedial training, I say. Frank ordered Pasta Alla Vodka, which had "little purses" filled with ricotta in an OK vodka sauce.  Better vodka sauce is readily available at the previously mentioned Vino e Pasta. While the flavor of our food was fine, it still seemed like "chain" food. So, there is my food snobbishness showing through again. So be it !

That's all I'm Saying


Paul said...

Speaking of Italian chains, what's your view/review of Maggiano's? I've always thought it's pretty good, but I consider you to have a more refined palate, especially for this cuisine.

I'd like to hear (read) your thoughts.

Dick said...

Well, I haven't dined there is a while and it too isn't high on my list of chain Italian restaurants. The food is fine, but I still prefer an independent Italian restaurant One of the issues I have with Maggiano's is portion size. On the other hand, I have enjoyed their appetizers and a couple glasses of wine in the bar area.