Do you love Italian food? We do too, and that's why we dedicate ourselves to finding the best places to enjoy Italian cuisine in St. Petersburg / Clearwater. We've diligently scouted out the top eateries, and we've listened to our readers and their reviews of St. Petersburg / Clearwater restaurants. We share the places that get great buzz, like Alfano's, and we showcase the ones that have proven themselves over time, like Skidder's Restaurant. We also point out good neighborhoods for Italian restaurants in St. Petersburg / Clearwater - St. Petersburg, for instance. When the craving hits, we'll make sure you get your fix!
Known for its hospitality and many capable menu items, Skidder's has earned a familiar place as a neighborhood institution. The family-run business offers hearty portions of food that's influenced by Greek and Italian traditions. Lobster, steak, and fish dishes take care of those with elaborate dining needs, and sandwiches and burgers satisfy smaller lunchtime appetites. Breakfast brings on a slew of traditional fare (egg dishes, pancakes, waffles), and the accommodating staff is a welcome throwback to past days. At busy times, anticipate a wait. (727-360-1029)
Marchand's Bar & Grill
A fitting complement to the glorious Vinoy, this celebrated dining room embodies elegance, with its frescoes, bay views, and accents of marble and mahogany. Its cuisine is in perfect keeping with the refined setting. A menu swayed by Mediterranean and Italian sensibilities features roasted fish, beautifully dressed pastas, wonderful wines, and grilled meats. Robust flavors enliven main courses and accompaniments, and desserts are a foray into decadence, courtesy of chocolate, cream, and pastry. (727-894-1000, 727-824-8072)
Da Sesto Italiano Restaurant
Da Sesto Italian Restaurant's glowing reputation can be partially attributed to its reasonable prices and generous portions, but credit must be given where credit is due: this popular pick is owned and operated by the longtime owners of Florida Pasta Company, and it's their homemade pasta that Da Sesto patrons rave about. The lunch specials, which change daily and include pasta, soup, salad and bread, are a local favorite. (727-209-2695)
Gratzzi's clientele hails the restaurant's talented Chef Tony for blending Old World Italian flavor with New American innovation. The result? Delicious dishes like Pesto Parmesan Risotto and Seabass Alla Oscar. Everything on the menu is made fresh in-house daily, and options range from light yet substantial salads topped with fish to hearty pasta entrees. The rich, polished wood floors and mahogany walls offer the perfect setting for an elegant dinner. (727-623-9037)
A trendy restaurant located on downtown St. Pete's infamous Beach Drive, BellaBrava offers a creative twist on traditional Italian cuisine.
Enjoy a chic and upscale atmosphere and settle into one of the restaurant's cozy booths indoors or opt for outdoor seating in St. Pete's balmy year round weather.
Delectable and fresh menu items include an American burger with a Tuscan twist, as well as a variety of pastas. Try one of the delicious flatbreads, pizzas or calzones – cooked in a Woodstone oven. And be sure to save room for classic Italian desserts, like gelato, cannoli or traditional tiramisu. (727-895-5515)
If you're looking for a comfortable place to enjoy classic Italian cuisine, Alfano's will ably accommodate your needs. The family-owned establishment offers a range of dishes to suit most any appetite, from pastas dressed with savory sauces to entrees based around veal, chicken, and the like. Complementing the food is a terrific selection of wines, applauded by "Wine Spectator." If you'd like something stronger, the lounge is a relaxing haven that offers live music several times a week. (727-584-2125)
Traditional touches that blend with the new world cuisine at this Tuscan trattoria help garner rave reviews. The restaurant has gone "green" (as in energy conscious) and the atmosphere is sophisticated, yet warm and inviting. A patio and balcony offer outdoor seating, so bring your best friend as they are also dog-friendly. (727-895-5515)
Palm Court Italian Grill
Tucked away in the Island Grand Resort, this intimate bistro plies diners with a wealth of hard-to-resist temptations. A continental influence flavors the cuisine, which is rife with fresh local seafood. Grilled grouper, bacon-wrapped sea scallops, and Florida bouillabaisse provide a taste of the ocean's bounty, while roast lamb, grilled beef tenderloins, and veal medallions satisfy meat-lovers. Duck, chicken, and pastas also make welcome appearances. A full bar menu and a charming outdoor patio add highlights. (727-367-6461)
Ponte's Tuscan Grill
This stylish place, awash in ambient lighting, rich colors, and colorful continental advertising posters, is a visual comfort – even the hug that the name suggests. Its food, too, seeks to please viscerally. To that end, it offers pastas enlivened with hearty sauces, including seafood linguine and penne à la vodka. If you crave more rustic dishes, you'll find them as well. Grilled fish is a flavorful entry, and roasted duck is the essence of culinary pleasure. A bit of tiramisu to complete the meal, and you'll call it a good day. Full bar and outdoor seating available. (727-724-5716)