Bavaro's Tampa

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Oh, where do I even begin? Last weekend, Matt and I had an impromptu date night downtown and stumbled upon an Italian gem known as Bavaro's. Rarely do we ever find ourselves craving Italian cuisine, yet our tastebuds somehow steered us the right way.

As soon as you walk into Bavaro's, you are welcomed to the sounds of crackling logs from their stunning imported wood-fired brick oven. Talk about impressive, their menu features Neapolitan pizza, homemade pastas, antipasti, and classic homemade desserts - did I mention homemade? A family-owned restaurant, you can see how much passion goes into each and every meal that's set in front of you. And although we only ordered a few items to share, it's safe to say these dishes were a life-changing moment for us here in Tampa.

We started things off with the bruschetta - plum tomato with flavors of oregano and basil, this dish was light, fresh, and super flavorful. It was a perfect bite paired with wood-fired bread that had great chew.

As soon as we looked at the menu, our eyes were immediately drawn to the Homemade Ravioli Emiliani - a dish consisting of homemade ravioli, prosciutto di parma, mortadella, and parmigiano reggiano in a bolognese sauce. You guys, the flavors were bold and everything you could want in a ravioli. The perfect bite at every bite and the only thing that had stopped me from eating the whole plate was the Al Crudo Pizza that followed.

Pillowy and chewy, the dough on this neapolitan delight was hands down my favorite part. It was the perfect base topped with fresh arugula, fresh mozzarella, shaved parmigiano reggiano, prosciutto di parma, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. So savory and so good.

I have to admit, this was the first time in a long time where I had been this excited about Italian food. I may be biased, but when you've experienced the North End in Boston, it's easy to say others don't compare. Thankfully, Bavaro's has proved me otherwise. So the next time you're downtown for a musical show or hockey game, do yourself a favor and treat yourself to a delicious Italian meal at Bavaro's - you won't be disappointed!

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