Pia’s Trattoria in Gulfport, Florida our new favorite Italian restaurant

Filed in Gather Travel Essential by on September 7, 2010 0 Comments

Pia’s Trattoria looks like it was transported here from Italy. It is at home in the heart of the colorful art district in the sleepy little harbor town of Gulfport, Florida.

Next time you visit the Tampa Bay Area in Florida do swing by, if you like good Italian cooking then you will love this place. 

You will find a relaxed dining atmosphere with a rustic Italian, old world charm – candelabras not just for decor, but with real candles – good wine that doesn’t cost a fortune, a long list of paninis and lasagna (the house specialty) in creative, fresh and even unusual combos.

Loved their shaded outdoor seating area which has a mixed mediterranean and tropical flavor.  

A view of the exterior

 

Here is a shot of the sidewalk cafe.

We were enchanted with the lush greenery that hugs the facade of the establishment giving it that old world feel.

 

 

 

Behind all that greenery lies a shady sideyard with picnic tables - I forgot to upload my pic – so you’ll have to settle for

a shot of their picturesque shed

complete with a photogenic bike

courtesy of one of the local customers.

 

Of course there is plenty of greenery …

Tropical Hibiscus Bloom

 

Backyard entry into the main dining area.

 

Here is the front part of the restaurant …

 

 

We dined in the main dining area in the rear of the house, across from this dining room.

Rustic Italian ambience galore…

 

 

Our dining experience

 To start with, the mixed greens salad tasted fresh and the homemade vinaigrette had a perfect balance of flavors.

The fresh baked bread was baked to perfection – a real treat, served with virgin olive oil and spices. All I can say is go home Macaroni Grill and company, this is the real deal.

We tried the daily special, red snapper, served with a risotto (rice with goat cheese and peppers), true perfection. On par with the most expensive seafood restaurant in Tampa Bay in my humble opinion. There are plenty of good seafood places in Tampa Bay – so this means something, to stand out in the crowd.

Can’t wait to go back and try the lasagna, I plan to start with the salmon and spinach version – lasagna is the specialty of the house, so you can go beef or vegetarian or any of the combos.

The menu included a whole page of paninis, so if you just want to grab a sandwich you have plenty of choices.

For dessert we shared and tried the cheesecake with plums - made with real ricotta cheese – divine. Yup, you guessed it, it was homemade by the owner herself.

Pia is Italian and runs the restaurant with her German husband, obviously a talented duo. (Our waiter told me enthusiastically when I nosily inquired)

 

 

Richard had an Erdinger Hefeweizen (beer) and I was pleasantly surprised by the quality and taste of one of their white Pino Grigio. My new favorite wine, I don’t think I’ll waver from that, it’s soo tricky to find a wine that I really like, I’m picky that way.

 

 

By the way – the prices are between $10 and $20

for lunch and dinner.

Wine by the glass or by the bottle is very reasonable priced.

 

 

 

Anyway,

 – just so this is clear -

 I have no affiliation with this restaurant.

 

 

I simply adored the ambience of the interior in case that wasn’t already obvious:)

 

 Candlelight and wine, good food served by friendly staff in a unique atmosphere – that’s my kind of place.

   

About Gulfport - Gulfport is a very small seaside resort with an old Florida flavor and a real sense of community.

Artistic, laid back, family friendly, gay friendly, dog friendly and a great little spot to go pub crawling , antique or unique souvenir hunting.

For more info check out:

A trip to the Tuesday Morning Market – click here

First Friday of each month - Art Walk in Gulfport - click here

Taking a Walk in Gulfport, Florida – click here

Sit in the sidewalk cafes or stroll out onto the pier, go fishing, check out their Tuesday Morning fresh market with live music or take part in one their fun Art Walks. 

 

TIPS:

This town knows how to party – so if you happen to be there during the Gecko Fest or any other goings on – by all means go.

This is not your usual tourist spot, it’s a welcoming, family friendly place to hang out at or book a room at the local seaside bed and breakfast or spa retreat.

 

If you go – here’s their address

 

Pia’s Trattoria

3054 Beach Blvd. S,

Gulfport, FL 33701

(727) 327-2190

 http://www.piastrattoria.com/

Pia’s Trattoria is also listed as an editor’s pick on Tampabay.com/things-to-do. Read their review here

 

A food pic from their website

Pia's 1 - Pia's 1

We were there for the annual Gecko Fest

 – so watch for my upcoming photo essay -

thanks for looking!

All images – except the food pic – taken by Rose Hill

© Sep 2010 Rose Hill

 

 

About the Author ()

My interests keep changing. I love to garden and I enjoy photography. I have an opinion about everything and like to exchange with others. It's what makes me happy.

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