Monday, February 27, 2017

Bernini's, Ybor City

A lemon drop martini and dinner at Bernini's was a great way to start off our Great Escape. As part of our "Restaurants Revisited" theme, this year we're picking out some old favorites to see if they still measure up to our first experience. Bernini's gets a somewhat mixed review not for the food which was excellent, but for the other things that can make or break an evening out. My lemon drop martini was served in a stainless steel glass which I found quite interesting - a good way to keep it cold. But I was disappointed that it had no lemon garnish so the one you see pictured here came out of my water glass. It's the little things you know?
We had made our reservation more than a week in advance knowing what a busy place this is. When our party of 8 arrived they led us to a table on the main floor that literally had 6" of room all around it with people pushing past from the bar and diners knocking knees on the other side. We politely but firmly declined and noticing a free 8 top by the door simply said we're taking that one. Once seated comfortably the service was pretty good and very friendly. Our food came in a reasonable time frame and we were all happy with our meals. I had the Arugula/Pear Salad and the Lamb Lolipops which were delicious and 'peared' beautifully (forgive me).
For traditional Italian entrees, hubby had the Eggplant Parmesan which didn't measure up to his home made, but in some perverse way he insists on ordering things he knows he can make better (sigh). Ken had the Penne and Sausage and enjoyed it. Cheryl had a simple Linguini tossed with fresh tomatoes and mozzarella - it was light and very pleasing. Having eyed a platter passing to another table nearby, Mike ordered the Lasagna and loved it.
The negatives were the noise - the location was once The Bank of Ybor and was built in grand style with lots of marble and high ceilings so it's extremely noisy. And while we could put up with that, we were less than thrilled to learn that the women's room was out of order on a Saturday night. Yikes.
We ended the evening with dessert at Jollywood where very tasty Mini Cannolis from Publix were served with Coffee and Espresso along with some Fresh Strawberries. We'll go back to Bernini's for sure, but it will be a weekday evening to avoid the crowds.
1702 E. 7th Ave, Ybor City (Tampa) Florida 33605
Reservations highly recommended
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