Tampa >Food & Dining > Caffe Paradiso
Bland food and lackluster service--AVOID!.
We love dining out with great food, and my boyfriend is deploying to Qatar soon, so I wanted to take him out to a nice meal beforehand.
We were seated promptly, but the waiter took over 5 minutes to come take our drink order and my place setting was missing a bread plate an fork. Incidentally, their wine list is ridiculously overpriced. I love good wine and don't mind paying for it, but their list was generic and nothing in the reds was worth the price tag they were charging.
We ordered the seafood salad as an appetizer--ONE seafod salad, but two were brought out. The calamari was rubbery and stringy and the shrimp was overcooked and tough. The crab meat was fishy and gritty, as well. One course down--I thought maybe the guy making the seafood salad was having a bad night. Surely the rest of the meal must be better!
As we were waiting for dinner, my water glass sat empty the whole time. The waiter actually came by and said he would have some right out, but we never saw him again until after dinner was served. I finally had to flag down a busboy and ask him for some.
DInner was disappointing, to say the least! My boyfriend ordered the lasagna, which arrived looking greasy and ORANGE and my canneloni stuffed with veal and chicken was covered in a nondescript white sauce. Looks aren't everything though- so I was at least hoping they would make up for the appearance with some great flavors! My canneloni tasted....white. The meat inside was so dry it was crumbling, and the pasta it was wrapped in had been overcooked and was mush. Imagine eating Elmer's Glue over squishy pasta. Yum!
The lasagna was greasy and tasted like the chef had opened a can of Chef Boyardee and dumped it on a plate. During dinner, the waiter came by only once and I ran out of water, AGAIN.
All in all: save your money, go to Publix and get a can of Beefaroni. At least then you'll know what you're getting and won't shell out more than $3.00.
Awesome food & service. My wife and I disagree with the review from "whomever" ... we have nothing but great things to say about Caffe Paradiso! We showed-up with no reservation on a Friday night and received prompt & courteous service. The food was excellent, as was the service. Lasagna = OUTSTANDING! Atmosphere = comfortable & intimate! 'Nuff said ....
Like too many others. There was a time this restaurant was a great Italian restaurant. Now sadly, the portions are smaller, the prices are higher, and the service is so poor you'd better hope they build a motel near by. One of the things that used to make this a great little restaurant was the staff, now the staff has given up and moved to other Italian restaurants right near by that have picked up the Italian flag for quality and freshness as well as value. I used to go almost every other week, after the last three times of the waiter telling me the owner never listens and doesn't have good taste, I think I finally agree.
This friendly South Tampa neighborhood restaurant is winning a reputation for
excellent service and fine Italian cuisine..
From the outside it's nothing special; but once you step into the foyer, you feel as if you've been transported to a family restaurant in Milano. The interior is dignified but welcoming, with crisp linen tablecloths and careful waiters fulfilling your every whim.
There's hardly anything on the menu that isn't this side of fabulous: minestrone soup, salads and various pastas. Make sure to try the "ossobuco alla Milanese"--veal shanks so tender they melt in your mouth.
Very good Italian, classy, yet subdued. We have enjoyed every meal we have had at Caffe' Paradiso. We'd come more often, but it's a long drive. They always take good care of us and remember us, though we come infrequently. Food is very good. We enjoy the calamari, salads, fresh pasta dishes, veal (ossobuco, etc), and tuna steak was really good. Reasonably priced for what you get, decent and moderately priced wine list. Here you can eat and be treated like a king without breaking the bank.
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