Chowhounder Mario placed a review of Armani's restaurant awhile back that I thought was a good one. He questioned the pomposity of the place, and the food which he described as nothing to brag about. How this restaurant, which has excelled more for its pretentions rather than its food quality, received such a high rating from this years Zagat is a question that only the Zagat staff might answer!
Now I've heard from a good source that the chef at Armani's has left and opened up his own restaurant (in Palm Harbor?) called Massimo's. Armani's new chef is due to arrive Valentine's Day in Tampa from Dubai -- an Italian with supposed "great credentials". Unfortunately, the restaurant will now be forced to compete with Tampa's newest fine Italian restaurants, including Spartaco on MacDill Avenue and That's Amore on Harbor Island. And in Spartaco's case, they will have to compete with outstanding food and food value, friendly gregarious Italian staff, and in some cases incredible entertainment (their occasional troubadour is a great Italian touch, if you're lucky to be there when he is).
Arriving on Valentine's Day is surely the sweetheart of sweetheart deals for Armani's chef! I'm keeping my fingers crossed that he can in turn make it one for his customers.