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Restaurants & Bars

Pané Rustica opens for dinner/Tampa

Tandoori Girl | Mar 13, 200511:26 AM

It doesn't get much better than this. Those of you who are already familiar with this South Tampa lunch/bakery spot are already aware of the lure of their fresh salads, crisp pizzas, and other ordinary items that reach the extraordinary here. After searching for a parking place at Spartaco's and not finding one, we left, heading south on MacDill (just south of Bay to Bay), and suddenly remembered this was Pané Rustica's first weekend for dinner dining. Not only was there more than ample parking but the place was packed with lots of locals who know a good meal and the great reputation of this South Tampa recently-relocated restaurant that previously was open only for lunch and a bakery breakfast.

All the entrees were generous portions. I had the hankerchiefs, large squares of fresh tasty pasta in a rich crushed tomato blend with lots of spices in every bite. DH had a seafood boullabaise, loaded with fish. We split a salad that had little bits of fried polenta (we are guessing here) skirting it. Plenty big enough to split. We also had a fried oyster appetizer. The oysters (3) were a nice size, more large than small, and had a great taste. But I think a thinner batter better for the delicate oyster. Too breaded for my tastes.

There is wine and beer on the menu now. I had a cabernet, DH had a chianti. Both were very nice. Dessert? You know it's there, who could miss the bakery displays and the gelato, but who could eat it after all that food. I suggest an after-movie trip for dessert and coffee. A great place to dine. Entree prices were in the teens. Go now before the crowds arrive.

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