717 south

Oh yeah, just look at the crispy little legs on this baby. You know how I feel about calamari fritti, it’s one of my island foods. As in, if I’m ever trapped on a desert island, this is a food I could not live without. I used to get calamari almost every week with my mom at the market in Italy, fried fresh and tossed with a bit of lemon juice into a paper bag. So simple, so good. 717 South cooked these leggy little guys up to perfection. They’re coated with a breadcrumb and Panko mixture, a little heavier than a normal batter but crunchy and delicious. The heavier breading really helps them keep their crunch with the sauce.Β  And oh, the spicy arrabbiata sauce!? Fuggettaboutit. Tangy with a little kick, molto buono.

Fruitwood Market

Although not conventionally Italian, the Fruitwood Market has such fantastic woodfired pizza it doesn’t matter! I especially love theΒ  Pink Flamingo flatbread but without the honey mustard drizzle.

On the far left was my delicious flatbread with rucola, mozzarella,Β  pistachio, and red pepper flakes. In the middle, habenero, pancetta. On the right, black bean, pancetta, gorgonzola, corn. No complaints, just all around delicious for the whole group! Paired with their peach cider it’s a part of your complete nutritional breakfast.

Panninoteca

mozzerella and a garlic aoli make this a creamy alternative to the original.

Caprese done right

Tomato, mozzarella, basil, all married with a garlic aoli and balsamic vinegar dressing on focaccia bread. Need I say more? Panninoteca in downtown Tampa has some of my favorite food in Florida, though I suppose I’m a bit biased toward Mediterranean food, so take that with a grain of salt. I had their roasted lamb and some silky baba ghanouj that was fantastic, but this sandwich will always be my favorite! They do an awesome half off sangria on Sunday deal that makes #sangriasunday feel oh so right.