Taste of Tuscany: Rigatoni’s Restaurant
Tampa’s taste of Tuscany begins at Rigatoni’s Tuscan Oven. Every dish is make from scratch, and the generous portions and casual style is perfect for entertaining friends and family.
Serving lunch and dinner daily, with delivery and take-out available as well as catering, owners Sonia and Rick Barcena’s comforting recipes range from the traditional spaghetti and hearty meatball subs smothered in marinara and cheese to Italian classics such as a whole roasted garlic sandwich with turkey and ham or the hearty Tuscan sandwich stacked with salami, pepperoni, prosciutto, sautéed mushrooms, mozzarella cheese and signature Tuscan spices. Accompanied by their signature cold pasta salad, your palate will thank you.
Lighter fare includes a sautéed chicken, sun-dried tomato and mozzarella cheese salad mixed with fresh spring mix and a delightful Caesar topped with sautéed chicken breast. I like the pasta dishes, especially the chicken parmesan with rigatoni or chicken marsala with penne.
Dinner showcases the magic of Rigatoni. Kick it off with Tuscan grilled oysters or lightly breaded soft shell crab, accompanied by the garlic knots or bruschetta if you have four to feed.
What’s for the main course? Tuscan sea bass sautéed in lemon butter, lobster ravioli, Tuscan seafood casserole, shrimp and lobster cannelloni, calamari diabolo or Tuscan seafood paella will please fish aficiandos.
Ravioli, baked ziti, lasagna and other pasta dishes shine, especially the penne with fresh tomatos, capers, olives, sausage, garlic and fresh basil are stand-outs. Veal and chicken can be ordered picatta, marsala or parmesan and come with pasta and herbed garlic knots, irresistible.
In addition to gluten free dishes, there are low-crab pizzas for the health conscious, but my favorite is the gourmet tomato and feta or spinach and feta pizzas.
An excellent wine list and recommended wines (and full bar) that enhance the meal are available as is Sangria or Peroni by the pitcher. Sweetening the experience is the the Tuascan flan and dessert flights for tasting and sharing.
During the week, Rigatoni’s offers specials such as All U Can Eat Snow Crab Legs (Sunday, Wednesday), 2 for 1 drinks daily and music (Jose Mariscal Sunday and Friday, 6-9 p.m.; live karaoke Saturday night).
Order ahead and a take a platter of lasagna home for dinner. And if you’ve got a special occasion such as a rehearsal dinner, weddings, office function, birthday party, you can book one of the two beautiful banquet rooms, The Castle or The Verandah. Rigatoni’s offers catering menus for their banquet rooms or off-premise events, with an outstanding catering service department that handles all your needs.