Friday, March 22, 2013

An Italian Treat In West Tampa

What a surprising and delicious Italian treat for not only our taste buds, but also our pocketbook - Montauro Ristorante, 2501 W. Tampa Bay Boulevard. This is a fantastic Mom and Pop kind of place with a clean, but Spartan interior.

We dined at Montauro's tonight, arriving a little past the 5 o'clock start of the dinner hour. Cindy, our vivacious server, invited us to sit where we felt most comfortable. So we did. There was only one other table that was occupied - two couples who were enjoying glasses of wine.

It was most fortunate that I had seen on-line that Montauro does not serve beer or wine, but patrons are welcome to bring their own. We did bring our own - a delightful bottle of Chianti that I had purchased a day ago for $29 from Publix. The reason for mentioning the price shall be revealed shortly.

When Cindy presented menus she also brought two wine glasses and a cork screw. Bless her sweet heart, she uncorked and poured the wine for us. Take note - there was no corkage fee. How refreshing!

Moments later, Cindy delivered to our table a basket of fresh bread with a bowl of marinara dipping sauce. The bread had a nice crust and a soft center. The dipping sauce was very tasty. It was hard to refrain from scarfing down the entire basket of bread and the sauce, but it was a wise decision on our part to control our urges.

Next to arrive at our table was the house salad. Ho hum, you might snark, but take a look at this hummer.

The salad with a subtle vinaigrette came with a breaded veal cutlet. Holy moly, Batman, that could have been a meal in itself. We boxed some and brought it home. We had to because the main course was on its way.

For my bride, the Stuffed Shells with a creamy cheesy center and couple of meatballs added for good measure.

This huge plate of food was packed with flavor and was a real palate pleaser.

The Friday special at Montauro is the Pasta with Marinara Sauce and Shredded Blue Crab. I had to have some of that!

This was a luscious dish loaded with crabby flavor. I was able to clean my plate, but just barely. That was a lot of food.

Neither of us had room for dessert, but my bride did request a Tiramisu to go. It didn't survive the trip real well, but it still tasted great.

Montauro Ristaurante is far from haute Italian cuisine, but the food is really good and oh so filling, probably like what would be served in an Italian home. We have spent way more at other Italian eateries and have received way less in quality and quantity of food, and service.

Our total Montauro bill came to a whopping $29. Now that is what I call a value meal. We left a $10 gratuity for Cindy - just because.

Montauro Ristorante on Urbanspoon Montauro Restaurante on Foodio54


  1. Damn, that sounds good! And I'm not even all that keen for Italian food; but I would try that place in a New York minute--about half a heartbeat. Bit of a drive from Dallas, though. Yum! Delicious reporting, Jon.

    1. Good morning Bill, as always it's a pleasure to hear from you, and thanks for the kind words.

      Italian has not been a real biggie for me either, but of late I have become enamored with unpretentious Italian cooking. I have been watching David Rocco on the Cooking Channel. He features stuff the real people eat.

      We were also thrilled to waddle out of this place for a measly $29 plus tip. We have dropped ten times that much at some of the high end places and had to mutter WTF.

      Wouldst that Dallas and Tampa were a lot closer.