Pizzeria Rustica

Interior
Interior
Exterior and patio
Exterior and patio
Antipasto
Antipasto
Caesar salad
Caesar salad
Rustica
Rustica

*** (3 stars)

Friendly service and a nice patio dining area are the highlights of this place in the midst of the Colorado Springs tourist area.

The food was just okay, with a very pedestrian Antipasto Misto and somewhat odd Caesar Salad that involved diced meat and toasted bits of flatbread.

The namesake Pizza Rustica was also just okay. The thin, authentic crust was good, but the ricotta was only in one small section, and the pizza overall had very little flavor. We overhead a nearby table chatting with the owner, and they gave exactly the same assessment.

Wine prices are reasonable.

Pizzeria Rustica
2527 W Colorado Ave
Colorado Springs, CO 80904

https://www.yelp.com/biz/pizzeria-rustica-colorado-springs

La Luce

Exterior
Exterior
Interior
Interior
Gnocchi with spinach, mushrooms and truffle oil. Yum!
Gnocchi with spinach, mushrooms and truffle oil. Yum!

***** (5 stars)

We attended the Epicurious progressive dinner that started here with two courses: speck wrapped figs stuffed with gorgonzola, and gnocchi verde. The gnocchi was the group's favorite from the entire progressive dinner, because of the delicate wrappers and rich truffle-flavored mushrooms.

I definitely want to return to LaLuce for the full dinner after this amazing taste of what they offer!

The room is a bit austere, but not too noisy, and the service was wonderful.

La Luce
14100 Bonnet Creek Resort Ln
Orlando, FL 32821

https://www.yelp.com/biz/la-luce-orlando

Piesanos Stone Fired Pizza

Interior
Interior
Menu wine
Menu wine
Lunch menu and beverages
Lunch menu and beverages
Piesanos rolls
Piesanos rolls
Menu
Menu
Interior
Interior
Exterior
Exterior
Hot antipasto sampler
Hot antipasto sampler
Personal pizza
Personal pizza
Shrimp and mussels far diavolo
Shrimp and mussels far diavolo
Interior
Interior
Mini chocolate cannelloni
Mini chocolate cannelloni

***** (5 stars)

Finally there's a good restaurant in this spot! Third try at Italian, plus Cajun and sports bar, too. The secret was to get rid of the huge ugly bar that dominated the middle of the room.

The bar is now in a cozy back corner, and the dining area has been divided up into smaller spaces.

The extensive menu includes both classic Italian dishes and a full range of pizzas, plus a limited wine and cocktail list.

We were comped an order of Piesano rolls, which are fresh baked with garlic and parmesan. We agree with other commenters and some tables around us that it's weird that there is Italian dressing poured over the rolls. Maybe serve it on the side?

The hot antipasto appetizer sampler included fried mozzarella, ravioli, calamari, and peppers. All we good, and not greasy.

Ceasar salads were excellent.

The pepperoni pizza had nice crisp crust from the wood oven, and very flavorful pepperoni.

Shrimp and mussels fra diavolo was okay. The seafood was good, but the sauce was not as flavorful as other versions I've had, and was not spicy at all, although the shaker of dried peppers on the table helped.

Mini chocolate covered cannolis were a nice, reasonable sized dessert.

Service was good. There were a LOT of servers here mid-afternoon of their first Saturday after opening, and things were running smoothly. A few details like meal pacing still need to be worked out. but everyone is obviously very engaged, and working hard to make this, the space's sixth go round, a success.

Piesanos Stone Fired Pizza
7782 Winter Garden Vineland Rd
Windermere, FL 34786

https://www.yelp.com/biz/piesanos-stone-fired-pizza-windermere-2

Brio Tuscan Grille

Exterior
Interior
Patio

**** (4 stars)

This Brio location offers a nice “outside” patio that overlooks the mall’s indoor fountain. Service is attentive, and the menu is standard Brio.

The lunch combo of shrimp pasta and Caesar salad for $12 is a good deal. The pasta was perfectly al dente, and the shrimp tails had been removed.

It’s a good place to linger away from the bustle of the mall and enjoy an espresso.

Brio Tuscan Grille
4200 Conroy Rd
Orlando, FL
32839
(407) 351-8909
https://www.yelp.com/biz/brio-tuscan-grille-orlando

Tuscany il Ristorante

Lobster fra Diavolo
Bar
Exterior
Patio

***** (5 stars)

Really excellent restaurant with traditional Italian dishes and some modern dishes too (Chilean Sea Bass with miso glaze).

Your meal begins with complimentary bruschetta and is accompanied by focaccia bread and garlic rolls.

Caesar salad is absolutely traditional.

The lobster fra diavolo was the best I’ve had, served in a unique presentation, with a whole lobster, split and out of the shell, on one side of the plate, and the pasta and assorted shellfish on the other side. Really excellent.

The extensive winelist has some real depth, especially on the Italian offerings, which are reasonably priced.

Service was really top notch.

Tuscany il Ristorante
968 S Westlake BlvdSte 4
Westlake Village, CA
91361
(805) 495-2768
https://www.yelp.com/biz/tuscany-il-ristorante-westlake-village-2

Papa D Pizza

Calzone

Interior

Exterior

***** (5 stars)

A lot of pizza restaurants think they know how to make calzones, but they basically just fold their pizzas in half. Not at Papa D! This is a real calzone, with a light, crisp, paper-thin crust filled with the best ingredients. I had pepperoni, red peppers, and ricotta, in addition to the standard mozzarella. It’s served with a bowl of fresh marinara. It was easily the best calzone I’ve had anywhere.

Papa D Pizza
5106 Dr Phillips Blvd
Orlando, FL
32819
(407) 299-0033
https://www.yelp.com/biz/papa-d-pizza-orlando

Corellis Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria

Interior

**** (4 stars)

This hidden away gem of an Italian restaurant serves excellent food, and has some of the best wine prices you’ll find in Central Florida. The wine offerings are top notch, with a lot of hard to find labels, and an emphasis on top-rated reds. The owner obviously has a passion for it.

During a special event we were seated in the wine shop, and it was actually nicer than the main dining room. Plus, there was an excellent jazz saxophonist.

Highly recommended.

Corellis Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria
1042-1044 E Hwy 50
Clermont, FL
34711
(352) 989-5924
https://www.yelp.com/biz/corellis-italian-restaurant-and-pizzeria-clermont-2

Maggiano’s Little Italy

***** (5 stars)

Our company has been using Maggiano’s to host our training sessions for several years, and they have always consistently delivered an excellent experience for our clients. The food is plentiful and tasty, and the service–even with a large group of up to 30–is efficient and friendly. Our customers rave about the trainings, and especially the desserts!

Maggiano’s Little Italy
9101 International Dr
Ste 2400
Orlando, FL 32819
(407) 241-8650
https://www.yelp.com/biz/maggianos-little-italy-orlando-4

Pizza Hut

Lunch pizza special

**** (4 stars)

This new location replaced the old tired building just to the south. Unfortunately the buffet didn’t make the move. It was the last surviving one in Central Florida. But the new location is bright and airy, and the service is friendly.

The food is, of course, standard Pizza Hut food.

Pizza Hut
12195 S Apopka Vineland Rd
Orlando, FL 32836
(407) 239-0205
https://www.yelp.com/biz/pizza-hut-orlando-51

Sotto

Interior

Exterior

Bread with garlic anchovy butter

Funghi pizza

*** (3 stars)

Excellent service here is the highlight, and the decor is intimate while at the same time being bustling. The food doesn’t quite live up to the resulting expectations.

Housemade bread was delicious, and worth the extra charge. The funghi pizza was flavorful, but the crust was more like naan bread, with no crispness at all. We ate the toppings off.

Rigatoni was nicely al dente, but this dish should only be ordered if you absolutely LOVE chicken livers, and they weren’t just the prime flavor component, they were the only flavor component.

I give them points for doing something different with the wine list, but it may not be what you’re looking for. ALL of the wines are from lesser known Italian appellations, so you’re not going to find any varietals you’ve likely heard of. This encourages exploration, but also invites disappointment.

Sotto
9575 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90035
(310) 277-0210
https://www.yelp.com/biz/sotto-los-angeles