While Lance’s parents were in town, we ate at one of my favorite restaurants, Pane Rustica. Several of my friends work there, and their food is incredible. They are Zagat rated and they’re on Tasting Tampa’s list of Top 10 Restaurants in South Tampa.
I have actually only ever dined for lunch, which is more casual and fast-paced. Everything is so fresh – from their hearth-baked pizzas, to gourmet sandwiches, salads, and pastas. They bake their own bread, plus they have gelato! Their specials change regularly, and no matter what you order, you’ll enjoy it. If you can’t decide, they even have an option called “Shut Up & Eat, don’t ask…You’ll love it!!!”
Since everyone in town knows how great their food is, they tend to get pretty busy for lunch. My friends that work there give me a hard time because I nearly always order their daily Roasted Acorn Squash special filled with chicken salad (the salad changes regularly, so sometimes it’s always slightly different). Depending on who prepares yours, it may come with a happy face!
I got my usual and Lance’s mom, Rita, ordered the squash as well, and LG had a slice of pizza with pear and balsamic vinegar.
If you order a water to drink, they have dispenser set up with flavor infused water – this time it was strawberry, lime, and basil. It is so refreshing, and the food was perfect as always.
My parents’ condo threw a holiday party on Sunday night catered by Pane Rustica, and since I was the official photographer, I was lucky to enjoy even more of their delicious food later that weekend.
They served beautiful cocktails, crab cakes, prosciutto wrapped shrimp with mango drizzle, lamb lollipops, and more! My friends Pate, Katie, and Alex were bartenders and servers for the event. If you ever need catering, go talk to the owner, Kevin, at Pane and you won’t regret it.
Pane Rustica also had some sweet espresso cookies and mini raspberry tartlets at the party. But the dessert I was most impressed with was actually baked by our family friend, Margaret Colby. She is only in high school, yet bakes some of the most beautiful desserts you’ll ever see! She made gingerbread snowflake cookies that were almost too pretty to eat.
It was a great weekend with lots of remarkable food!
Pane Rustica is located at 3225 S MacDill Ave, Tampa, FL 33629 and is open from 8am – 5pm on Tuesday, 8am – 10pm Wednesday through Saturday, 8am – 3pm on Sunday, and closed Mondays.