The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

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Archive for the ‘Dunedin’ Category


Always on the lookout for places we haven’t visited yet, we ended up at Pensare Italian Bistro in Dunedin for dinner tonight.  The place was packed and really loud.  We were seated in this little alcove and I felt like the sound just reverberated off the walls.  Our waiter came over and explained the specials and brought bread and oil to the table.



The bread was warm and crusty and the dipping oil was very flavorful.  We were optimistic about the rest of the meal only to be quickly disappointed when our appetizer arrived.



It was a fried platter of calamari, shrimp and zucchini.  The calamari was thin and like rubber.  The breading had no flavor whatsoever.  The shrimp were overcooked and the zucchini was burnt.  If our waiter had actually come back to the table in a reasonable amount of time, I would have sent it back.  Salads came with our meal and we both got the mixed greens.



Loren likes mixed green salads, I’m not a fan.  They also brought oil & vinegar to the table & you can have the waiter dress the salad or you can do it yourself.  Eventually, our entrees came out.  At this point, I felt like we had been there for quite a while. Loren ordered the Salmone Asparagi which was salmon in a lemon buerre-blanc sauce and asparagus.



He said it was pretty good.  I found the sauce to be a bit too tart and sour for my tastes. I went for the pappardelle bolognese.



This was not a good dish.  The pasta was undercooked and the sauce was flavorless.  It was just very uninspiring.  Our waiter disappeared at this point, I think he had tables out on the patio, so we didn’t see much more of him.  My expectations were so low at this point that I didn’t even bother with dessert.  We won’t be back.  Total bill was $59 with a drink.

Pensare Italian Bistro
799 Highland Ave
Dunedin, FL

Pensare Italian Bistro on Urbanspoon

  • Filed under: Dunedin, Italian
  • Loren took me out to my favorite little Italian restaurant tonight for our anniversary.  I don’t know why we don’t go to La Trattoria more often, I really do love the food.  If you’ve never been, it’s quite the experience.  There’s no menu and the owner is this jovial Italian man who just makes you feel like you’ve walked into his home for dinner.  He’ll be wandering around the restaurant singing and it’s just a hoot.  There’s nothing fancy about this place, but the food is excellent.  We started off with some bread, little pizza pieces, and salad.




    The little pizza pieces are almost identical in flavor to what my Italian grandmother used to make.  The dipping oil for the bread has huge chunks of garlic in it and the salad is just lightly dressed with oil & vinegar.  First off, you get shown the appetizers of the day.  Tonight there were artichokes, stuffed mushrooms, and stuffed eggplant.  Loren went for a mushroom and I tried the eggplant.





    Both were tasty.  I liked the tomato sauce on mine.  Once you’re done with the appetizers, the owner wheels out the cart o’ seafood and meats and tells you all the different ways he can prepare it for you.  I have a favorite dish here, the pasta with crab in a pink amaretto sauce.  I just can’t make myself order anything else.  You can get chicken, pork, veal, steaks, fish, pasta, ravioli and who knows what else in a variety of preparations.  Loren ordered the grouper in a piccata sauce with artichokes and sundried tomatoes.



    He said it was very tasty.  My pasta with crab was just divine.



    There are huge chunks of crab in this dish.  Loren says the sauce tastes like dessert because it’s so sweet.  I just love it.  And even though we were both stuffed, I couldn’t resist some ricotta cheesecake.



    If you’ve never had ricotta cheesecake, it’s more cakelike in texture and not as creamy as a NY cheesecake.  It’s somewhat dense with a little lemon flavor to it.  Overall, it was an excellent meal.  Total bill with a drink was $60.

    La Trattoria
    2152 Main St
    Dunedin, FL
    (727) 733-5664

    La Trattoria on Urbanspoon

  • Filed under: Dunedin, Italian
  • We were over in Dunedin today & stopped for lunch at Delco’s.  They still don’t take credit cards, but it doesn’t seem to have slowed their business down at all.  There was a line at the counter the entire time we were there.  This was the first time we’ve been back since they moved into their new space.  We actually ordered the same thing this time as we did the last, a cheesesteak for me and a roast beef sub for Loren.




    Loren still prefers the sandwiches at Jersey Mike’s, but I think the cheese steaks here are yummy.  We both ended up taking half of our sandwiches home.  I still find the way they handle the counter to be a bit odd.  You place your order at the register, but you’re not supposed to pay until you leave.  It just makes for a bottleneck up front that could be handled so much easier if you just paid when you ordered.  Being able to pay with a credit card would also be pretty handy.  Total bill was $17 with a couple of drinks.

    Delco’s Original Steaks and Hoagies
    1737 Main St
    Dunedin, FL
    (727) 738-4700

    Delco's Original Steaks and Hoagies on Urbanspoon

  • Filed under: Dunedin, Subs
  • Poor Service

    This is the third time we’ve eaten at Bascetti’s in Dunedin and after tonight, I’m not sure that we’ll be returning anytime soon.  The restaurant does some things very well, but is severely lacking in others.  My biggest complaint tonight was the service.  For the most part, it was just non-existent.  We ordered an appetizer and I assumed the waitress would bring out bread while we waited for it.  No such luck.  We just sat there for quite a long time waiting on the sausage and crab cake appetizer to arrive.


    All the photos are pretty bad because it was so dark at our table.  This dish was pretty tasty.  Lots of crab and just a hint of sausage flavor.  I probably wouldn’t have guessed that there was sausage in it because it was very mild.  The sauce with it was sort of a tangy salad dressing.   Once we had completely finished the appetizer, we sat and waited some more until our waitress brought out the bread.



    The dipping sauce is usually the best part of the bread here, however, tonight, it was ice cold.  It must have come straight out of the fridge and was not at all what I was expecting when I took my first bite.  It was very disappointing and I would have asked the waitress to heat it up if we had seen her again before we had finished eating the bread.  Once we were done with it, she brought out my chicken soup and Loren’s salad.





    They really need to get smaller bowls or put more soup in them.  The presentation of the soup just immediately made you think they were being skimpy with it.  It had a nice flavor, but I found the chicken pieces to be overcooked and sort of dry/grainy tasting.  Loren didn’t mind it as much as I did.   Usually, I complain that restaurants are too quick to bring out the next course, but that was definitely not an issue here tonight.   Service was painfully slow.  At one point, our waitress said she was going to refill drinks and she didn’t return for at least 15 minutes.    Eventually our entrees came out.  Loren ordered the chicken piccata.



    He really enjoyed this dish.  The sauce was light and tasty, the pasta cooked well and the chicken was tender.  He was all mmm, mmm, mmm, while I was less than enthused by my Vodka Princess pasta dish.



    This had overcooked rubbery shrimp and minuscule pieces of crab meat in it.  I had to really search to actually find any pieces of crab.  The sauce just wasn’t anything special and in my mind, the dish wasn’t worth $18.  It wasn’t smooth and creamy enough for me.  When the waitress came by and asked how it was, I was less than complimentary about the dish and she went back and told the kitchen.  They offered a free dessert so we tried the chocolate fig torte.



    This was really tasty.  I probably wouldn’t have guessed that there was fig in it, though every so often you did get some seeds.  It was chocolatety without being overwhelmingly rich.  For me, this was the best part of the meal.   I just felt like we spent way too much time sitting around waiting tonight.  Like I said, they do some things very well, but consistency and attention to the small details just seems lacking.  There’s just no reason we should have been in there for over 2 hours.  Total bill with a drink was $49.

    1568 Main Street
    Dunedin, FL

    Bascetti's on Urbanspoon 


    We didn’t realize there was an art festival going on in Dunedin today, so we had to drive around to find parking before we could get to Café Alfresco.   Luckily, they still had some tables available for dinner.  Loren decided to try the Cajun seafood pasta tonight.


    The dish had mussels, scallops and shrimp in a tangy, spicy sauce.  He said it was tasty.  I tasted it and it was a bit too spicy for me.  I went for the chicken marsala.



    Though the marsala sauce had good flavor, the chicken itself was very under seasoned.   I rarely add salt to my food, but this had to have some.  The pasta was good with the sauce, but the veggies were a bit on the crunchy side.  We both ended up with some leftovers.  Total bill with a drink was $34.

    Cafe Alfresco
    344 Main St
    Dunedin, FL

    Cafe Alfresco on Urbanspoon

  • Filed under: American, Dunedin