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We timed our dinner just right at Johnny’s Italian in Clearwater.  This place gets busy on the weekends but we were able to get in & get a table without a wait.  Loren started off with a salad and I went for the New England clam chowder, but let’s face it, we come here for the fresh baked Johnny bread.

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That bread.  It’s warm and soft and you just don’t care that you’re going to smell like garlic for the rest of the night because that dipping oil is just so delicious.  The clam chowder was creamy, thick and rich and hit the spot.  We decided to try the crab cakes tonight.

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They were quite good.  Very little filler, just lots of crab.  The sauce on the plate had a bit of a zing to it.  Loren tried the chicken Briscante for his entree.

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The chicken was very tender and the pasta cooked perfectly.  It had a light cream sauce that was quite tasty.  I went for my favorite dish on the menu, the chicken marsala with fettucine alfredo.

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I had lots of leftovers tonight.  The chicken was tender and the alfredo sauce is so creamy and delicious.  And since I took half of my entree home, we couldn’t pass up a slice of the chocolate dream cake.

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This cake is so rich and chocolatety.  The frosting is a fudgey ganache and the cake is quite moist.  So good.  Total bill with a drink was $47.

Johnny’s Italian Restaurant
2907 SR 590 #1
Clearwater, FL
727-797-2940

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Food4/5
Service3/5
Atmosphere3/5
Value3/5
3.4/5

We reached our destination in Bryson City, North Carolina and settled on Anthony’s Italian Restaurant for dinner.  After a long day of driving, we were happy to just sit and feed our faces.  We started off with salads and calamari.

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The first couple of pieces of calamari I ate, were a bit chewy, but the thicker pieces were cooked perfectly.  The marinara sauce was tasty as well.  We both ordered pasta dishes.  Loren got Mama Viscusi’s Spaghetti.

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It had artichokes, mushrooms, olives, feta, and garlic sauteed in olive oil.  He liked all the flavors melding together without a heavy sauce.  I ordered the fettucine alfredo.

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I like a thick, creamy alfredo sauce and this didn’t have it.  The alfredo was very thin.  The pasta was cooked well and the flavors were there, but it just lacked the creaminess I was after.  The garlic knots were tasty.  And since they had a dessert called “death by chocolate”, I just had to try it.

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It wasn’t the moistest cake I’ve eaten, but it did have a deep, rich chocolate flavor that I really enjoyed.  Total bill with a drink was $41.

Anthony’s Italian Restaurant
15 Depot St
Bryson City, NC
828-488-8898

Anthony's Restaurante Pizzeria on Urbanspoon

Food3/5
Service3/5
Atmosphere3/5
Value3/5
3.0/5
  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: Dessert, Italian, NC
  • Italian Lunch


    We went over to Zerillo’s Italian Grill for lunch today.  The restaurant was pretty empty for lunchtime.  We haven’t been here for quite a while since our last experience wasn’t that great.  We started off with some garlic rolls.

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    I think these were the best part of the meal.   They were fresh out of the oven, soft and warm and very garlicy.  Good stuff.  The tomato sauce had a nice flavor to it as well.  For his lunch, Loren ordered the chicken parmesan which came with a stuffed shell and I ordered the chicken marsala which came with pasta.

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    I should have reread my last blog post about this restaurant before I ordered.  The waitress asked what kind of pasta I wanted and I said fettucine alfredo and just like last time, she never indicated that there was a $4 upcharge for it.  Either tell me what kind of pasta comes with the dish or let me know it costs more for what I ask for.  Other than that, though, both dishes were pretty good.  The chicken was tender and the sauces both had a good flavor.  There was a lot of food and we both had leftovers.  At one point Loren attempted to use the salt shaker only to discover the salt was one big clump inside the shaker.  Total bill with a drink was $27.

    Zerillo’s Italian Grill
    11653 Countryway Blvd
    Tampa, FL
    813-855-5178

    Zerillo's Italian Grill on Urbanspoon

    Food3/5
    Service2/5
    Atmosphere2/5
    Value2/5
    2.4/5

    We had a coupon for Carrabba’s, so that’s where we headed for dinner.  They were packed and it was only 5:30pm when we got there.  We had hoped to beat the crowd, but ended up with a 25 minute wait.  The restaurant was very loud and we were seated up against a wall that connected to a large party room which made it even that much louder where we were sitting.

    We started off with the Spinach Fonduta.

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    This was a really tasty appetizer, but needed a few more toast points.  We had quite a bit of spinach dip remaining once the 6 pieces of bread were gone.  The dip was creamy and had a nice mellow flavor to it.  We ended up dipping the untoasted bread from the basket to scoop up the remaining dip.

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    Our dinners came with soup or salad and we got one of each.  The soup tonight was a lentil.

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    Loren enjoyed the soup.  He said it had some nice savory flavors to it.  For his entree, he ordered the sirloin skewers.

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    These were really tender.  It’s not often that he’s gotten kabobs that were this good.  I ordered the fettucine alfredo.

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    I found the cheese to be way too sharp for my tastes.  Loren said it tasted more like a mac & cheese than an alfredo sauce.  I prefer a very creamy, mellow sauce and this just wasn’t it for me.  Total bill after the coupon was $27.

    Carrabba’s Italian Grill
    2680 Gulf to Bay Blvd
    Clearwater, FL
    727-712-0844

    Carrabba's Italian Grill on Urbanspoon

    Food3/5
    Service3/5
    Atmosphere3/5
    Value3/5
    3.0/5
  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: Clearwater, Italian
  • Johnny Bread


    Johnny’s Italian Restaurant on a Friday night is a very crowded place.  We had to wait about 20 minutes for a table.  Salads and bread started off the meal while we waited for our calamari.

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    The Johnny bread is one of the best things about this restaurant.  The oil & garlic dipping sauce will have you warding off vampires for a week.  The bread is just perfect and we ended up getting a second loaf.  It’s hard to resist.   Next up, calamari.

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    It was very tender and had a nice crunch.  The dipping sauce that came with it was rather spicy with lots of red pepper flakes.  I was feeling the heat for a while.  Loren ordered the Tuscan Steak with Portabella Sauce.

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    The interesting thing was that he actually tried to order something else, but the waitress talked him out of it.  I can’t remember what the other item was, but she said it didn’t have a lot of flavor and that he’d enjoy this one more.  And he did.  I went for the chicken marsala with a side of fettucine alfredo.

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    The chicken was tender and the marsala sauce had a really nice flavor to it.  When they get their alfredo sauce right, it’s really good here.  Tonight was one of those nights.  I could have eaten an entire bowl of just that.  I felt the need for chocolate tonight so we ordered the chocolate cake.

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    This was an incredibly rich and chocolately cake.  It had thick ganache layers and just melted in your mouth.  Perfect ending to a very good meal.  Total bill with a drink was $45.75.

    Johnny’s Italian Restaurant
    2907 SR 590 #1
    Clearwater, FL
    727-797-2940

    Johnny's Italian on Urbanspoon

    Food4/5
    Service3/5
    Atmosphere3/5
    Value3/5
    3.4/5