They had me at “pazza” which is one of my favorite words in Italian. “Pazza” translates to crazy and that perfectly describes my new-found love for the menu at Pazza Bistro in Pinellas Park. With a menu that focuses on the beauty of simple flavors with fresh ingredients, everything is made from scratch and the proof is in the
I enjoyed an intimate family style dinner at Pazza last week with a few fellow bloggers. As we bonded over food, we were all impressed with the flavors of their casual cuisine and impeccable service. We began with two salads, Italian and Tropical, which were both magnifico. The Italian (below) is a blend of tomatoes, mozzarella, prosciutto, artichokes and large Parmesan flakes. I could have easily enjoyed this as a meal on its own, as the generous amount of prosciutto and artichokes were simply irresistible. Their Tropical Salad was just as impressive with its savory blend of tomatoes, pineapple, roasted red pepper, chicken and feta. I love how this salad blends the true flavors of the Mediterranean.
Pizza is one of my four basic food groups and I consider myself to be a connoisseur. I have been blessed with many delicious opportunities to try pizza all over the world in cities such as Rome, Venice, Naples, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Seattle, Miami and of course San Francisco. With pizza, I prefer a thin crust topped with locally sourced ingredients such as fresh tomatoes, spinach and basil. Pazza Bistro really impressed me with their pizzas and we enjoyed both their Quattro Formaggi (tomato sauce, mozzarella, gorgonzola, goat cheese and Parmesan) and their featured special which was a White Pizza topped with mozzarella, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, goat cheese and spinach.
While I tried to contain myself, I could not resist eating two slices of each. The crust was perfection and I could really taste the freshness of the ingredients. Goat cheese is one of my favorite pizza toppings and I felt chills of excitement when I was told that it was on both of the pizzas we were enjoying. Nothing, and I mean nothing, compares to creamy goat cheese blended with fresh tomato sauce. I was in a complete state of pizza euphoria.
There has only been one true love of my life and that is pasta. Ah, la bella pasta has always been there for me in both good times and bad and our love continues to flourish. Every Sunday I make a pasta dish and it is something that I look forward to all week-long. My jaw about dropped to the floor when we were presented with three sexy pasta dishes that were just begging to be devoured. The first was their Lobster Pasta with sautéed shrimp, onions and mushrooms that is tossed in a lobster cream sauce. Creamy and decadent, it was fantastic. I am partial to seafood pasta dishes so it was of no surprise that I fell head over stilettos for this exquisite dish that combines some of my favorite flavors.
How much do I love pesto? If you were to ask my kids, they would say “mommy wants to marry pesto.” Funny, yes, but not to far from the truth. I have been making pesto for years and it is one of my kid’s favorite sauces. My daughter Gianna affectionately calls it “pretty green pasta.” I wasted no time diving into Pazza’s Creamy Pesto which combines classic pesto with an Alfredo cream sauce and fresh spinach.
Last but not least, we tried their Tricolore (tri-colored) which was by far my favorite. Combining Pesto, Alfredo and Napolentana (tomato and basil red sauce), it created a symphony of flavors in my mouth. I enjoyed this dish so much I could have licked the plate. When those three flavors come together, it is pure magic.
As I sat in my chair relaxing and reflecting on my glorious culinary experience, I did not think I could eat another morsel until a very familiar scent filled the air. The sweet smell of luscious chocolate and hazelnut surrounded me and before I could say “Nutella” we were presented with a glorious Nutella pizza. Yep, that’s right, a Nutella pizza. Pazza takes their signature pizza dough and tops it with my guilty pleasure, the sweet and decadent Nutella. It is then sprinkled with powdered sugar for the ultimate experience.
My first visit to Pazza Bistro was exceptional and I am looking forward to my next visit. If you are in the area, be sure to stop by. You can thank me later. For those that like some spice in their life, they offer an exciting “Pizza Inferno” Challenge in which participants can sign a waiver and try to eat their fiery Inferno Pizza in less than twenty minutes. Winners receive a t-shirt, free soda for life, 10% off their food forever and a spot on their wall of flame. I may just need to try it. 😉
Ciao for now,
**Disclaimer: Food was provided at no charge by Pazza Bistro. I chose to write about my experience because their food and service was fantastic and I will be returning very soon.