We recently had family visit Tampa and we had heard good things about Bernini from friends, so decided to wine and dine the fam on last night.It was fantastic.We loved the look of the place right off, from the marquee on the side of the building to the insect-like door handles you have to see to appreciate. They sat us in plain view of the kitchen, with a great view of their giant, clay pizza oven, and we actually got to watch the chefs prepare the meals.The place has a really unique look, with giant sculpture photos (which our server informed us were done by the place?s namesake, an Italian sculptor named Bernini), high ceilings, and giant chandeliers. Our server also let us know that the place was an old bank and showed us the original bank vault door, which now serves as the door to their wine room. The whole building had a really neat historical feel to it and a casual atmosphere where we were comfortable in jeans and shorts. The wine we started with was reasonably priced, as was just about everything on the menu, and the appetizers we ordered were excellent (bruschetta, calamari, and rockshrimp in a spicy tomato sauce). The menu?s great. We ordered all over, covering a lot of foods in different ways. The Crispy Duck I had was the most recommendable thing I?ve ever eaten, with some sort of fig sauce on top and goat cheese potatoes. My wife inhaled her lasagna, a huge six or seven layer monster, and I thought it was great that, for an Italian place, they didn?t feel the need to put spaghetti and meatballs on the menu and other automatic Italian food. The pizza also rocked, with a smoky taste to the cheese that our server said came from their wood-fire oven and there were even some tasty sounding steak entree options. Anyway, this is a great place for a night out and we can?t wait to try it again soon. It's definitely worth hitting if you?re down here and is more calm and relaxed than other Ybor venues we've tried, so an overall good find for us.
Pros: Big menu, comfortable atmopshere, neat venue, good service
Cons: Parking in Ybor.