TEMPLE TERRACE — One of the newest additions to the city's dining scene takes its name from the Roman god of wine and the goddess of beauty.
Bacco and Venere is a trattoria-style restaurant and the realization of a dream that began eight years ago when co-owners Jim Oliverio and Tonino Iaquinta first met. They are cousins who grew up a world apart — Oliverio in the United States, Iaquinta in Italy.
While vacationing in Italy in 2006, Oliverio decided to seek out the descendants of his great-grandfather. His search led him to a bakery in the village of San Giovanni, in Fiore, where Iaquinta spent his days perfecting the pastries of the region.
Despite the language barrier, the two became fast friends. And after several subsequent visits (with Iaquinta traveling to America and Oliverio returning to Italy), they hatched a plan to open a restaurant in the United States that would offer a true taste of southern Italy.
The pair collaborated with Oliverio's son John to make Bacco and Venere a reality.
For Iaquinta, who studied at several culinary schools throughout Italy, creating the menu was a labor of love. Italian-style pizza, which features a light, airy crust lightly coated with an olive oil or tomato-based sauce and fresh toppings, takes center stage.
"There are only four restaurants in the country that serve this type of pizza," Oliverio said.
The restaurant also features a wine dispenser that's designed to seal in flavors and allow customers to serve themselves a sample, a half glass or a full glass from the selection of imported Italian wines.
There is also a deli where patrons can purchase Italian meats and cheeses, as well as a bakery that offers an assortment of freshly baked breads and pastries.
Bacco and Venere, at 8787 N 56th St. in Temple Terrace, opens at 11 a.m. daily. Call (813) 989-3230 or visit baccoandvenere.net.
J&C Consign and Design for the home
ODESSA — When Christine Jackson was unable to find a furniture consignment store near her home in northwest Hillsborough County, she decided to open her own. J&C Consign and Design opened for business in Odessa on July 1.
Although this is Jackson's first business venture, she brings 10 years of retail management experience to the launch of her new store.
J&C Consign and Design specializes in like-new fine furnishings and home decor. In addition to consigned items, the store offers a selection of new furniture pieces at closeout prices. They also carry a variety of gift items from well-known names such as Glory Haus and Tyler Candles.
"Our store is perfect for anyone looking to find quality items at an affordable price," Jackson said.
J&C Consign and Design is at 8809B Gunn Highway. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Sunday and Monday hours will be added in the near future. Call (813) 920-0800 or visit jcconsign.com.
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