Make us your home page
Instagram

Neighborhood Bistro: Allegria Italiana breaks free from Brandon's chains

Allegria Italiana is warmly decorated with old-school black-and-white photos and Venetian frescos.

Courtesy of Allegria Italiana

Allegria Italiana is warmly decorated with old-school black-and-white photos and Venetian frescos.

WHAT I ATE: This intimate Brandon restaurant boasts a menu packed with traditional, if somewhat expected, Italian favorites.

I opted for the fettuccini alla giovanna, Allegria Italiana's take on classic fettuccini alfredo with grilled chicken, broccoli, sun-dried tomatoes and a white wine and Parmesan cream sauce.

My dinner date, never one to shy away from a hearty meal, went with a solid brick of house-made lasagna, with a side meatball and sausage.

We started the meal with zuppa di mussels, fresh mussels in a garlic, white wine and tomato brodetto, and ended with a bite or two of a cannoli.

WHAT IT COST: The mussels starter was $11, the fettuccini alla giovanna $17, the lasagna di carne $15 and the cannoli $4. Portions are generous, and even after eating our fill we had plenty for lunch the next day.

WHAT I THOUGHT: The menu is nothing innovative, but what elevates the dishes is a dedication to fresh, quality ingredients bursting with flavor.

The fettuccini was cooked to a flawless al dente and the creamy Parmesan sauce provided the perfect counterpart to snappy spears of broccoli and zesty sun-dried tomatoes. The lasagna was everything you expect in a comfort food: soft, cheesy and filling.

Tucked away in an old-school strip mall, Allegria Italiana could easily be overlooked for one of the many chains dominating the Brandon food scene. Yet once inside the dimly lit dining room, warmly decorated with old-school black-and-white photos and Venetian frescos, the exterior and location become an afterthought.

Allegria boasts an extensive, if a bit pricy, wine list that starts around $7.50 a glass and offers soft, warm bread while you wait. With only a handful of tables to worry about, servers were fast, attentive and knowledgeable about the menu.

The intimate atmosphere and reasonably priced dishes make Allegria Italiana a worthy locally owned option to break up the monotony of chain dining.

It's nothing cutting edge or extraordinary, but a perfect option for diners looking for a cozy Italian meal that tastes and looks just like you expect it to.

Times staff writer Anastasia Dawson

>>

Allegria Italiana Ristorante

518 Oakfield Drive, Brandon. allegriaitaliana.com; (813) 651-1166

Cuisine: Traditional Italian dishes, flatbread pizza, pasta

Hours: Lunch: Monday through Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Dinner: Monday through Thursday, 2:30 to 9 p.m.; Friday, 2:30 to 10 p.m.; Saturday, 4:30 to 10 p.m.; Sunday, 3 to 8 p.m.

Payment: Cash, American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa.

Prices: Appetizers $7 to $18; pasta $12 to $19; entrees $18 to $29; kids menu $6 to $8.

Neighborhood Bistro: Allegria Italiana breaks free from Brandon's chains 06/22/16 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 22, 2016 5:13pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. 'Road to Nowhere' is back: Next phase of Suncoast Parkway coming

    Roads

    Despite intense public opposition and dubious traffic projections, the Florida Department of Transportation has announced that construction of the toll road known as "Suncoast 2" is expected to start in early 2018.

    The Suncoast Parkway ends at U.S. 98 just south of Citrus County. For years residents have opposed extending the toll road, a project dubbed the "Suncoast 2" into Citrus County. But state officials recently announced that the Suncoast 2 should start construction in early 2018. [Stephen J. Coddington  |  TIMES]
  2. A sports rout on Wall Street

    Retail

    NEW YORK — Sporting goods retailers can't shake their losing streak.

  3. Grocery chain Aldi hosting hiring event in Brandon Aug. 24

    Retail

    BRANDON — German grocery chain Aldi is holding a hiring event for its Brandon store Aug. 24. It is looking to fill store associate, shift manager and manager trainee positions.

  4. Lightning owner Jeff Vinik backs film company pursuing global blockbusters

    Corporate

    TAMPA — Jeff Vinik's latest investment might be coming to a theater near you.

    Jeff Vinik, Tampa Bay Lightning owner, invested in a new movie company looking to appeal to a global audience. | [Times file photo]
  5. Trigaux: Look to new Inc. 5000 rankings for Tampa Bay's future heavyweights

    Business

    There's a whole lotta fast-growing private companies here in Tampa Bay. Odds are good you have not heard of most of them.

    Yet.

    Kyle Taylor, CEO and founder of The Penny Hoarder, fills a glass for his employees this past Wednesday as the young St. Petersburg personal advice business celebrates its landing at No. 25 on the 2017 Inc. 5000 list of the fastest growing private companies in the country. Taylor, still in his 20s, wins kudos from executive editor Alexis Grant for keeping the firm's culture innovative. The business ranked No. 32 last year. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]