Temps have dropped, and its getting to feel a lot like Christmas...sort of...with blizzard conditions in the Northeast and over 20" of snow, i'll settle for temps in the 50s and 60s.
Friday, we decided to try a new Italian Restaurant near me called Luigi's. On Gandy Blvd near Himes Ave, you go into an new looking open space, with a bar in the back area. We started with some mussels in a lemon butter sauce, about 11 mussels came out on a dish, with a very tasty sauce, great for bread dipping, not so great for $10 though. We ordered the Chicken Parm and Eggplant Parm...both dishes came with seasonal veges(baby carrots in a butter sauce), and a pasta/sauce of choice. HUGE portions, being Italina I am very picky about my Italian when dining out, and although the food was OK, it was just that, only OK. The dinners are covered in melted mozzarella, the chicken was not so tender, maybe heated, and Eggplant was very soggy, I like my eggplant to be fresh, crispy fried thin slices. Service was very good, we also ordered a side of meatballs, three came out in a tomato sauce, very cold. I know they make the meatballs prior, but they could have been heated better, there was alot of breading in the meatballs. We wont be back, sorry Luigi's..nice place, friendly service, but for Italian it was just mediocre at best.
Afterwards we went to Cinebistro in Hyde Park Village to see the opening of Avatar. I really really love this place...im not a big fan of going to movies on opening night on a weekend...but being able to reserve your seat ahead of time on line was perfect. We got there about 15 min prior, were seated by the usher, and ordered Cappuccinos and an EXCELLENT chocolate cake dessert that reminded me of the old Suzie Q's. The movie was EXCELLENT as well, amazing effects, 3D technology, good story. After the movie a nice walk through the Hyde Park neighborhood, Bungalow Terrace area, checking out all the Christmas Lights/Displays.
Saturday, met a few friends back at the Village to have an early dinner at Timpano's Italian Chop House...this place is beautiful inside, large bar area, upscale dining area, and sidewalk tables outside...it was a bit chilly for outside, so we met inside...ive always liked the look of the place, but food is mediocre at best...especially for the prices. 4 Cheese Raviloi with a lemon butter/white wine sauce and sliced chicken..the chicken was very dry, sliced peppers were over cooked, very very salty to the taste....Shrimp Fra Diablo, Veal Marsala...just OK dishes, but they are over $20 each dish, and ala carte. I will say that they have a good wine list(althoguh pricey) and love the Mussels Appetizer that comes out on a skillet.
We then went to check out some Christmas Displays, Rawls Road in Tampa...afterwards all were too tired to go to some of the many parties happening in and around the area.
Sunday we headed to the Buddhist Temple for Brunch, getting there around 1pm is ideal, the Soups were perfect for this chilly day, sitting along the water, enjoying some very fresh Thai foods..