We were down in the Tampa/Clearwater Florida area visiting our long-time friends Nona and Bob. It had been about a year and a half since our last visit… While Lenny’s in Clearwater was a new dining experience for us, we also decided to reprise a couple of favorites as well…a popular deli and an unusual Italian restaurant.
We started with the Italian favorite, locally known as the “No Name Italian Restaurant”. However, as you can see it does have a name. La Trattoria da Gaetano is located in the corner of a strip shopping center in Dunedin Florida. It would be easy to miss when driving by…
The interior of Gaetano’s is definitely ‘old school’ with wood paneling, checkered tablecloths, a mix of different chairs, a mirrored wall, etc. As far as I could see, there weren’t any changes since we’d last dined here September of 2015.
This table in one corner of the restaurant is crowded with wine as well as some ingredients for appetizers and entrees.
The fact is that La Trattoria da Gaetano doesn’t have a written/printed menu…or even a chalkboard with special listed. Instead, Gaetano himself brings a cart around and he describes the appetizers and entrees that he can prepare. The trick for old folks like me is trying to remember what the heck all the choices are!
You also have to be willing to gamble a little bit as you won’t discover what your meals will cost until you get the bill…and this restaurant is not inexpensive.
One big disappointment for us was that Gaetano himself was out of town on a trip. He’s such a character that his presentation of the various food items is partly informative and part entertainment. His son (in the back right) went over the items with us on this occasion. The advantage was that son doesn’t have an accent so it’s easier to follow what he’s saying…even if I still can’t remember all of the options.
Our waiter took a photo of our little group… From the left, Laurie, me, Nona and Bob… We did encounter one problem this evening that you might notice if you study the photo. Three of us had our food but Laurie’s entrée arrived late. The problem was that they brought her the wrong entrée in the first place.
Since I don’t have a written record of what we had to eat…just a receipt…it’s a challenge to recall which entrees were which. I am sure that this veal dish was Nona’s entrée. It’s a dish that Bob and Nona have had on several previous occasions and they really enjoy it.
This was Bob’s entrée…Lobster ravioli with shrimp in a tomato vodka sauce. Winner, winner! Those shrimp look good to me!
This was the side of spaghetti and meat sauce that accompanied Nona and my entrees. While I’m sure that it is very popular, it just had too many vegetables in it for my taste.
My main dish was this stuffed pork chop! It was very good…large too! Laurie got a few mushrooms and a taste of the pork chop. There was nothing left on my plate when I finished…
Laurie finally got her entrée. She also ordered the lobster ravioli but in her case it was topped with artichokes and a few pieces of lobster. This was not her favorite iteration of lobster ravioli… It was too sweet for her taste and this offering just didn’t ‘pop’ for her.
So on this occasion at La Trattoria Da Gaetano we had some hits and some misses. Despite this experience and taking our first visit back in 2015 in account, this is a dining experience that is worth a try. It’s definitely an old style Italian restaurant with a character of its own. Note that this restaurant scores 4.5 stars out of 5 on both Yelp.com and TripAdvisor.com!
La Trattoria Da Gaetano is located at 2152 Main Street in Dunedin Florida. Phone: 727-733-5664. This restaurant doesn’t have a website but you can find them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/La-Trattoria-Restaurant-Da-Gaetano/115780801784827.
Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…
Thanks for stopping by for a visit!
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave