Taso Italiano – ALL THE BEST!
Tucked away in a shopping plaza on Little Road, at the corner of Old County Road 54, is a hidden gem for those who cherish a fantastic dining experience. Taso Italiano is the place to go for truly authentic, family-style Italian and Mediterranean fare.
Taso Stassi and his lovely partner Sabrina, opened Taso Italiano at this location four years ago. Together they have served their customers so well that Taso Italiano has become a destination dining locale people will travel to for Taso’s scrumptious selections. The restaurant has great curb appeal with bistro tables lining the sidewalk, offering guests the option to dine al fresco. Inside, discover a warm and inviting atmosphere featuring a beautiful full liquor bar and lounge where you can watch your favorite team play while sitting at one of the high-top tables. The dining room is spacious enough to accommodate gatherings of family and friends, and cozy enough to comfortably dine solo. It’s a great spot for your next party or corporate dinner; the large dining room can be sectioned off by curtains to provide semi-privacy. Family-style dining is encouraged so that you and your guests can sample a little bit of everything ordered. Breaking bread with your friends and family at Taso Italiano is special, no matter the occasion.
When my husband and I visited Taso Italiano, we were treated like old friends that were coming home for dinner. As we dined, I noticed that Taso spent time chatting with guests at another table. Their laughter and sounds of approval were evident from across the room, and added to the cheerful atmosphere. A few regulars came in and received big, happy hellos from the staff. One man came in and everyone knew him by name. They even had his drink on the table for him before he even sat down! Taso Italiano’s regulars’ come in as many as 3-4 times a week, never getting bored with the extensive menu. Deborah Van Den Langenbergh, seated at a table with some of her clients from her kitchen manufacturing company claimed, “This is a five star restaurant in our back yard. It’s like flying to NYC on a threehour flight, but it’s only 10 minutes.” She was eating the Linguine and Clams Bianco. Someone else was enjoying the Delmonico Steak del Giorno. He assured everyone it was the best Black Angus Reserve that money can buy. Taso admits that he is heavy-handed with his steak cuts. “It’s Taso, he’s always the best,” said Deborah. You can tell from the minute you walk through the door, how passionate Taso and Sabrina are about providing an exceptional dining experience for each of their guests. Taso grew up in the restaurant business and gained invaluable experience working at his father’s restaurant in Bayville, Long Island, where he learned both French and Northern Italian specialties and cooking techniques.
Taso Italiano’s walls of exposed brick under Venetian plaster, are the perfect backdrop for the heirloom photographs from his father’s restaurant and the displays of kitchen tools that were used for many years in his family’s restaurant. While his dad was more of a front of the house showman, Taso liked to be behind the scenes making the magic happen in the kitchen. Like his father used to say, “Taso Italiano serves “ALL THE BEST!” Our Experience Was ALL THE BEST! I’ve heard great things about Taso Italiano for quite a while now, but my dining experience went beyond what I had hoped for. I look forward to going back again and again. My husband and I started out with a couple of drinks and an appetizer (okay two appetizers!). Taso Italiano has a full liquor bar, and a really great list of specialty cocktails. I had the Paulie D. Martini, a refreshing libation made up of EFFEN Cucumber Vodka and St. Elder Natural Elder- flower Liqueur shaken until ice cold, and served in a martini glass with a salted cayenne rim – fantastic! Taso also offers an excellent wine selection, and wine pairs perfectly with Italian food!
For appetizers, we were torn between Taso’s Signature Calamari and the Bruschetta so we ordered both! The calamari was served lightly fried and crispy with banana peppers and then drizzled with roasted garlic, basil aioli sauce as well as a balsamic reduction. It was truly the best calamari that I’ve experienced and I’ve even enjoyed calamari in Greece. I also highly recommend the Bruschetta, made with homemade bread, diced tomatoes, fresh basil and arugula, and chunked fresh tuna topped with a balsamic reduction.
All of the bread, pizza dough, and sauces are made fresh, in-house daily. Every single dish is made to order, with great attention given to flavor and presentation. The bread is perfectly soft and crusty, and is served warm with olive oil and herbs on the side for dipping. I would have eaten the entire basket of bread if I hadn’t told my husband to move it away from me. It paired perfectly with my Caesar salad, which was crisp romaine, tossed in rich, creamy dressing topped with shaved Parmesan, cracked black pepper and homemade croutons. My husband said, “This salad is fresher than you can buy at the store.” Of course it is! Taso hand selects the produce. For dinner, I enjoyed the Veal Saltimbocca served with fresh pasta, comprised of tender veal in a sauce made of sherry, caramelized onions, shallots, and sage. My husband had his favorite, Chicken Florentine, and even cleaned his plate with the last slice of bread left in our basket. We saved just enough room for a homemade cannoli – perfectly decadent just the way a cannoli should be. I look forward to returning and trying some tiramisu (also made inhouse), or maybe a slice of cheesecake from Junior’s out of Brooklyn, a place made famous by their delicious cheesecakes and desserts. Taso Italiano has a great selection of desserts from Junior’s. If you’re from New York and you’re craving a slice of home, please stop in and see Taso and Sabrina. We were completely satisfied with our dinner, and could not have asked for better food or service. I am recommending Taso Italiano to all of my friends and family. In fact, we have plans to pick up a pizza this weekend! Taso’s handmade pizzas are the best, with made-to-order crusts and the finest ingredients. Taso says, “Taso Italiano is for everyone. From sandwiches to pizza, all the way to a beautifully aged Black Angus steak – whatever you want, we got ya covered.” Taso Italiano offers lunch and dinner at reasonable prices. If you love food, then go experience Taso Italiano.
Taso Italiano is located at 4016 Little Road in New Port Richey and can be reached at 727- 807-7900. Hours: 12 – 9 p.m. on Tues. – Thurs; 12 – 10 p.m. on Fri. & Sat.; 4 – 9 p.m. on Sun. View full menu at www.tasoitaliano.com; follow Taso Italiano on Facebook for upcoming events and specials.