I love it when I’m able to try out a restaurant that is new to me in the area. And I love it even more when I’m able to break bread alongside some blog friends from Tampa Bay. Recently, a few of us made plans to get together at Pelagia Trattoria to indulge in some awesome food and talk shop about blogging. Pelagia Trattoria is found in Tampa connected to the Renaissance hotel next to International Plaza and Bay Street. They offer breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus. The kitchen is open, and the menu changes with the seasons to reflect what is fresh and available at the time.
I was really excited to try out some items off of Pelagia’s menu: I’d been hearing great things about the restaurant but had yet to visit for a meal. Thankfully, there was quite a spread available for our lunch!
We began our meal with stuzzichini – aka small plates!
We tasted the shrimp a pil pil with tarragon vinaigrette, oven-dried tomato on garlic baguette with goat cheese & pesto (can you go wrong with that combination? I think not), the Garroxta aged goat cheese with fig marmalade (YUM), and the crunchy stuffed olives with three meats (I’d never had fried olives before, but they were delightful: salty, crunchy little bites of goodness). There was also a selection of salamino, toasted almonds, and cured olives included in the mix.
Next up: the main courses! There was oh so much to try…like the four cheese rigatoni with sautéed chicken: creamy (but not overly sauced), rich, and delicious! It was a nice indulgence…
There were also some steak paninis with mushrooms and cheese, served with rosemary french fries:
A grilled bbq salmon salad that was spice rubbed with roasted beets, heirloom tomato, field greens, charred lemon, and served atop field greens:
And the bianca pizza with gorgonzola, goat cheese, provolone, parmigiano, and sweet confit with sage. Simple, yet the combination of cheeses with the crispy crust was delightful:
As if we weren’t already stuffed at this point, we had to move on to the desserts! I was really excited to try out a few options from the menu, and they definitely did not disappoint! First up: Coffee and Cigars. Oh my goodness, what a treat! This dessert is an espresso panna cotta with a chocolate cigar tuille filled with cream. It’s a creamy and decadent combination of flavors (I love chocolate and coffee together, personally).
There was also a duo of semifreddo – a dome of blueberry pomegranate and one of mint chocolate, with a scoop of drunken berry salad between them. The presentation was beautiful!
Who can resist a macaron? Apparently I can’t, after discovering their amazing tasty goodness. And they are just so darn pretty!
Godiva chocolate pyramid, anyone? I really didn’t want to share this one with my fellow diners…I was hoping to hog the entire dessert for myself. There is something oh so heavenly about chocolate ganache and mousse. It was served with a scoop of pistachio gelato and an almond tuille. Drool…
Oh, did you think we were done with that dessert? Nope. There was one more magnificent treat that was served up to us: the PT’s Peaches and Cream. It starts out with summer peaches, mascarpone pound cake, candied walnuts, and vanilla gelato. That alone would be a wonderful treat…but wait for it…
Something else is added to the dessert once it reaches your table: warm caramel!
If that doesn’t excite you, I don’t know what will! Yum…
In the end, I’d have to say that our blogger lunch at Pelagia Trattoria was a success! The food was delicious, the service was friendly, and the conversation was engaging! Could you ask for anything more?
Do you enjoy meeting up with friends for a meal?