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“Some new wonderfulness to enjoy!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of La Trattoria Restaurant

La Trattoria Restaurant
Ranked #50 of 168 Restaurants in Dunedin
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Child-friendly, Business meetings, Romantic, Special Occasion Dining
Dining options: Dinner, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Clearwater, FL
Level Contributor
90 reviews
50 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“Some new wonderfulness to enjoy!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 November 2013

It’s been a while since I’ve posted and Gae has some new offerings of note: He’s added a massive Florentine steak ( I can’t remember if it’s Porterhouse or T-bone) and it’s everything it should be and reminded us of the steak we had in Florence last spring. Now, it isn’t cheap, HOWEVER, it fed me and my uber-carnivore wife with a nice serving leftover to take home.

He’s also offering a handy-sized petit filet mignon, which we order often because it’s perfect for nights when one wants both meat and pasta or seafood as opposed to only beef. Last night my wife and I both ordered one with Gae’s amazing gorgonzola sauce. Unbelievably delicious! I enjoyed a side of the homemade gnocchi in the same sauce and she had a side of penne with w/ pink sauce (no amaretto). Oh-my, they were good.

Speaking of the gorgonzola sauce, one of my favorite pastimes when at La Trattoria, is watching the reactions of first-timers when they taste the food. A couple of weeks ago, a Brooklyn Italian was visiting family and they brought her to La Trattoria. She ordered an appetizer of the gnocchi gorgonzola after assurances from other customers that she’d like it.

They were a table of 10 who reminded us a little of Tula’s family from My Big Fat Greek Wedding. When the dish arrived, she inhaled deeply with eyes closed as she savored the aroma and then took a delicate bite… which was also the last “delicate” bite that she took. Her eyes opened to the size of silver-dollars and one of her family asked how it was. “Don’t bother me, I’m busy,” was the reply! She didn’t speak another word until the plate was wiped free (using bread) of any last trace of gorgonzola sauce. I SO respect that!

  • Visited November 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
3 Thank Robert L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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74 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    47
    14
    8
    3
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
florida
Level Contributor
81 reviews
47 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Great food.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 May 2013

Our son found this wonderful little place and gave us a gift certificate. You have a great dining experience. It's a must do if your in Dunedin. There are no menus your shown and told what they can make for you. I had the filet with seafood and pasta with pink amaretto sauce. My husband had sea bass on the bed of spinach and sundried tomato. We will be back often now that we have found this gem.

  • Visited April 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank FloridaRetired2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Michigan City, Indiana
Level Contributor
33 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Unique and Worth Trying”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 March 2013

Other recent reviews have done a fine job describing this unique restaurant where there are no menus or listed prices. I wish we would have found this place much earlier in our many years coming to this area. The staff makes you feel as if you are part of the family. Nice selection and high quality. They seemed very accommodating to your preference for meal preparation and seasoning or other requests. Wines tend to be a bit higher in price than they should be, typically $9 per glass for house wine, but the quality was decent and you get a nice sized glass. Although price is along the lines of a more formal restaurant the atmosphere and setting is more casual.

This restaurant is a bit hard to spot from Main Street. It is on the north side of Main Street, tucked into the north east corner of a strip mall.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Thirdcoast
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Naperville, Illinois
Level Contributor
49 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Still a hidden jewel”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 March 2013 via mobile

My wife and I love this little jewel. It looks like nothing in this little strip mall but we have loved this place since we found it in 1999 when we lived down here. Whenever we come back to Clearwater we always stop by and never been disappointed. It's a different place for sure with Gaetano and Connie and even though it was a few years since we visited last they remembered us on the phone. When we went the first time we we kind of shocked to find no menu and prices and to just have Gaetano show the things he was making that night. They make many different sauces (or gravy depending on where your front). We wen last night with my aunt and sister and they loved it. My wife had the sea bass while the rest of us had veal piccata and Marsala. A few appetizers first and a simple salad and and shared a fresh pasta plate with cheeses and pear with the amaretto sauce (its a sweet sauce) and afterwards sharing some cheesecake and spumoni.

The portions are not overwhelming which is how we like it - quality over quantity is better in our opinion. God help you if you don't finish every bit because Gaetano will want to know what was wrong - didn't you like it? It's not inexpensive but dinner for the fours of us excluding wine was about $30 person - but you won't know that until you get the bill. My aunt and sister split a entree so maybe it would be $35 to $40 for others. I wish that the place was more crowded because I want to make sure they stay in business for whenever we come down. But they have been there over 20 years so guess it works. When I see the few less the good reviews it just seems they went in there with the wrong expectations.

We will go there at least one more time before we go home and whenever we come back.

Helpful?
2 Thank Kevin S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“SIMPLY DIVINE”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 January 2013

Since moving to FL 3 years ago, it has proven impossible to find a quality home- cooked style Italian meal. Based on recommendations and reviews we decided to try La Trattoria Da Gaetano for our anniversary.

It is located in the most random of strip malls and, from the outside, you'd never guess the treasures that lay within. Upon entering we were greeted by Gaetano himself, an adorable 70- year old Italian man with a kind demeanor and a warm smile. He quickly ushered us to a modest booth, complete with cliche red checkered tablecloth. The decor made me feel as if I was sitting in an Italian Grandmother's living room.

Let me warn you now that there is no set menu. Our table was insantly covered with items such as a fresh family-style salad, artisan bread, olive oil with fresh cut basil and garlic cloves. Like wine? Gaetano will arrive tableside with several bottle choices...we chose an Amarone which was simply divine and well worth its $95 price tag.

Gaetano will then pull a cart up to your table and show you exactly what his kitchen has fresh for ingredients that night. It's like an Italian dream free-for-all for those with creative palates or people that know exactly what they want. Choose your own adventure with fresh produce, your choice of premium protein ranging from middleneck clams, lobster, filet, veal to a hearty porkchop. Oh....we're not done yet. Then decide if you want one of many pastas and several traditional sauces to cover it.

His concept is simple and embodies a quality that many restaurant owners have long since forgotten in this world of corporate chain food mania:

If he has it, he'll make it for you. Fresh. Your way. From scratch.

Brilliant.

The meals are coursed, prepare to spend some time enjoying the experience. It is worth the wait. We will be back, and I will be telling all my friends where to spend a romantic evening in Italian bliss. Thank you Gaetano, for keepin in real in Dunedin.

    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank NomNomNoms
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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