Channelside restaurant Cena was closed for dinner service on Thursday for a very good reason—staff was celebrating Chef Michael Buttacavolli's appearance, and win, on the Food Network’s competition show “Beat Bobby Flay.”
The party started at 6 p.m when the Best of the Bay-winning restaurant’s 200-seat patio opened on a first-come, first-served basis; only Buttacavolli's was allowed to make a reservations.
A limited menu was be available for purchase during the watch party, including Chef Butta’s (as he’s called on social media) spicy meatballs that made an appearance on the game day-themed show.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, the balls are a mix of “ground beef, hot Italian sausage and spicy nduja salami and were coupled with mozzarella and fried basil on a toasted roll.”
Butta served the meatballs sandwich style with Parmesan pecorino sauce. It was enough to beat Flay, a Food Network fixture who’s hosted 16 cooking shows and specials for the network.
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