Five Courses: A homestyle pasta spot in West Tampa and more

Piccola Italia Bistro has opened its doors alongside four other Tampa Bay newcomers.

click to enlarge Piccola Italia's tortellini boscaiola with cheese tortellini, peas, mushroom and Parmesan cream sauce. - Piccola Italia Bistro via Facebook
Piccola Italia Bistro via Facebook
Piccola Italia's tortellini boscaiola with cheese tortellini, peas, mushroom and Parmesan cream sauce.

Local diners no longer have to make the trek to Italy for Abruzzo, Rome, Bologna and Naples pasta dishes. In West Tampa, Piccolo Italia Bistro's got it covered. The intimate restaurant, opened a month or so ago at 2140 W. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., prepares its homestyle specialties with house-made sauces.

Available for dine in and takeout, menu items include carbonara (spaghetti, onion, bacon, eggs, Parmesan, cream sauce), Bolognese (fettuccine, ground beef, sausage, basil, tomato sauce), and tortellini boscaiola (cheese tortellini, peas, mushroom, Parmesan cream sauce), along with daily specials like sweet potato and kale soup, bruschetta and red snapper.

Piccolo Italia also offers cooking classes with its chef, teaching participants the process of making fresh pasta. Call the restaurant for reservations.

Another Italian spot, Rosati's Pizza, has debuted in Largo at 10443 Ulmerton Road and Valrico at 3437 Lithia Pinecrest Road. Mentioned in CL's roundup of spring restaurant openings, the new-to-Tampa-Bay chain serves up four types of Chicago-style pizza (plus a gluten-free crust option), pasta and sandwiches. Oldsmar's getting its own Rosati's location at 3730 Tampa Road, too.

Pal Joey's also offers a lineup Italian favorites. Launched Feb. 21, the Largo restaurant and New York-style pizzeria at 1791 S. Highland Ave. carries subs and various steak, seafood, chicken and pasta dishes, in addition the pies that come large or small, Sicilian or by the slice. Pizza rolls, calzones and wings are other highlights.

• Wesley Chapel saw the grand opening of Wok Chi in early February. Shops at Wiregrass patrons can now get their Chinese stir-fry on before or after shopping with "fresh-casual," create-your-own bowls that call for their protein, sauce, base and veggies of choice. The menu also spotlights dim sum, soups and dessert.

• In the former home of JYL Samurai Sushi, the family-owned Sticky Rice Sushi has arrived. The casual Riverview restaurant, located at 11351 Big Bend Road, showcases raw and cooked specialty rolls; sashimi; baked, deep-fried and traditional maki rolls; and bento boxes for dine-in only, as well as appetizers, miso soup and salads.

Rolls span from the traditional to the inventive, and guests are told to watch for Thai food and off-the-menu items as they're brought on as monthly chef specials.