Wednesday, 12 August 2009 11:48

Review of Divino Fine Italian in Clearwater - "It's Divine!"

Written by  Renee Belfort
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Divino Fine Italian in Clearwater, Florida - Photo by Heidi LuxDowntown Clearwater’s recent expansion includes the addition of three fine dining restaurants – Divino Italian Restaurant for fine authentic Italian food, La Cachette for fine French dining and Casanova for gourmet Italian cuisine.

The first to open is Divino, a restaurant that combines both casual and fine dining. From the moment you walk into the restaurant, you are transported to a Piazza in Italy, surrounded by the balconies of fine dining restaurants above.

The service is impeccable, even if you chose the more casual dining in the Piazza, which is what my husband and I chose on the first visit. We ordered the lasagna with noodles, homemade from imported Italian semolina, and a wild mushroom pizza made with porcini, Portobello, oyster & button mushrooms. The lasagna came with a fresh salad and homemade salad dressing and was accompanied by homemade bread and a seasoned olive oil for dipping. The food was beyond expectation.  

Even recalling the meal makes my mouth water. As we sat devouring our food we were approached by a modest waiter named Umberto who asked if he couldThe Balcony Seating in Divino Fine Italian - Photo by Heidi Lux sing for us. He sung a very poetic and beautiful song with the tenor voice of an angel. Seriously, this man should be performing at the Met.

The Piazza is very reasonably priced. Even with two cappuccinos made from imported Italian espresso, our bill was only $22.00. Well worth the price.

But if it is fine dining that lures you, you will be thrilled to find an authentic 5-star meal, including the service, in the balconies which rise above the Piazza. A couple could order an appetizer, the two most expensive meals on the menu, dessert and cappuccinos and pay about $100, which is quite reasonable for food of this caliber.

This is truly a gem in the crown of this city, and if it is any reflection of what is to come with the next two restaurants opening, Downtown Clearwater is bound to become the area’s fine dining destination.

Renee Belfort is a self-taught chef who owned and operated a catering company in Seattle, Washington before relocating to Clearwater.

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