Episode 29 - Piccolo Italia Bistro, Music by Stone Marmot

A great "new" and authentic Italian place in Tampa!

SHOW NOTES

Show Notes

 

If you remember back to Episode 4, I love Italian.  In episode 29, I discover and share my experience of a relative newcomer to the Tampa Italian food scene.  When you walk in and everyone in the place is speaking Italian, you know you’re in for something special.

Transcript at the bottom of this page!

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Piccolo Italia Bistro

Piccolo Italian Bistro

 2140 W Doctor M.L.K. Jr Blvd, Tampa, FL 33607

I orderered:

  • Putanesca
  • Brisket with Spinach Fettucini
  • Espresso
  • Chocolate Mousse Cake
  • Holy Water

Everything was amazing!  Absolutely recommended!

Piccolo Italia Bistro

Stone Marmot

Music by Stone Marmot – ” Can’t Undo Loving You”

Our music is the result of not watching TV for over 30 straight years. That’s right! The person who writes all our songs hasn’t had a working television in his house since January, 1982. Scary, isn’t it! That could explain the somewhat retro, rather experimental feel to the music, which has been described as sounding somewhere between The Beatles, Weezer, The B-52s, and They Might Be Giants.

Our music is an object lesson in how warped and depraved a television-starved mind can get. And that’s not all! To make matters worse, since no self-respecting human would stoop low enough to play this stuff, he suckered four poor, innocent cartoon characters into recording his music.

Cartoon characters have it tough enough as it is, with people laughing at them all the time, without having to be subjected to this! His poor, unfortunate victims, who refer to themselves collectively as Stone Marmot, are:

  • Cindy: Guitars
  • Sid: Keyboards, guitars, lead and backup vocals
  • Sammy: Bass, lead and backup vocals
  • Bruce: Percussion, backup vocals

This quartet played their little paper hearts out as the ignoble fiend who created them and their music practically produced and engineered them to death.

Therefore, for the sake of the cartoons, we hope you give their music a good listen and try to appreciate their tireless and selfless efforts. Please! Don’t let this happen to you or someone you love! Be sure you and your loved ones receive a healthy minimum dose of television each and every day.

 

Ferret Facts

Felicia was a ferret used at Femilab in the 1960s to clean the particle accellerator.

OUTRO

Kyle Sasser is a Tampa Bay Native as well as a local Realtor.  If you’re looking to find your own great place in Tampa Bay I’d love to help!

Great Things Tampa Bay is hosted and produced by Kyle Sasser.

There was no paid advertising in this episode.  All recommendations are given based on personal experiences.

Also featuring bumper music by Author:Oscar Woods Title:”Dont Sell It Dont Give It Away”.

TRANSCRIPT

 

This is Kyle Sasser, and this is episode 29 of Great Things Tampa Bay. And today we have a little bit of a hidden spot, a little, hidden hole over in Tampa, Florida. And you all might have been feeling a little bit left out over there in Tampa hadn’t talked about anything over there in a while. Been talking about strawberries and, you know, St. Petersburg things and quite, you know, more than a couple interviews. So I wanted to get back to basics.

So, today I just tried this place over in Tampa Bay called Piccolo Italia Bistro, and it is amazing. Did a little bit of recording actually in the restaurant as I was tasting things, and we’ll play that a little bit later. But basically just wanted to give you a real quick rundown.

So, Piccolo Italia Bistro is located over at 2140 West, Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. It’s basically on MLK in Tampa between the river and Armenia Avenue. It’ll be on the South side there’s a big… the signs actually the Italian tricolors which is very similar to the Mexican tricolors as Carmelo in the restaurant told me.

Hopefully, I recorded that. I’m not sure if I was.. but basically, he said that he moved here from Italy, and he was excited because he saw, you know, the red, white, green everywhere. And he was like, “Oh, I feel like I’m at home.” And then, you know, a few years later, he realized that it was mostly the larger Mexican contingent we have here. So, I thought that was pretty funny.

So, basic rundown here is I would put this as more of a like home Italian cooking. It is from the Abruzzo and him… Carmelo will be mad if I pronounced that wrong because he said it to me like three times, but the Abruzzo area, and also Rome, Bellona, and Naples. And they make their sauces in-house, and the one thing I can say about them is that they are very balanced and by that… like that’s a very vague term, I know.

So most times when you have Italian food here… or kind of what’s classes Italian food here in the United States, It’s all, you know, it’s all about the sauce. And there’s usually like one key to finding ingredient of the sauce that just kind of overwhelms everything.

At Piccolo Italia, it’s more of a balanced thing. So for example, I ordered the Puttanesca which, as many of you know is kind of known for its pungent saltiness. It’s basically a spaghetti with capers olives, anchovies, and a tomato sauce, and the capers, and olives.

Most Puttanesca kind of overwhelm everything else. But with this Puttanesca at Piccolo Italia like each ingredient kind of had its own say as you took a bite. So, it’s like you could taste the tomatoes and then, you know, there was a caper and then, you know, the olives were huge olives with like not the sliced out of a can variety.

Huge olives with the pits still in them. So, you know, kind of beehive, you know, be careful where you’re chopping out on these things. And just perfect, you know, even the herbs and stuff in it, you could pick out each one. I did also get a hold of a pepper like almost. It was this big sliver of pepper that lit me up for a little bit. So, if you do get the Puttanesca be a little mindful that that is a possibility in there.

The other plate that I had was briskets, and that was with the spinach fettuccine which was also very amazing. And the brisket was actually slow-cooked, and just kind of pulled apart and melted like butter in your mouth. It was it was delicious, really amazing.

So, the actual place is kind of, you know, just it’s a small place they have like eight tables. When I walked in everyone was speaking Italian, the staff and all of the people sitting down. And Carmela came over and started speaking Italian, and I was like, ” I don’t speak Italian. Sorry.” And he’s like, “Oh foreigner?” And I was like, “Yes.” But it does it really, you know, just like that sort of vibe. It’s very like European, very laid-back, you know, the staff is very friendly and helpful.

Carmela makes a great water… he calls it holy water. And it’s basically, you know, water with some botanicals, some citrus, and some radishes in it, which was… I thought was absurd when I saw him bringing the [inaudible 00:05:10] out. But then I tried it, I was like, “Hey, you know what, I can’t argue with great taste, and this stuff is delicious.” So, anyway, I’m going to cut over and just give you kind of the live feed now from when I was actually in the restaurant. Something new I thought I’d try out. And yeah, here you go.

All right. So, I’m here at Piccolo Italia which is located on MLK in Tampa one block East of Armenia. And you can tell because it’s got a huge time flag out by the road. And I came here wanting to try it out. It was written up as one of the best restaurants in Tampa. And, so, I’m a big fan of Italia… of Italian food if you’ve listened to the podcast at all. And yet, just want to give it a shot.

So, started off with Carmela’s holy water, which is water infused with a whole blend of botanicals including radishes, which sounds weird but absolutely delicious. And then for entrees, I went with the Puttanesca which if you don’t know is a spaghetti with the marinara sauce but a little different than your normal meat sauce because it has olives, capers, anchovies, and a little bit of pepper spice in it.

So, a lot of times, Puttanesca are kind of overwhelmed by the saltiness of the olives, capers, and anchovies, but this one was actually… just the blends were done very well, very well balanced, and amazingly delicious I had to make sure to not eat all of it. So, I have something to take home to my wife.

And then the other entree I tried was the… and here comes Carmela with my espresso. Thank you very much. Sorry. We’re on the dessert course right now. Ah, Abruzzo is that the north or the south? [inaudible 00:07:07] Extra…Okay. Alright, so, I got my espresso right here and… oh, sorry. Yes.

So, the other entree I had was a brisket with spinach… slow-cooked biscuits on spinach fettuccine. And usually, like the savory sort of dishes like that I usually don’t go for too much. A lot of times it comes across like pasta gravy, but the way it was made here again just that perfect balance. Every ingredient just kind of speaks for itself. Absolutely amazing.

Currently, I’m having dessert course with the mousse… chocolate mousse cake and… I got to tell you it’s amazing… my espresso here, hmm, nothing better.

So, I’ll do a little bit more in-depth on this when I get home. It was so delicious that I wanted to record right now.

[music]

So, that was kind of my life take. Obviously, it’s a little rough. My apologies. But I have never made any claims of being a professional podcaster. I’m always working on improving myself, but there you go. It is what it is, you know, I’m not quite on the Anthony Bourdain level yet, and I apologize for that.

Anyway, Piccolo Italia, they do a lot of other great dishes and specials. I couldn’t… they read off like eight of them. They had like some pasta that had like a rack of lamb something on it, and just everything sounded delicious.

I ordered two entrees, just so I could bring some home to my wife, and brought her home, and she was like, “I got to try some bites of the stuff.” Because I sent her pictures, which the pictures you can see on the show notes and also on our website greatthingstb.com. And, yeah, she agreed. Absolutely delicious.

They also do a pasta class that they said was booked out to September which is bananas. And they’re also paired with a dinner of some sort. So, maybe you’re interested in that, and you know, we’ll probably look into trying to do something like that, and you know we’ll… just for our own personal knowledge, you know like, “Who better to learn it from than someone who is actually from Italy? Yeah.

So, it’s definitely, you know, as Carmela told me when I went in there, and I was talking to them like they don’t make any pretenses. They don’t try to do anything fancy, you know like it’s not normal. they’re not trying to do any sort of gastro, you know, deconstruction sort of stuff, is just good food from the heart of Italy that I honestly… I mean everyone should love this stuff. It is amazing. But like I said, it’s not like… like it’s just balanced like it’s a different sensibility from most American food, where it just tries to… you know, it’s over… it’s a little too loud in-your-face I guess. Like the food at Piccolo Italia is just absolutely delicious. And I know I’m going to be picking up some on the way home from work for the wife more than once. So, yeah. So check them out. The Piccolo Italia Bistro and again, they’re on MLK in Tampa between the river and Armenia.

Segment two.

Scientists at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory employed a ferret named Felicia to clean accelerator parts in the 1970s.

As that wraps up Episode 29 of Great Things Tampa Bay. I would like to thank you for tuning in, do be sure to get out there and try Piccola Italia Bistro, absolutely worth the stop and your dinner dollars.

My name is Kyle Sasser and host of great things Tampa Bay. I’m also a local realtor. So, if you would like me to help you find your own great place in Tampa Bay. All you got to do is just go to my website greatthingstb.com. That’s G-R-E-A-T-T-H-I-N-G-S-T-B. com. And on there, there will be a link at the top, on the top menu for how to get in touch with me for real estates.

Also, if you have any suggestions or you want to argue about something, I’m more than happy to take you up on that or read your messages. And you can also send that message to me at the website greatthingstb.com.

I’m also on social media… pretty much all of them just greatthingstb.com. So, you know, find us on Instagram, on Twitter. I try to be active on most of those.

And yeah, today we got a new band playing us out here. And their name is Stone Marmot, and this track is called, ‘Can’t Undo Loving You.’ It’s a fun little track, and you know was pretty innocent when I listened to it the first time as I was driving across the Gandy Bridge on the way home. So, good stuff. So anyway, this is Stone Marmot, not Stone Walmart… Stone Marmot.

And yeah, be sure to subscribe. Share us with friends and tell me about your great place in Tampa Bay. Thank you very much.

[music]

Do you feel your heart burst aflame
Every time you hear my name?
Is my face all you ever see
Like thoughts of you haunt me?

Chorus:
Oo-oo
Please say you feel this too
Oo-oo
‘Cause I can’t undo loving you

Do you feel time without me slow
Like honey flows in snow?
Are you saving up all your dreams
So you can share them with me?

Oo-oo
Please say you feel this too
Oo-oo
‘Cause I can’t undo loving you

Please say this ain’t a one way street
I’m so immersed in you
I’ve lost all chance at a retreat

Do your trembling fingers demand
The comforting grasp of my hand?
Does my warm sweet breath soothe your fears
Like when you kiss away my tears?

Oo-oo
Please say you feel this too
Oo-oo
‘Cause I can’t undo loving
You-oo
Please, please say you feel this too

Oo-oo
‘Cause I can’t undo loving you

No, I can’t undo loving you

I can’t undo loving you

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