Tucked away in a shopping plaza one traffic light north of SR 54 on Little Road, at the corner of old SR 54. Family owned and operated Taso Italiano is the place to go for truly authentic, family-style Italian and Mediterranean fare.
Currently in their 6th year of operation, Taso Italiano is all about offering customers the best dining experience possible. Surrounded by a lifetime of family history in the restaurant business, Taso and his lovely partner Sabrina, welcome customers into Taso Italiano as if they were inviting them into their own home. “Hello Angie! You are looking good! How’s the family?” says Taso with a big smile as he escorts a customer to her table. It was clear by this and other interactions that most of the customers were regulars. Some come in as many as 2-4 times per week, never getting bored with the extensive menu and always counting on the best customer service. “Exceptional service ‘may’ compensate for ‘Okay’ food. However, exceptional food will ‘NEVER’ compensate ‘Okay’ service,” says owner, Taso Stassi, who believes you’re only as good as the help you have at your side. That same quote is printed in big bold letters and hanging in the kitchen as a reminder to the entire staff on the importance of outstanding customer service.
There is an instant warmth the moment you walk inside Taso Italiano. I personally felt as if I was sitting down to dinner at a little villa in Tuscany. On your left there’s a great full liquor bar with high table tops, and makes the perfect place for you to lounge and watch your favorite team play while enjoying a cold beer or your drink of choice. To your right, the spacious dining room is decorated with heirloom pieces of art that have been passed on from generation to generation and a collection of old family photos scattered upon the vintage walls with exposed brick. Taso Italiano oozes tradition while revealing Taso and his father’s culinary background and expertise. You can quickly tell that this is a family oriented restaurant meant to bring people together over the most delicious food in the neighborhood. Family-style dining reservations are encouraged for so that you and your guests can sample a little bit of everything ordered.
Diversity & Excitement! – There’s Something For Everyone at Taso Italiano!
Italian cuisine has been one of the best-loved styles of cooking for thousands of years for many different reasons. Throughout history, Italian dishes have combined not just the best local ingredients but the best exotic ingredients as well, and Taso Italiano does this lifelong tradition justice. Taso Italiano is a place where traditional preparation of fresh ingredients, serving authentic italian cuisine is what they do. “Cooking is in our blood” says Taso. “Our meals are carefully chosen and prepared from recipes handed down from generation to generation. We have a scratch kitchen, meaning everything is made to order using the freshest ingredients available.”
Different regions of Italy are famous for very specific dishes and local ingredients. The Northern region is home to some of the best pasta and risotto dishes, while the Western cuisine is comprised largely of fish and vegetables, usually prepared and served with fresh tomatoes, olives and nuts. The Eastern region is influenced in part by bordering countries, so we see a diverse use of dairy and cheeses with the addition of freshwater fish, pork, cured ham, and local wines. While the Southern half of Italy is a treasure trove of tastes and styles. Much of the traditional Italian food current recognized is from this area. While beef and larger livestock are not as prevalent, there is still a variety of meat, dairy and eggs, making the south a true culinary paradise that is also heavily influenced by other Mediterranean cooking styles.
Luckily, you don’t have to travel all across Italy to enjoy the food from each region, Taso Italiano’s menu features a wide variety of popular dishes from all over Italy right here in your neighborhood. “We try to accommodate a very diverse audience,” says Taso. “Our extensive menu offers something for everyone!” From spectacular pizzas to juicy steaks, to the most mouth watering seafood dishes, and a lasagna so big you will not be able to finish, dining at Taso Italiano is truly a culinary feast that even the native Italians will love.
“We are Italian. My mother was born in Italy. This food was actually better than hers,” says Teresa S. about her recent experience at Taso Italiano. “The ingredients they use make everything taste amazing! We plan on going regularly. Make sure you try some Sambuca or Limoncello with your expresso, it’s amazing! WE LOVE THIS PLACE.”
With delicious beginnings such as the bruschetta pomodoro, the clams oreganata or the baked stuffed mushrooms, you will have a hard time choosing only one starter. I personally loved the Antipasto, which features rollatines of imported Italian cured meats, imported cheeses, artichokes and a colorful mix of olives, sliced cherry peppers and gardinier finished with EVOO. I also recommend the signature calamari; flash fried and seasoned, drizzled with roasted garlic basil aioli and balsamic reduction.
For main course the Pork Ossobucco is a big customer favorite. Slow roasted, fall off the bone pork shank, served with pappardelle pasta. My father was a big seafood lover, so anywhere we went he would always order a seafood dish called Frutti di Mare, which means Fruits of the sea. Taso Italiano’s rendition of this traditional dish was nothing short of perfection. Mussels, clams, calamari and perfectly cooked shrimp served over linguine. This dish can be made to order with your choice of marinara, bianco (white sauce) or fra diavolo (a little spicy, and my personal favorite style.) Make sure you leave some room for dessert, and try either their homemade cannoli or their tiramisu (also made in house). If you’re coming with your little one (s) Taso Italiano offers a special “Bambini Menu” that features delicious options like; Spaghetti and Meatball Pizza, Baked Ziti, Chicken Tenders and Fries, Baked Cheese Ravioli and Baked Mac & Cheese amongst others.
With so many great entrees, an inviting atmosphere, remarkable customer service and fantastic 5 star reviews online, Taso Italiano can easily be considered a fine dining experience, but Taso prefers to stay away from that terminology when it comes to labeling his restaurant. “I don’t want to be considered ‘Fine Dining’ because people perceive it as expensive, and we’re not,” says Taso. “We offer an affordable dining experience that anyone can enjoy!”
“Whether you want to come dressed casually and order some sandwiches or pizzas to enjoy with your friends, or be all formally dressed up for a romantic evening with your partner and order some nice steaks and a bottle of wine, you’re always welcome at Taso Italiano.” says Taso. As his father used to say, Taso Stassi wishes you and yours “All The Best!”
Taso Italiano is located at 4016 Little Road in New Port Richey and can be reached at 727- 807-7900. Call for Carryout, Free Delivery or Catering on or off premises. Private luncheons available upon request. Visit www.tasoitaliano.com for more information; follow Taso Italiano on Facebook for upcoming events and stay updated on weekly specials!