Taverna Costale, the newest project from celebrity Chef Fabio Viviani, finally opened its doors to the public over the weekend in St. Pete. Located at 200 Central Avenue, Taverna Costale focuses on coastal Italian fare and craft cocktails. According to their website, the menu places an emphasis on local seafood, fresh pasta, pizza and high-end cuts of prime or dry-aged steaks, as well as a commitment to great craft cocktails.
The highly anticipated restaurant quietly opened over MLK Weekend, and already the intimate Italian experience is getting rave reviews with a five-star rating on both Google and Yelp. Operating hours are currently listed as 3-11 pm daily.
With a full menu offering more than 30 dishes, there are plenty of options, including charred Spanish octopus, grilled bone marrow, tutta carne pizza, rigatoni Bolognese, squid ink paccheri, grilled salmon, chianti braised pork chop and a New York strip. The dessert list includes house-made tiramisu, limoncello cake and a flourless chocolate torte.
An extensive wine list offers dozens of options by the glass and bottle, alongside a strong beer selection. The creative cocktail menu includes a wide variety of house signatures and twists on Italian classics.
Famed for his appearance on Top Chef and an infectious personality that wooed viewers, Viviani is a celebrity chef, hospitality developer, best-selling cookbook author and TV host who moved to the United States from Florence, Italy in 2005. Viviani has often bragged on television about his family’s famous meatball recipe, and the much-ballyhooed meatballs are now a part of the menu at Taverna Costale.
“Taverna Costale is the perfect blend of a rustic Italian eatery, an energetic local tavern, and an upscale modern restaurant,” its website says. “Indulge in fresh pasta and pizzas in our beautiful dining room, or enjoy a signature cocktail at our vibrant bar, which extends both indoor and outdoor. Speaking of outdoors, our patio is ideal for decadent experiences – even for your furriest friends, including a dog-friendly menu.”