Ava Restaurant

4.6
949 reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
Ava's menu will feature inspired Italian cuisine prepared in a simple and rustic fashion. Central to our vision will be house cured salumi, fresh hand made pasta and Neapolitan pizza cooked at 900 degrees in our Italian-made Acunto pizza oven. Ingredients will be fresh, seasonal, and local whenever possible.
Ava has limited seating, reservations may be inside or outside. We attempt to accommodate special requests, please let us know what your preference may be in the "add a special request' field. However, we can't guarantee all table requests. We look forward to serving you.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Italian, Wine Bar, Steak
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Hours of operation
Lunch Monday -Friday: 11:30am-2:00pm, Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm, Friday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 11:00pm, Sunday: 5:00pm-9:00pm, Brunch Saturday- Sunday 10:30-2:30
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Phone number
(813) 512-3030
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Smart Casual
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Executive chef
John Lister
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Howard Ave & Swann
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Parking details
Valet Friday and Saturday. Self parking in the Garage.
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cafe, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Entertainment, Fireplace, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Outdoor dining, Outdoor Smoking Area, Private Room, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 949 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.4
service
4.5
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
89% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
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1
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SB
Los Angeles
14 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and service.

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MA
4 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We enjoyed our evening at Ava. We ate on the patio. The noise inside was too loud for conversation but I don’t know why it was so noisy. Our server was excellent and the food was fresh and high quality. We will definitely go back and would recommend it to friends!

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JJ
Tampa
7 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Wonderful evening with good food and good drinks. Our bartender Emma and our server Peyton could not have been more friendly and attentive. Made reservations and our table was ready on time. Definitely will be going back.

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OT
Tampa
1 review
Dined on October 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Food is always amazing.

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MP
Las Vegas
3 reviews
Dined on October 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

What a nice place! Quiet dinner for 4 of us...quick service for drinks, patience as we chatted and reviewed the menu. All 4 of us were quite satisfied with our dinner choices. I particularily would recommend the Pappardelle alle Bolognese pasta dish. Great blend of tastes that pair nicely with the Baby Amarone red. Will go back.

PS: Easy self parking in the garage behind the place.

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TS
Tampa
4 reviews
Dined on October 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Awesome bruschetta and red sangria. The double play (eggplant parm & chicken parm) was done nicely. Crispy lightly fried coating. Coffee gelato was smooth and tasty. We’ll definitely be return patrons.

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P
Chicago
67 reviews
Dined on October 15, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Very good food. Nice variety.

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OT
Poconos
3 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was impeccable. The waitress was helpful with recommendations and it was incredible service.

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ML
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 5

If there's such a thing as too fast of service, this restaurant nailed it. Went on a Saturday date night and were in and out in 45 mins. Entrees came minutes after appetizers. Wanted to slow down a bit but felt hurried.

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TM
Tallahassee
2 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food !Chef JL Lister outdid himself
. Very friendly staff

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MS
Tampa
2 reviews
Dined on October 7, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Food was just OK, not great especially for the price. Has a pasta dish with shrimp - it was stodgy and sauce was too thick with about 5 shrimp in total. Asked for sorbetto to be told there was none. We asked for coffee at 8.30 (closes at 9) and were tokd there was no fresh coffee and it had probably been thrown out! This was our 2nd try - won’t be going back.

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k
London
5 reviews
Dined on October 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

What a gem! My pasta dish was outstanding. The bucatini was cooked perfectly and had a fantastic al dente chew. The pasta was dressed with oxtail, pine nuts and currents. Absolutely delicious dish, perfectly cooked, great flavor, beautiful classic presentation. If pasta was lower in calories you’d find me eating at AVA every day. You have to try it.

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OT
Tampa
3 reviews
Dined on October 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 5

This was a kid friendly brunch option for us and it was great! The kids loved watching the chef making pizzas and the food was delicious when it came!

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F
Tampa
17 reviews
Dined on October 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 3

Ava is always good! Had the meat & cheese tray which was almost a meal for two, and on special!

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B
Tampa
10 reviews
Dined on September 30, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 4

food was a bit overpriced for what you got. mussels appetizer was delicious and kids enjoyed the pizza. chicken parmigiana and grilled swordfish needed a bit more flavor, the dishes were a bland.

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SM
Tampa
11 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

Frequent visitor to Ava. Love the vibe and service. Food is good Italian American comfort style with a healthy twist.

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OT
Tampa
13 reviews
Dined on September 24, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 1ambience 4

This was a return trip to Ava and I was looking forward to returning. Unfortunately, after our server "greeted" us with an attitude, the evening progressed from there. One of the most egregious service issues was I was served a dish wtih NUTS after I had specifically told the server that I was allergic. Her response...I told them not to put them in. Because we were 4 women looking for light fare and not heavy drinkers, she dismissed us, with under her breath comments like, they don't want to eat much as she walked away, making the evening difficult to enjoy. It is sad that a cute, local Italian restaurant has service staff that do not seem to care.

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F
Atlanta
114 reviews
Dined on September 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great place and wonderful staff. Happy hour jams up the bar from around 5PM-7:30PM Monday-Friday. Inexpensive way to enjoy good food; wonderful wines options by the glass. Everyone is so nice and food is well prepared. Suggest reservations on weekends.

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MW
Tampa
1 review
Dined on September 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was our first trip to Ava. Shelby was our server and went above and beyond our expectations. Our 10 year old daughter was having a rough night and just wanted a lobster tail or ceasar salad (go figure). Neither item is on the menu. I said no problem we will figure something else out. Shelby talked with the manager and went to their sister restaurant across the street to get her a lobster tail. They made her a great meal with a lobster tail and kids pasta. Our daughter's mood perked up quickly. Our food at Ava was wonderful. The ambiance was great. Our drinks were great and our service was excellent. We will definitely go back.

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GB
Tampa
22 reviews
Dined on September 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We really enjoy our visits to AVA's, we always have a good time and good meal. Our only criticism would be that it gets loud.

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OT
Tampa
1 review
Dined on September 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Service was great! Food and menu is amazing. Love this place.

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H
Philadelphia
6 reviews
Dined on September 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a great dining experience at Ava and even though we were only in Tampa for 3 days we made sure to go there for dinner and wasn’t disappointed

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OT
1 review
Dined on September 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 1ambience 5

food was good. waitress was rude.

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OT
Charleston
1 review
Dined on September 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Absolutely fantastic all around!!!

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OT
1 review
Dined on September 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

For an upscale restaurant, I found Ava reasonably priced and inviting. The bread was wonderful and I was wowed by the ravioli with the crunchy prosciutto....

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t
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on September 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a great date nite with fantastic food. Our waiter remembered us from the last time we were in (it is one of our favorite spots!) and the atmosphere is always lively and fun. Usually our go-to is the margarita pizza and Ava house salad . But this time we ordered pasta dishes - the homemade pasta and and sauces were very tasty. Love this place! Try it if you haven’t been yet!

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OT
1 review
Dined on September 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Ava Restaurant is welcoming, but modern in feel. The wood fired pizza was a highlight, and pasta was excellent. Nice wine is available at a good price. Free parking in a garage in south Tampa is a big bonus. We have been twice, and would go again!

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F
Tampa
60 reviews
Dined on September 12, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

First time at Ava. The fried cheese, raviolis, and wood fire roasted vegetables were all excellent for appetizers. Decent wine list to go with it. The service was also good. I was let down by my entree though. The papparadelle was a bit too al dente and stuck together in clumps. For a restaurant that boasts about making their own pasta, you would think they would focus more on the entrees.

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OT
New England
2 reviews
Dined on September 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Allison was such a pleasure and took care of our group very wel

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JD
Tampa
1 review
Dined on September 2, 2018
Overall 3food 5service 2ambience 4

Food was great, but be prepared to wait at brunch. Took over an hour to get our food (2 pancakes and a pizza). Normally not a deal breaker, but (2) starving kids didn’t help.

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OT
Tampa
1 review
Dined on September 2, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 2ambience 4

Will not return for brunch.
Even though service wasn’t terrible, the quality of the food for the price was ridiculous. I understand when a restaurant is busy for the food to take a while, that is ok, but if after waiting a while I get my food and it looks (and tastes) the way it did I’m sorry but there is no excuse, I got the steak and eggs ($17) described as “wood grilled prime sirloin” and I expected that, a sirloin. Instead it was roughly three slices? of steak with a hollandaise type sauce on top, which was cold.
On the other hand I explained to the manager the issue and she was happy to fix it and get me bacon instead. Another person on the table go the shrimp and grits, which uh, had what seemed to be (4) precooked shrimp smothered in some sort of tomatoey broth, not very good either.They did take items from the bill which was not necessary but we appreciated it.
We might give it another chance during dinner since it seems like that might be this restaurants focus, but not for brunch that is for sure.

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OT
Houston
2 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 1

Despite the reservation, we were given a lousy table near the front door while nicer four-tops went unused all night. The waitress never offered to let me taste the wine and simply poured into my companion’s glass. She brought the check without my requesting it despite the fact that we weren’t finished with desert. The lack of service points to an untrained staff. Some dishes were very good but the pasta with sauce was pedestrian. I don’t recommend it.

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BN
1 review
Dined on August 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

great food, we go out every Friday to find new pizza places, this pizza is now in our top 3 in Tampa. Alison was a terrific server/

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VB
Miami
2 reviews
Dined on August 19, 2018
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 3

I have been to Ava several times, and the service is always mediocre, but passable. Yesterday, however, we had an experience that made us consider never dining there again, and will be telling my friends and co-workers about. My husband and I made our reservation on OpenTable and were very excited to have brunch together before he left to the airport on his business trip that morning. As soon as we arrived, the hostess seemed very rushed and stressed and brushed off our questions about the menu, despite the fact that the restaurant was not very busy at all. We were seated outside on the patio, and there was a very strong, foul sewage odor, which we chose to ignore because we had already had our hearts set on some Warm Ricotta. However, after waiting for quite a while without even any waters, we decided to leave when the server seated a group of girls, who were obviously her friends, and immediately took their drink orders before ours, or the older couple at the adjacent table, who had been there even longer!

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RR
1 review
Dined on August 18, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

The reservations don't guarantee you a spot inside. Even when it's 90 degrees out. Super disappointed. We left and went somewhere else after the hostess was less than eager to accommodate our indoor seating request. She said the wait would be anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour. This was after we already had reservations!!!!!

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OT
1 review
Dined on August 18, 2018
Overall 1food 3service 2ambience 4

The drinks were awful

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OT
Tampa
1 review
Dined on August 17, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

We arrived 5 minutes prior to our reservations and was told there were no tables inside and could seat us outside. The hostess never offered us a table at a later time and was seated outside in the heat and humidity. This is not what we wanted for an enjoyable dinner. We waited approximately 5 minutes and was not offered a drinks so we got up and left Ava’s.

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TE
Tampa
1 review
Dined on August 13, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Go there all the time. Love the home made pastas. Great bar tenders.

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FB
Western NC
13 reviews
Dined on August 13, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

The reason we only give it a good rating is the sauces and eggplant was very bland. I think that Pizza may be their specialty but pasta sauce used with egg plant is not. Service was very good, but the food deliver, a gentleman, needs to exhibit a better personality to be in the restaurant business. The place was very busy however and for a Monday night and maybe we just ordered the wrong thing on the wrong night.

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KP
Tampa
1 review
Dined on August 11, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 5

We sat at the bar and has a new bartender serving us, so I understand why the service was poor, but I have worked in the service insustry and I expect good service regardless of experience. In addition, we ordered the salmon and it was vastly undercooked. Had to wait 15 minutes for a new meal and received no form of apology. I was very frustrated after our visit. I have been to this restaurant on a few other occasions and was quite disappointed this time. I won’t be returning for awhile.

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