Permanently Closed - Bologna Cafe Italian Restaurant

4.0
96 reviews
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$30 and under
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Contemporary Italian

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About

This restaurant is permanently closed. Authentic Italian Restaurant and Catering . DINNER and DELI. Quality and Tradition in Our Authentic Italian Cuisine
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Contemporary Italian, Italian, Comfort Food
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Hours of operation
Dinner
Mon–Sat 5:00 pm–9:00 pm
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Phone number
(941) 244-2033
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Payment options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Smart Casual
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Tamiami Trail
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Parking details
Front and Side Restaurant
Additional
Banquet, Beer, Cafe, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Outdoor dining, Outdoor Smoking Area, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 96 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.0based on recent ratings
4.1
food
4.2
service
4.2
ambience
3.6
value
Noise · Quiet
48% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
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b
1 review
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 2

Used to be great changed hands then cook then wait staff, really poor experience last two times!

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SS
Tampa
1 review
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 2

Had reservation for 3. Was seated and given water and menu and never saw a waiter for 25 minutes. Had one waiter for entire restaurant! As not many had their food yet figured it would be an hour or more after we ordered! We got up to leave... never approached as to why we were leaving! So surprised as we heard great things about this place!

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R
Tampa
32 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

Was seated immediately and waited 45 minutes for service of just water and got up and left. People around us said they wished they would have done the same thing. Will not be back.

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j
Tampa
53 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

Service has fallen way off with new ownership. They are trying but I don’t think they have the experience needed. Could use at least one or two more staff as well. Food was better this time that the last few visits. Still could use a bit more spice in the dishes IMHO.

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LA
New York Area
21 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful meal. Our favorite restaurant!

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JC
Tampa
14 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 1ambience 3

Saturday, 2-16-19, 6:00 PM reservation. We were greeted near the entrance and told to sit in one of the three corner tables. Fifteen minutes later we were given a wine menu and told no mixed drinks were available because that very day the bartender, a server and the manager resigned. Another fifteen minutes went by and we were asked if we were ready to order. We ordered a charcuterie plate and a bottle of wine. The charcuterie plate was outstanding. After a while we ordered our dinners and had excellent meals. We never saw our server between the servings. The server, first day on the job, obviously had no training and had never worked in a higher end restaurant before. We could not fault her. All this for a check with tip exceeding $140.00 for two diners. We wondered if the owner had resigned that day also?

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MW
1 review
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

At first they informed us that the bartender had quit yesterday and that there was no one to mix drinks but they quickly followed with a free appetizer and a delicious wine list. We had a great time not only with the friendly waiters but watching the owner make the most amazing antipasta creations we had ever seen. The food was delicious, the ambiance great and if you are looking for a real Italian gourmet meal and great service..this is the place to go..

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A
Salt Lake City
3 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 4

No hostess. Took 30 minutes for anyone to even notice we (and 5 other couples) were waiting to check in for our reservation. Waiter was very apologetic and did a great job under the circumstances. Eggplant app was drowning in sauce. Caesar salad dressing had no taste. Carbonara was also flavorless. Prices high for low quality. Won’t be back.

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JG
Tampa
13 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and atmosphere

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CM
Western NC
18 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 4

This is the second time we’ve been here. Came in the door Valentine’s Day was not greeted by anyone waited probably 5 to 10 minutes still no one. Looked very Unorganized. Had to ask a waiter what do we do to get a table? asked us to put our name on a list. Suggested we can take a table out front. We did but decided to leave after we could see that this was going to be a frustrating experience. Last time we were there the food was good and service was good. Hopefully they will step it up with the service. Doesn’t take much to just say good evening I will be with you in a minute.

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d
Los Angeles
10 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

What a gem! Personal service. Amazing food. Like being in Northern Italy. We’ll be back.

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OT
Tampa
17 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent service and food. Will definitely return!

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SS
Columbus
7 reviews
Dined on February 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our evening with friends from out of town was wonderful. They had been with us to Bologna Cafe a couple of years ago and wanted to return. Their comment was that the menu and the food and service was better than their previous visit! We agreed totally. It is one of our favorite restaurants in Sarasota!

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JH
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 3

Was very disappointed. We used to go to Bologna with old owners. Our dining experience was very disappointing. Food wasn't hot, and was tasteless. Sorry to say, we won't be back.

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F
Detroit
5 reviews
Dined on January 29, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 5ambience 5

I HAVE BEEN GOING TO THIS RESTAURANT SINCE IT OPENED WAY BACK AND THIS IS THE FIRST TIME THAT THE FOOD WAS TASTELESS AND THERE ANTIPASTA FOR TWO TOWER WAS VERY BLAND AND WHO PUTS REGULAR HAM ON AN ANTIPASTA PLATE. I hope this is not a trend.

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DK
1 review
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 5ambience 3

Food was good but quantities too small and price high.

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e
Indiana
62 reviews
Dined on January 24, 2019
Overall 4food 2service 4ambience 5

Neither my husband nor I was happy with our entrees. Mine was a stew that had almost no flavor. Same with his pasta special of the day.

Our previous visits to this restaurant have been much better.

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OT
Tampa
1 review
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Well ever since you were near Phillipi Creek and moved to your present we have enjoyed our dining experience!
Times have changed and your more limited menu is not the same.
Appetizers/first course is as usual excellent!
My guy loves your calamari and I love eggplant!
Main course is very tight! No veal dishes and only mozzarella ravioli? Cannoli stuffed chicken was doughy and the chicken was dry.
The service as usual was excellent!!!

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N
Philadelphia
5 reviews
Dined on January 9, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 3

The restaurant is small. Probably ten or twelve tables. Server was attentive and pleasant. The menu is very limited. Surpringly, there is no soup or salad included with the entrees. Salads are $12 and up. I ordered the Risotto de Mare ($28). It’s a small mound of rice with 2 mussels, 1 medium shrimp, 1 baby clam. The scallops were buried in the rice, about the size of a thumb nail. The calamari was really hard to find. The fresh catch was bits of salmon mixed in with the rice.
My wife ordered ravioli ($26) in a marinara sauce. Five medium sized ravioli that she enjoyed. I’m sorry to say the food was just OK, but too expensive for the portions.

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j
Tampa
54 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

We have been here several times over the years. The last 3 visits (within the last 6 months) while everything has been fine, nothing has been great like in the past. Food seems to be lacking flavor and spice. Kind of bland. Service is great and friendly. Prices are on the high side Imho. Also noticed it is no where as busy as it used to be so I must not be the only person to feel it has slipped.

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NY
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

We tried New Year's eve which turned out to be a fixed price 9 course meal. About half of the meal was very good and half not so good. Some of the dishes were cold or over cooked. While I was would expect that this would not be an issue for a regular night, this was a bit disappointing.

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RM
Philadelphia
10 reviews
Dined on December 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Awesome, authentic Italian fare. Best restaurant ever

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F
Detroit
5 reviews
Dined on December 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Employee appreciation dinner. I come here every Christmas with my sales staff to thank them for the the hard work they perform each year. At Bologna the food and service is always superb.

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SM
1 review
Dined on December 8, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

We’ve always had an outstanding meal here, but last week was not. Menu changes from last spring. We’ll try them again. The affogato no longer has chocolate around it- it’s just not the same!

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LM
Tahoe
9 reviews
Dined on December 6, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

We have been there several times and the food and service is always very good. Such a variety of new pasta to try and wine made by the owner is outstanding .

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J
Orlando
20 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Osso Bucco was exceptional and up to the standards expected of a best Italian restaurant. Rosella was delightful. Bologna Cafe is as good as ever.

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j
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on November 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

I selected this place at random on a Friday night. chief criteria were close to my house and Italian, along with decent reviews. I was totally blown away by the place upon dining there ! Located in what looked to me a deserted strip mall on Tamiami south of Sarasota it was a total gem. They make their own pasta there and as a foodie who makes his own pasta as well I was astonished at how well it was done. Have been to many joints that make their own and often it is either too doughie or not properly cooked - not this place. I had the rough (ruvide) pasta with porcini and my wife had the tagliatelle with white wine sauces. Both spot on. We both started with salads - hers a classic caprese and mine a prosciutto and smoked mozzarella - both excellent. Service was also excellent.


I heartily recommend this place

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AP
Tampa
6 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 4

We were disappointed on this visit to Bologna. The quality of the food was not as we had experienced before. The pesto was brown, the veal scallopini was so heavily breaded it looked like cheese was on it. So sad since this restaurant was always a favorite.

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R
Milwaukee
97 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

My wife and I dined at Bologna Café for the first time and we enjoyed the food very much. My wife ordered scallops and prawns over risotto which she thought was very good. I ordered the ruvide pasta with Italian sausage and mushrooms. My meal was very good as well but the portion was smaller than I expected and the sausage was ground up instead of links like I assumed it would be...…….the menu didn't identify it very well. Our server did a nice job providing service but there were a couple times we needed something and he appeared to be no where in sight. After paying the bill and leaving the restaurant we came to the conclusion the menu prices were higher than they should have been. There are a number of Italian restaurants in the Sarasota area where the food is every bit as good if not better and the prices are much more reasonable.

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E
Tampa
15 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Great food!

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W
Charleston
1 review
Dined on October 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our party of four was totally impressed on every level from the moment we arrived.
The food, service, ambiance, aromas and wine selection were better than we could have imagined.
The BEST Italian food we have had in Florida. A real gem!

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3
Phoenix
38 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

The drinks are WAY overpriced. A gin and tonic was $13!!!

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LA
New York Area
21 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Incredible meal! This is now my favorite restaurant in NY or Florida!!!! Bravo Francesco!

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GM
Western NC
2 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food but the mixed drinks(Bombay Saphire & tonic - $14.50 & Tanquery & tonic- $12.50) are,too expensive.

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E
Tampa
15 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding

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RM
New Orleans
10 reviews
Dined on September 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our recent visit to Bologna Cafe was our first of many. I have had the good fortune to dine at many excellent Italian restaurants in New Jersey and New York City. The quality of our meal at Bologna Cafe was as good or better than most other Italian restaurants we have dined at over the last couple decades. My wife and I cannot wait to return to the Venice/Opsrey area later this year and have our second of many dinners at Bologna Cafe!

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V
Washington DC
40 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is a great find! First time dining here. The restaurant is easy to find and it’s lovely. Food was fresh and beautifully prepared. Lots of choices for everyone’s likes. The night we went was very quiet; off season, but I would expect that in season, that changes. We highly recommended the restaurant to our daughter and family for their visit to Sarasota. We will definitely dine here again.

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TT
Tampa
15 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 3

Great food as always, but we continue to be troubled by small knats. Need to fix that to be perfect.

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LA
New York Area
21 reviews
Dined on August 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Hands down the best Italian food I have ever had in Florida. Having grown up in Brooklyn NY and worked in Manhattan, I have eaten at some great Italian restaurants. This is now one of my favorites. I’ll be back many more times. My compliments to the chef. Bravo!!!!!

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j
Naples
22 reviews
Dined on August 22, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Very nice restaurant! The food was delicious and service was excellent. I highly recommend!

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