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About Pensare Italian Bistro

799 Highland Ave.
Dunedin, FL 34698
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Pensare Italian Bistro makes its home in the charming downtown area of Dunedin. A cozy and somewhat upscale eatery, it offers an attractive and stylish dining space and a menu consisting of both traditional and contemporary Italian fare. Some dishes served at Pensare Italian Bistro include tortellini, chicken parmesan and ravioli stuffed with both ricotta and lobster.

Open during the dinner hour, Pensare Italian Bistro has a full-service bar with an extensive wine collection as well as beers, cocktails and other spirits. A wraparound patio further provides for outdoor seating which allows patrons to enjoy the warm Florida weather while eating.

Dining Style:
Fine Dining

Cuisines:
Italian

Hours of Operation:

Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 9:00pm
Friday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm

Cross Street:
Main Street

Dress Code:
Smart Casual

Price Range:
$31 to $50

Payment Options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(727) 786-2222

Website:
http://www.pensareitalianbistro.com/

Catering:
We can arrange catering for special events, ranging from $20 - $40 per person...

Parking Details:
Ample Free Parking next to restaurant

Public Transit:
Jolley trolley

Additional:
Bar Dining, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Outdoor dining, Outdoor Smoking Area, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Special Events & Promotions:
Coming soon:
Wine pairings with dinner
Theme dinners (i.e. seafood, pasta night, risotto)

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S
544 reviews
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Pensare

 
 (Tampa)·Dined on March 4, 2016

The food, wine and service are always very good. The only reason I don't visit more often is the irritating level of noise; to avoid this try and get a table on the terrace when the weather is nice.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Great for Outdoor Dining, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

Food and service both good. We would go ...

 
 (Miami)·Dined on February 27, 2016

Food and service both good. We would go back. Nice job.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining
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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

Pensare is one of our favorite "go to" r ...

vip
 (Tampa)·Dined on February 27, 2016

Pensare is one of our favorite "go to" restaurants. The food is amazing and so is the service.

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food5
ambience5
service5

The food and service was great! We will ...

 
 (Tampa)·Dined on February 25, 2016

The food and service was great! We will keep going back to this place over and over again!

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food5
ambience5
service5

Very Nice Italian Cuisine

 
 (Tampa)·Dined on February 24, 2016

On Mainstreet in Dunedin we were very pleased with the quality pasta, veal and seafood Italian cuisine.

Appetizers were good sized and portions nice, also salad or soup included w entrée so plenty of food overall. Seemed pretty authentic and tasted great- will go back for sure- entrees around $20 were very reasonable! Exceelent bread and olive tapenade.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic, Special Occasion
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

Excellent

 
 (Caribbean)·Dined on February 23, 2016

This is an excellent place to eat. You can't go wrong going to this restaurant if you want excellent service, excellent food, nice atmosphere and not rushed. Not expensive for the food you are served, good quality nice servings.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Great for Outdoor Dining, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

going down hill fast

 
 (Tampa)·Dined on February 15, 2016

very disappointing. we have dined here numerous times (30-40)with good results. we always make reservations , on the day after Valentines day we were escorted to a table in the bar , we refused , then how about outside ? we refused and requested the dining room , ( 12 diners seated there ) . our waiter was gruff, had only enough water for 1gl. never returned for the until we asked ,bread did not arrive at the table until after the salad . the pasta seafood dish had one unopened mussel , which should not have been plated. Didn't seem like they knew what they were doing nor did they care . this was our go to place for Italian food ,don't know what happened to them but we have to think twice before going again . TOO BAD.

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food2
ambience3
service2
value2

Over priced

 
 (Tampa)·Dined on February 15, 2016

Very nice atmosphere but way over priced for the taste and quality of the food. OK for a special occasion but not a everyday kind of place.

Tags: Romantic, Special Occasion
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food4
ambience5
service4
value3

Review For Pensare Italian Bistro

 
 (Tampa)·Dined on February 15, 2016

Our experience was not as pleasurable as hoped. Made a reservation over a week in advance and was seated outside (inside tables were available) without being asked if it was ok. We had to request inside seating.

Service was marginal. On one of our meals the sauce was burnt. The only option given by our waiter (who took his time asking us if everything was ok) was to have a new meal prepared, which was not acceptable, since the second person was already well into his meal. We thought that we would have at least been offered a free desert but, that never occurred. A credit for the bad meal would have been the correct thing to offer (the chef peaked around the corner a few times but, never came over to see us).

Service by our waiter was less than stellar. He was quick to try to sell us a $60.00 bottle of wine but, was slow in most other areas (especially regarding the bad meal).

Not planning a return.

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food2
ambience2
service2
value3

Fantastic food, great service

 
 (Tampa)·Dined on February 14, 2016

This is where we go when we want something special.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Great for Outdoor Dining, Hot Spot, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List, Romantic, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Decent, if you want a break from of your favorites

 
 (Tampa)·Dined on February 14, 2016

Hostess was accommodating after we were late for our RSVP the night before Valentine's because the streets were blocked off by a festival. Service was above average, competent and professional waiter. Wine selection was good and prices were OK. Our bottle wasn't quite as good as recommended. My girlfriend got the snapper, which she was happy with and looked pretty good. My salmon asparagus was really average compared to what's out there. We would go back (and will). Probably won't order the salmon.

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food3
ambience4
service4
value2

Very Disappointed.

 
 (Tampa)·Dined on February 13, 2016

Seated as scheduled 6:30. Ordered wine and cocktails and an app. waitress then wanted our dinner order before we even settled in. Hardly any Bolegnese on my wife's dish, veal saltibocca was avg. Our friends picked up the tab and very unhappy. All four will not return.

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food1
ambience3
service1
value1

Meep

 
 (New Orleans)·Dined on February 13, 2016

To Pensare's credit , we arrived early , before they opened , and the let us have drinks at the bar , this was good ! I asked for a gl of Malbec and a Vodka n soda , bartender asked if I had a vodka preference and I Clearly stated no , the well is fine . Upon getting my check , however , she charged me $8.00 a piece for Absolut , clearly not what I ordered ! At the table , our server stated that he was the Manager , keys hanging out of his back pocket n dressed in jeans , everyone else was in black , not professional ! Then He dropped the food n came back just as we were finishing .... He then asked how everything was and I said " This isn't Potato Gnocchi " and he then said " That's what the package says " . It seemed to me that he was not happy about waiting on two women ... To my surprise , he took $5.00 off the check , 10 % . I do not think I will return , just didn't meet the standards that were in place the 1st few times I dined there ! Good Luck

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food2
ambience5
service1
value1

Table selection

 
 (Tampa)·Dined on February 12, 2016

My lady and I went to Pensare on 2/12/2016 for an early, romantic Valentine's Day event.

We got our requested table at 6:00PM and were most happy with that and our server was most pleasant.

A group of two ladies and a man came and sat at the table next to us and that was a disaster. They were too loud and amateurish for our taste. When I requested to be reseated at another table, since the place was only half filled at that time, I was only offered a table outside. I was told those tables were already reserved for other guests. When I questioned it those guests had specifically asked for those tables, I was not given a complete response.

We are local to the area and have been here many times. I surely felt they could have found a way to mange the concerns of a regular customer.

As a result of the hostess's inability to seat us elsewhere, we finished our appetizer and drink and left without even ordering the main course.

Customers in this business are hard to find and each time they come into your place should be treated very well so they come back. That certainly was not the case that evening.

Thank you,

Jack Mallard

Tags: Neighborhood Gem
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food4
ambience2
service3
value4

Early Valentines Date

 
 (Tampa)·Dined on February 12, 2016

My wife and I were looking for a date night place in or around our new winter home in Dunedin. We had heard good things about Pensare and decided to give it a try. We will be back even though I did not really enjoy my entree, which was one of the evenings specials - a seafood Pappardelle with grouper, shrimp and scallops. For $35 I thought it should have had a bit more taste and more than a small piece of fish, two scallops and maybe three shrimp along with many small clams. It wasn't bad, mind you, I just expected more. My wife had the Pappardelle Bolognese and thoroughly enjoyed it. We really liked the crisp salads, fresh hot bread and olive oil tapenade. We will be coming back again for another date night.

Tags: Notable Wine List, Romantic, Special Occasion
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food3
ambience4
service4
value2

An Italian gem in Dunedin

 
 (E. Tennessee)·Dined on February 6, 2016

A very nice neighborhood Italian restaurant; however, think white tablecloth and varied Italian menu. Located at the end of the Main Street dining and entertainment district in Dunedin, there is ample parking in the public lot next door; and you can stroll Main Street before or after dinner. Pensare is small and seems to have a wide following so I recommend making a reservation to avoid waiting for a table. Tables are close together and it can be a little noisy when the dining room is full - my advice is to roll with it - if you want quiet and romantic, you should go somewhere else - if you are looking for a good time and good food (and a bargain to boot), then this is the place. There is outside dining available - we haven't dined outside but in nice weather it's probably a fun spot. The wine list is modest (and moderately priced) but you should be able to find something you like; we "discovered" a Vermentino that we now have on our "to buy" list. Service is friendly and competent. But the food is where Pensare shines - a wide range of creative choices - plus some basic pasta dishes if that's all you want - all are well-prepared and attractively-presented. Daily specials compete with the regular menu and make the selections that much more difficult - nice problem to have. Some day, we'll make it to the dessert menu.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

Food, wine and service were amazing. we ...

vip
 (Tampa)·Dined on January 31, 2016

Food, wine and service were amazing. we are telling all our family and friends

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, Hot Spot, Kid-friendly, Late-night Find, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List, Romantic, Special Occasion, Vibrant Bar Scene
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

poor service

vip
 (Tampa)·Dined on January 30, 2016

food was good but the service ruined it and probably would not recommend it, even the owner was too busy talking to the hostess and ignored his customers!

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food4
ambience3
service1
value3

Fun night at Pensare with friends from out of town

vip
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on January 30, 2016

We all enjoyed our meals, the wine list was extensive but our waiter helped us make a selection and it was wonderful. Nice neighborhood high quality restaurant

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, Kid-friendly, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

Food was good. We didn't think it was o ...

 
 (Indiana)·Dined on January 24, 2016

Food was good. We didn't think it was over priced as some claimed. Service was good and very friendly. Very nice atmosphere.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic, Special Occasion
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food4
ambience5
service4
value5

Great place among great places!

 
 (Tampa)·Dined on January 23, 2016

Pensare is one of our favorite places in Dunedin, which is home to several great places. A hidden gem, so don't tell anybody....

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, Notable Wine List, Romantic, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Amazing

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on January 23, 2016

This restaurant is well worth the price ($$$) the meal will be spoken of for years to come. We are making plan for our next visit to Tampa, this restaurant will defiantly be apart of the visit. 8 thumbs up, from start to finish an exceptional experience.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Great for Lunch, Great for Outdoor Dining, Romantic, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Always a treat

 
 (Tampa)·Dined on January 19, 2016

This was my third visit to Pensare and I will return. Purchased gift certificates on my last visit to encourage friends to go. Four nice selections for your salad, great bread, well prepared entrees for every taste, delicious cheesecake. Do not drink wine but my guest enjoyed the house merlot. I enjoy a glass of IPA and Pensare serves one I enjoy. Have dined with five friends, all who agree Pensare is worth a second, third, fourth...visit.

Pensare noise level is high so I make reservation early. Have not eaten outside but probably a good option if weather good and you dine later.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

A Dunedin Gem

vip
 (Tampa)·Dined on January 18, 2016

Pensare's is a very good and very reasonable Italian restaurant in the heart of Dunedin. We had avoided trying it for a while, but decided to give it a shot on a Monday night. Why Monday? Because that's typically a slow night and you can really see whether or not a restaurant is interested in its customer base, and what level of attention to detail they give to their food.

I'm happy to say Pensare's passed with flying colors.

Everything about the evening was solid, but that isn't to say there isn't room for improvement. The pasta and seafood dishes offer great value, and the only truly expensive things on the menu are the steaks. Our party of four had various pasta dishes and each was highly flavorful and fresh.

If I could offer one criticism as a customer with fine dining work experience, it would be that the menu depends too heavily on overwhelming the proteins with sauces, creams, and cheeses. A few options that focus more on fresh flavors would be a welcome addition.

One note: from the outside, the sign (with a logotype based on the Italian flag) suggests a mid-tier restaurant that does little more than red sauces with cheese. Pensare's is much more. Try their house ravioli, stuffed with lobster and other seafood, served with scallops and shrimp in a tomato cream sauce. The sauce was smooth, and the ravioli were perfectly done.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

Grators16

 
 (Tampa)·Dined on January 17, 2016

We keep coming back to Pensare and it never disappoints. Great food that's fresh and so tasty. Can't miss with this place. Highly recommended.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Great for Outdoor Dining, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
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service5
value5

Good food, poor service

 
 (Tampa)·Dined on January 15, 2016

The food was pretty good! That is probably the only reason I might try this place again...

Our server was terrible! So unfriendly! He didn't explain the menu/specials and barely even spoke to us! When we did have a question it was like we ruined his day by asking. However I did notice the other servers at the tables around us were very helpful and friendly to their customers.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Special Occasion
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food3
ambience3
service1
value3

Grators16

 
 (Tampa)·Dined on January 9, 2016

Absolutely the best Italian food anywhere in the Bay Area. Always fresh, hot and delicious. Very good value too as all entrees come with a salad and bread for the table. Owners are friendly and always accommodating. Highly recommended!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

Back for Mo

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 1, 2016

Pensare is getting to be a frequent stop for my Wife and I. Luckily, we were able to get Mo as a server again, making our meal even more enjoyable. The service is outstanding. This trip, I had the Lobster Ravioli and my Wife had the Seafood Cannoli. We compared a few bites and both agreed that the Lobster Ravioli was just slightly better than the Cannoli - but both were fantastic. Can't wait to go back to test more items on the menu and hopefully we will end up at one of Mo's tables again! Happy New Year!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List, Romantic, Scenic View, Special Occasion
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food5
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service5
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New Year's Eve dinner

 
 (Tampa)·Dined on January 1, 2016

We have dined here the last two years. This year, we ordered the Florida and explained to our waiter that my wife doesn't like calamari and asked if something could be substituted. Our waiter assured us that that was possible.

Our meals arrived in a timely fashion but as my wife began eating, she noticed some calamari and removed it from her bowl and began passing it to others at the table. She continued digging through her pasta and continued finding calamari. We suggested sending it back but she was concerned that by the time a replacement meal could be served most everyone would be finished with their meals. By the time she finished her meal, she had a considerable pile of calamari on the side of her dish.

When our waiter asked how everything was we pointed out the calamari. Our waiter offered my wife a free desert. While the dessert offer was nice, it did not take the place of a nice seafood meal that she had been looking forward to for weeks.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List, Special Occasion
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food3
ambience5
service4
value4

Perfect New Year's Eve

 
 (Tampa)·Dined on January 1, 2016

We frequent Pensare several times a year, and are always pleased with the food and the service. For New Year's Eve, it was decorated nicely, and the staff members were all festively dressed, but unlike some places, there was no up charge , you weren't rushed along, and tables were no crammed together. The service and the food were excellent as usual! One of our fav New Years!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Great for Outdoor Dining, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List, Romantic, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience4
service4
value5

You Must Eat Here

 
 (Tampa)·Dined on December 31, 2015

A romantic stroll beneath trees dripping Spanish moss sets the scene for the entrance to Pensare.This quaint Italian bistro is at the quiet end of Dunedin’s Main St.As you pass through the patio into the front doors, senses are awakened by fresh herbs, rich spices and roasting tomato.Friendly host staff greets you inside.The dining area is warmly lit with candles.Guests are conversing, laughing and canoodling in every corner.This setting is suitable for business or pleasure.Our latest visit was on NYE 7 PM.My 30 years of restaurant experience have made me wary of dining out on this holiday.This was our second NYE at Pensare.On this busy night, Pensare’s staff is calm & happy. No uniforms…festive classic black ensembles & genuine smiles. We were greeted by Elaine who provided excellent service.We brought a bottle for the occasion to pair with our food(20$crkg).Elaine offered a decanter with no hesitation.Features were highlighted with vivid detail.We chose Buffalo Mozzarella over Bresoala with arugula greens.Heavenly, soft rind of mozzarella bursting with creamy ricotta texture, umami of thin slice beef atop arugula.Salad course consisted of Caesar and house arugula.Fluffy fresh greens, lightly dressed layered with ribbons of buttery Parmesan cheese.Our two entrees, Saccottini Pensare(an existential dish)succulent fiocchetti bathed in light garlic sauce, savory Pancetta, mushrooms&laced with odiferous shaved truffle.Scallopina Contadina(upstyled classic) seared succulent veal, fresh eggplant,oozing mozzarella(no bread crumbs)layers of perfection mingling with fresh house sauce with al dente linguine(as a side,just ask).We completely enjoyed dessert two tiramisu(too good to share)espresso,cappuccino(great presentation)and Sambuca.I cannot stress enough that the food quality here is phenomenal.Meticulous use of fresh ingredients and sauces made daily.Such care in presentation it is as if your dish is the only one being made.We truly thank you for this food.To NYE 2016.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Great for Outdoor Dining, Hot Spot, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Great Date Night!

 
 (Tampa)·Dined on December 31, 2015

My husband and I really enjoyed our evening-great food, service and atmosphere. We are looking forward to going back! 😊

Tags: Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

All of the food was fabulous and fresh!

 
 (Tampa)·Dined on December 31, 2015

All of the food was fabulous and fresh!

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food5
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service4

This is how we like to eat

 
 (Tampa)·Dined on December 28, 2015

We see them closed until 5pm while the other Dunedin eateries are filling up and worry a bit. Not too worry, folks find them readily. This is very nice food in a nice setting. When we want to eat Italian we will always return here first.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, Kid-friendly, Late-night Find, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List, Romantic, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Perfect Christmas Eve

 
 (Tampa)·Dined on December 24, 2015

Our food, including a seafood special, was awesome! Our server, Mo, was spot on. We love this place, and are holding reservations for New Year's Eve. The only downside to our dinner was a party of 8 nearby with one loud and obnoxious member, which affected the ambiance for us. I recommend Pensare for groups of 6 or more, or larger groups at numerous small tables. At any rate, a wonderful dinner place.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Great for Outdoor Dining, Late-night Find, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Pleasantly surprised, not what we expected

 
 (Tampa)·Dined on December 24, 2015

Made reservation at the suggestion of our B&B hosts recommending this restaurant because we'd never been to Dunedin before. Our waiter was very personable and made our dining experience very pleasant. Couple minor dietary issues were no problem and he made sure to see them throughout the meal. Even brought us a little something for dessert because it was our 30th anniversary. Kept our waterglasses full, very good wine recommendations, did not rush us even though a busy night and we made sure to tip him accordingly more than we typically leave for just average service. Oh don't let me forget, the food was very good - we both got fish, I got lobster ravoli that both appeared & tasted home made not overly sauced (just right).

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List, Romantic
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food4
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service5
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Dinner with a View

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 19, 2015

While my wife has been to Pensare a few times already, it was my first visit. Inside was packed with only a few open tables so we decided to sit outside. Perfect timing as we got to enjoy the golf cart Christmas parade! Shrimp and Scallop appetizer was tasty. Took a break after that with a salad, then the main course. I had the gnocchi's as they are a favorite and I make it a point of trying them at any restaurant brave enough to put them on the menu. Served with a meat ragu sauce, they were wonderful. My wife enjoyed her veal marsala as well. A number of other tempting dishes on the menu that we will have to return to try!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Food was excellent

 
 (Tampa)·Dined on December 19, 2015

I ordered the ravioli stuffed with Maine lobster, with shrimp, scallops and tomato cream sauce. It was the best meal I have ever had. I am about to call them to see if they can ship this menu item to me frozen, and all I will have to do is heat it up. Just delicious.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Brunch, Great for Lunch, Great for Outdoor Dining, Hot Spot, Kid-friendly, Late-night Find, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List, Romantic, Scenic View, Special Occasion, Vibrant Bar Scene
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Great wxperience

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on December 14, 2015

Fantastic food great atmosphere service was amazing we had a fantastic time will be back

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Notable Wine List, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5

Food

 
 (Tampa)·Dined on December 6, 2015

As we decided to eat on a Sunday evening, we thought it would be quiet inside, but there was a party going on, so we ate outside and we did enjoy that.

I was pleased with my meal but my husband was disappointed with his. As he had a meal with three various seafoods, there was not much in the way of seafood. Very skimpy. He said he would not go back and I guess we will not add Pensare to our favorite place to eat. The service was excellent although.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining
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food3
ambience4
service4

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