Oct 11, 2021 - Food and Drink
Don't sleep on Casa Santo Stefano
The Spaghetti al Negro Con Polpo at Casa Santo Stefano.
The Spaghetti al Negro Con Polpo at Casa Santo Stefano. Photo courtesy of Grace Gonzalez/Columbia Restaurant Group

👋 Selene here! Yes, I eat food too.

I don't usually drive over the bridge for lunch, but when I do, the food better be worth it. And Casa Santo Stefano in Ybor is totally worth it.

  • The Sicilian restaurant is less than a year old and is owned by the Gonzmarts, who also own Columbia Restaurant and Ulele.

Details: Housed in a century-old macaroni factory with photos of Sicilian families from the area on every wall, the environment is warm and comforting.

  • And the rooftop bar also looks like a blast for nights out.

But honestly, I'd sit on the floor of an abandoned Sears if it meant I could still get the same Casa Santo Stefano food.

  • Don't skip classic Sicilian appetizers like the arancini and scachatta.
  • Star of the show: Seafood pasta. The noodles are imported from Sicily, along with almost everything from the restaurant that isn't house-made — including the water.

Dish du jour: The house-made squid ink noodles in the Spaghetti al Negro con Polpo were melt-in-your-mouth amazing. The dish is worth every cent of its $32 price tag. For a more economical option, try Zappone's Linguine con Vongole ($18) for another satisfying seafood pasta.

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