I FINALLY made it to Riccardo’s “new to me” location for lunch and it just happened to be their 3rd anniversary today! I adored their previous restaurant, but what they’ve done in Betton Place is fun and fresh, yet still so warm and inviting!
This family owned local establishment has been serving up Italian comfort food since 1999 (for over 20 years)!!! This cozy restaurant is the location of one of my favorite memories since I moved to Tallahassee! When my family came to town for my FSU graduation, most were only here for one night and my restaurant of choice was Riccardo’s! We wined, we dined, and we laughed a lot!
I posted about Riccardo’s offering foodies a discount at our new deals page, and the response was so wonderful with so many recommendations, that I knew I had to get out there immediately. I had no idea what secret bread was, but everyone carried on so much about it that I had to ask! Secret bread is their house-made bread that you will find in nearly every dish in one form or another – the base of the bruschetta, their sandwich bread, on the side of pasta, and as the base of their pizza crust.
So first up was their bruschetta. I almost jumped right into the group after my first bite to gush about it, but I stuck to my rule – “take pics now, enjoy my food at the temperature it was prepared, and share later”, but it was SO AMAZING that I nearly slipped!!! It was at first bite that I understood all the fuss about that secret bread. Beyond the amazing flavor, with bruschetta, you often get bread that’s not toasted enough and gets soggy quick, or bread that’s overly toasted and crunchy. Their bruschetta was well seasoned and marinated tomatoes topped with feta cheese and basil on a perfectly toasted slice of secret bread.
Next up, I ordered a dish suggested by the group, their penne pasta with pesto, sun-dried tomatoes, and goat cheese with an add-on grilled chicken breast. Most Italian restaurants have your usual Italian pasta meals, but this one was so different from what you’ll find elsewhere. The owner John was greeting tables as our dishes were served and let us know that this dish was his wife Alicea’s idea. Well, done Alicea, well done! The flavors of pesto, sweet sun-dried tomatoes and goat cheese (my addiction) blended together so nicely with a side of garlic buttered and toasted secret bread! My husband had the ham, salami, and provolone sandwich, served your choice hot or cold, also on secret bread. He ate it so fast that he forgot to offer me a bite! He loved it!
I heard some work friends chatting that they thought parking at their Midtown location would be difficult, but luckily we found a spot right away. They were also guessing that their prices probably went up, but we had a small order of bruschetta (which is really an entire plate full), a drink, a 1/2 sandwich which was good size, a lunch portioned, yet still more than I could finish pasta dish with add-on chicken breast all for $20 after the 15% off discount.
Riccardo’s is definitely affordable, yet great quality, delicious Italian food. I can’t wait to go back again and again, especially for dinner next time so I can dive into some of their wine and craft beer selections! Of course they serve wine and beer for lunch as well, but I was heading back to work afterwards. For those of you that may not be in the know, they also host a German night serving up Wienerschnitzel every week, pork and sauerkraut the first week of the month, and on the third Thursday of the month they serve rouladens.