food · pizza · tampa

eat: Russo’s New York Pizzeria


Guess what today is?

It’s the day before my 31st birthday! I thought to myself, what better way to spend my last night as a 30 year old than to get a 90 minute massage, drink some wine, watch some Netflix, and update my blog?! Yes, I know, i’m a wild woman #partygirl I’m sorry you guys, I have been so busy eating lately I haven’t had time to write about it! #foodieproblems 

Lately I have been craving some really good Italian food and let me tell you, when I get a craving, I need to satisfy it or I get hangry and no one wants to see that! I put the word out that I was in need of some good ol’ fashioned Italian cooking and my friend came to my rescue and suggested a place near her, in Clearwater, called “Russo’s New York Pizzeria” – I thought to myself “well, I love New York and I love pizza so let’s go check it out!”

Russo’s is a very warm and welcoming place- it has cozy atmosphere with a brick oven, open kitchen, and super friendly staff- they made us feel right at home like a true Italian family. Whenever I go to a restaurant I always ask what they recommend- we were told that the Eggplant Rollatini appetizer was very popular so we decided to try it even though we didn’t even really know was it was- all we knew was that we were starving!

Eggplant Rollatini

YOU GUYS these were fantastic!! These little mountains of deliciousness were stuffed eggplant with ricotta, mozzarella, fresh basil, lightly breaded & fried- with a tomato cream sauce. If you thought they we’re pretty looking out the outside, just wait and see what they look like on the inside…


The eggplant and ricotta/mozzarella mixture were a winning combination- the tomato cream sauce took it to the next level. It was crispy on the outside and cheesy and gooey on the inside- magnifico!


Their bread was really good as well, it wasn’t your typical Italian bread it was actually pizza dough which was light and airy- not too heavy or filling. I’m not gonna lie, writing about this and looking at the pictures is making me hungry! This blogging business is very dangerous 🙂

Russo’s has a large menu with several selections of salads, pizzas, pastas, sandwiches, calzones, etc. I knew I had a taste for pizza, while Chris was feeling like pasta- he couldn’t decide between spaghetti & meatballs (his favorite) or the chicken pesto pasta. What does my Lovechunk do when he can’t decide? He gets both!

Spaghetti & Meatballs
Chicken Pesto Pasta

Both dishes were delicious! I’m actually glad he got both so we could try the different dishes. The meatballs were moist, juicy, and full of flavor- while the chicken pesto dish was fresh, balanced, and had the perfect amount of pesto. He actually had to keep swatting my fork away from the pesto dish because I kept going back for more- oops! #sorrynotsorry

Now on to my FAVORITE part….:drumroll please:.….THE PIZZA!!!!

Okay, now let me just say that as a professional eater- and an even more professional PIZZA eater- I know what good pizza tastes like. In my opinion, a great pizza should have a good balance of pizza crust v.s. cheese & toppings- not too much of either one, they shouldn’t be competing. It should also have a crispy-but not TOO crispy- crust but also have some give to it, make sense? If not, just let me know and we can go have pizza together and I can show you 🙂 Well, long story short, the pizza I got from Russo’s was ON POINT. I, like my boo, had a struggle trying to choose which pizza to get- I was torn between the classic Margherita (tomatoes, basil, mozzarella, garlic, olive oil) or the New York Village (crumbled spicy Italian sausage, pepperoni, Canadian bacon, beef, mushrooms, black olives, roasted peppers, mozzarella, pizza sauce)- so what do you think this girl did?? You guessed it- I got both! #2peasinapod


    This pizza was probably one of the best pizzas that I’ve had in a really long time- and that’s saying a lot because I eat a lot of pizza! The crust was thin, but not too thin- the toppings were fresh, and the sauce was rich & developed. I’ll be honest, I ate about half of this pizza all by myself- Chris was going back and forth between pizza and pasta- all of our dishes were delectable. It was hard to stop eating! I love me some carbs!


    They have a nice dessert menu as well- I was trying to hold out for a cannoli but we were just so stuffed we basically had to be rolled out of there- the good thing is we had leftovers 🙂



    Russo’s has a wide selection of wines and they also feature daily specials. They even do catering as well as delivery to nearby locations. Even though this is a bit of a drive for us, it was definitely worth it.

    Bottom Line:  I’m so grateful my friend recommend this place so I am passing along the tip! If you want some great Italian food and even greater pizza- head to Clearwater and go to Russo’s! Tell them Tiffany sent you- and bring me a slice 🙂



    What is your favorite Italian dish? What is your “perfect pizza”? Are you a pizza or a pasta person? I’d love to know! Comment Below!