Chef Santo Bruno

Falling in Love at That’s Amore


Today I want to tell you about one of my favorite restaurants here in Tampa. That’s Amore ( is a beautiful Italian restaurant with a waterfront view on Tampa’s Harbour Island. It’s the perfect place to take a date or to celebrate your anniversary with your beautiful wife. This is a restaurant that truly lives up to its name, offering the ideal romantic night out for couples!

Owner Joe Scaglione comes from a family with deep Italian and Tampa roots. It all started when Joe’s grandfather Nunzio Scaglione came to America with his wife, Laura, and their 11 children and opened Americus Restaurant in 1929. This restaurant was located across from the famous Hav-a-Tampa cigar factory in Ybor City. Later, the restaurant passed down through the family to Carmine and Malio Ivaronne. Meanwhile, Joe went to work there—after fibbing about his age—and fell in love with the restaurant business.

Joe ran his own pizzeria in Ybor City before he recently took over That’s Amore. The menu features upscale Italian fare, from seafood entrees like Snapper Livornese to meat dishes such as the Veal Scallopini Marsala. And if you like the Italian pasta classics—such as Fettucine Bolognese or Penne Puttanesca—this is also the place for you.

Beyond the great food, however, other pizzeria operators can learn a lot from That’s Amore. To celebrate its 11th anniversary this summer, the restaurant offered a wide variety of promotions to drive traffic, including Ladies Night on Thursdays (with $5 glasses of wine, $5 appetizers, live music and giveaways) and the recent Guest Bartender promo that benefited the ALS Foundation. And with its latest promotion, called Sunday Funday, That’s Amore has partnered with the Harbour Island Art Walk and now offers lunch service on the last Sunday of each month.

It’s the dawn of an exciting new era for That’s Amore and Joe Scaglione. I’ll be keeping my eye on them, and I’m looking forward to my next meal there!