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Mona Lisa Italian Restaurant
Ranked #342 of 1,069 Restaurants in Sarasota
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$12 - US$24
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations
Description: We are a 3rd generation family run establishment. Our cuisine is northern italian & some southern also. Our popular menu entrees features homemade pastas, fresh seafood, tender veal dishes and homemade desserts.
Reviewed 8 June 2017

We were in town visiting and wanted a nice Italian restaurant to bring the family to for a special dinner. We found it! Tucked away in a small shopping center it would have been easy to miss but so glad we didn't. The restaurant is small and intimate and though the owner apologized and said they were under renovations it was quite lovely and inviting. The night we were there they were offering selections from two menus because of a local Sarasota restaurant event. We had a party of 7 and made selections off both menus. The eggplant parmigiana, chicken parmigiana, veal dishes and salads were all deemed to be excellent. The blue crab ravioli were good but a little dry on the edges. The beer selections were limited but still adaequate and the wines were good. Assorted desserts were all very good. Will definitely come back when we are in town and our family who lives near by said they were so happy to find a new, wonderful restaurant so nearby. Our service was good but it is a place for a leisurely dinner.

Thank Kathy L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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4 - 8 of 116 reviews

Reviewed 2 June 2017

We have eaten there once before and it was OK. We went
back and they had the regular menu and a Savor Sarasota
menu. Many of the same items on both menus. I ask for
a beer and they said they are out of beer
except
for an Italian beer as they get their delivery
on Thursday. It was Thursday..

I had calamari appetizer and it was fine my wifes appetiizer
was poor and half was left. I had lasagne that tasted
like it was fro the frozen food department. My wife
had rissoto and shrimp. It tasted like it was from
a Chinese restaurant. We asked if it had
soy sauce and were told no it was marsala wine. We were offered
another dish. My wife at this point just wanted a plate of pasta
but was told she must order from savor Sarasota menu.
She had ravolli and again uneatible. Mushy and again
tasted liken frozen food. It was not finished and left almost
as it came.

We received the check
and one of two beers was NC and the line
for tip mas marked 000. I asked what about the tip and was
told that is the way the machine does it and we can leave a tip if
we wish. We left 20% and our picture as we will not return.
The previous time the bill was NOT presented that way
One would wonder if they enroll on the Savor Sarasota and then try and cut
what they can.

It is a shame as it was convenient but left a very bad taste.

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Steve F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 March 2017 via mobile

Wait staff was rude and didn't provide even average service. Meals weren't served together. Chatted with other customers while our meals were half served. Stingy with bread. Salads were very mediocre. Waitress passed plates over one guys shoulder to other side of table. When we said something the waitress got real nasty. Patio was empty all night yet only reservation available was 5:30. Won't be back.

1  Thank tbs15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 March 2017

Well, I don't know that it's the "best" in town because I haven't tried them all. What I do know is that there are almost as many veal dishes on the menu as there are tables ( it's a small ristorante). Seven delightfully inventive veal offerings. Only five chicken.
One large round table (we were a party of six) and a handful of smaller tables. There is more seating on the lakeside outdoor covered veranda. Beautifully peaceful setting in the middle of a residential area.
Half of the owners served our table, and the other half mastered the kitchen. If you have somewhere to go after dinner, this is not for you. Everything is prepared fresh from scratch for you, and that means: be prepared with some table conversation because dining here will be your evening. Go slow; relax; have some more wine from the impressive list of "house" wines and enjoy being there.
Veal dishes are $21-$23 range - including salad and a side of penne.
Reservations are a MUST.

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank dcb1Florida
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 March 2017 via mobile

Came in few days ago after I read good reviews.
I walked into the restaurant, when the hostess approached me and ask if I have a reservation. I told her I didn't, and I was told I can't have a table without it. The inside was half empty and there was around 30 empty tables outside. Like, seriously?? I'm already in your restaurant, you have plenty of empty tables, why would you ask me to leave?? If you don't take costumer with no reservation you should at least mention it in your website!! Won't be back.

1  Thank Dasi B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
donniechef, Owner at Mona Lisa Italian Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded 22 March 2017

My wife and I are so sorry that we had to turn you away a few days ago. Our seating is very limited inside and outside. Those empty tables you saw were reserved well in advance. Each party of 2 to 4 persons usually take up 90 minutes, more than 4 persons in a given party are aloted more time. We take pride in our service and our food and try to please each and everyone every night. As for our outside covered deck, we have 7 tables servicing 18 people. Again we apologize for the inconvenience. Marissa and I would love the opportunity to serve you and treat you right.

Don & Marissa

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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