Uncle Frank’s, an authentic Italian eatery owned by a trio of experienced restaurateurs, recently opened in the Rosetree Plaza on Ulmerton Road in Largo.
The namesake of the business, Frank Ceniviva, is a native Italian and former New Yorker who has been cooking ever since his mom taught him when he was a young boy.
But after moving to Florida in 2003, Ceniviva worked at a couple area establishments before finally opening his own place where he can show off his considerable culinary talents.
“I owned a restaurant in Cooperstown, New York for nine years ... so I was always looking for my own place down here,” the gregarious Ceniviva explains.
“I wanted to do things my way.”
His way includes making meals from scratch, using some old family recipes plus his own inspired creations to produce a menu chock full of traditional Italian favorites.
Hand-tossed pizza, homemade soups and sauces, fresh bread and high-end cheeses highlight the abundant menu, which also features rotating specials like shrimp scampi and pasta primavera.
Oh, and they even offer breakfast pizzas for the early crowd.
“So far the breakfast business has been slow, but it will come around,” Ceniviva said.
Frank says he and his partners — including Jeff Stuyvesant, the “sandwich expert,” and Chris the delivery driver and counter man — all get along great and are working hard together to make their new place a success.
In fact, he encourages his diners to let the owners know if anything is wrong with their orders so they can rectify the problem.
“I like to go to the tables and see how everything is," he said. "If something’s not right, I wanna know, or else how can I fix it?”
He adds that he hasn’t had one complaint in the first three weeks he’s been open.
Despite the fact that there is a ton of construction taking place right outside his front door and many people don’t know he’s open yet, Ceniviva is confident the business will be a success.
“Good food is good food,” he states plainly. “They’re gonna come no matter what if the food is good.”
Uncle Frank’s Italian Restaurant & NY Style Pizza
Address: 7500 Ulmerton Rd., Suite 19
Hours: Sun – Thu, 6am – 10pm; Fri, Sat, 6am – 11pm; Sun, closed