While world travelers are still waiting for the borders to open back up, St. Pete residents will soon be able to escape to Italy by visiting Jay & Luigi, a fast-casual Italian trattoria opening in July at 3201 4th Street North. The restaurant space was formerly home to Burger 21, and before that JusThai.
The pizzeria will focus on healthy and fresh ingredients highlighted by numerous plant-based options. They’ll offer two styles of pizza -- Pizza al Taglio, which is a Roman-style pizza, and a signature spin on New York-style pizza. Roman pizza has a light and airy crust thanks to a 72-hour fermentation and an extremely hydrated dough.
In addition to pizza, Jay & Luigi’s menu will include hand-made pastas, traditional Italian small plates, cauliflower rice bowls, and fresh salads.
Two menu items to look forward to are the plant-based Mushroom Bolognese and Kale and Veggie Chopped Salad with a cashew vinaigrette.
Jay & Luigi’s will be outfitted with indoor and outdoor seating along with touchless technology that emphasizes safety, comfort, and convenience. Also, to-go and delivery options will be available for those wanting to take a slice of Italy home to their dining rooms.
The new Italian eatery introduces a new partnership between Forbici Modern Italian co-founder Jason Brunetti and Ciccio Restaurant Group (CRG), known for local favorites such as Fresh Kitchen, Taco Dirty, and Daily Eats.
“What we are creating with Jay Brunetti and team is inspired by the original Ciccio & Tony’s, which opened 30 years ago in New York City and evolved into CRG of Tampa,” said CRG Founder James Lanza. “There’s some good Italian in the Tampa Bay area within the high-end and chain-driven niche. We would like to bring a restaurant concept to this market that we feel is very underserved — a cool, healthy trattoria style of Italian that our guests can eat several times a week either with us or in the comforts of their own home.”
The CRG founders got their start more than 25 years ago in New York City but were eventually drawn to the beautiful weather and community of the Tampa Bay. Since arriving, they have opened 15 restaurants in the area.
“This partnership is based on a passion not only for amazing Italian food, but for providing excellent service and exciting new experiences for the Tampa Bay residents who inspire us,” said Brunetti. “Listening to our customers and giving them what they want is what drives us all to be better, and that’s what we are striving to accomplish, starting with Jay & Luigi.”
The group is also in the process of bringing a smaller-scale version of Green Lemon -- currently one of the most popular spots in Tampa’s SoHo -- to St. Pete’s Fourth Street this fall.
Get ready to pack up your car, grab your bike, or whisk away on a scooter to 3201 4th Street North to check out St. Pete’s newest fast casual pizzeria, Jay & Luigi, opening this July.