This is the start of Tourism Week in Florida. It is also the first time in two months the restaurants have been open for sit down dining. We decided to celebrate both occasions with a trip to Winter Haven to enjoy Bistro Pizza.

We have blogged about this place in the past. It was included as one of the eight restaurants you really need to try while eating in Central Florida.

Real Italian

When it comes to Italian, Bistro Pizza really sets the standard in my opinion. I have had their pizza and Stromboli. But for my money, you cannot beat their Calzones. In the past I have had the veggie calzone, which is wonderful. This time I had the spinach paired with their ricotta and mozzarella cheese. It was hot, large and delicious.

The veggie calzone was one of the best I have ever eaten

My wife defaulted to her salad and garlic knots. It is by far the freshest salad anywhere. These are not out of a bag. The waitresses help chop and make them fresh each morning. The garlic knots also are large and handmade each day.

Under the current rules, restaurants are allowed to operate at only 25-percent of capacity. We were the only people in the place for quite some time. It was an odd experience, as most of their tables had been pushed out of the way to make for the “physical distancing” which has become part of life for the time being.

We were fortunate enough to get our regular window booth. Here we get to both enjoy the great cuisine as well as to watch the “parade of life” go by on Winter Haven’s Central Avenue.

The interior is just as engaging, they have left the wall in the natural brick. On one side is a collection of pizza paddles like they use in their brick oven. On the other is a collection of vintage framed Italian posters.

Paddles like the ones they use in their wood-fired ovens.

A Great Celebration

For us, dining at Pizza Bistro was a great way to celebrate the return to sit down dining. We also thought it was a wonderful kickoff to Travel and Tourism Week in Florida. It was a trip out of town – and to one of our favorite restaurants. It was a real two-for-one.

We actually got a head start with our Vero Beach getaway. And we may well end off the week with another jaunt to yet another Florida locale.

Stay tuned!