Whenever a new place opens in our area, most of us check it out and decide if there’s something there worth coming back for again and again.

Well, I honestly think that anyone who checks out the new Moschella’s Italian Eatery & Market, which opened the day before we went to press with this issue in the brand new plaza on Post Oak Blvd. (off Wesley Chapel Blvd./S.R. 54 and Old Pasco Rd.) should be able to find a dozen or more items that will fast become some of their all-time favorites.

Owners Bill Moschella and Anthony Spadafora and their families (above photo) invite you to check out what can best be described as gourmet shop on steroids, with so many different departments that it’s hard to leave the place without buying at least something — and for folks like me, many things.

But First, The Story…

Bill and Anthony are long-time friends from the Italian north end of Boston. Anthony and his wife Gina still live in Boston, but Bill and his wife Devanie and their family moved to just outside of Wesley Chapel. Bill was in the concession business for around 35 years.

Anthonys family owned catering restaurants and Bill’s family owned a pizza and pastry shop in Boston. Since moving here, Bill and Devanie kept wondering why they had to drive to St. Pete in order to visit a real Italian market. They drew up the plans for Moschella’s on their kitchen counter.

“Even though Devanie and I are running the place,” Bill says, “Anthony and his family have contributed just as much to getting it open and for helping make sure it has everything we need.” 

And Now, The Food!

Super-thick tomahawk veal chop grilled to perfection.

Although I found the Italian and other imported and gourmet domestic cheeses (there’s also a separate grab & go cheese display), the fully stocked butcher shop (check out the photo above of my super-thick tomahawk veal chop I grilled to perfection; it was the best veal chop I’ve had since I moved to Florida in 1993), the incredible deli sandwich selection (with both a complete Boar’s Head case and a second case with just imported Italian meats and cheeses for slicing) and huge variety of fresh pastas you can make at home, it is Moschella’s displays of fresh, prepared hot and cold foods that really caught my eye.

Bill credits Chef Megan, who has worked in both catering and local restaurants, with refining every menu item idea the families had for these displays.

The hot foods display includes chicken, veal and even shrimp parmesan, plus beef, veggie and sausage lasagne, as well as prepared (but not sauced) chicken, veal and eggplant cutlets, as well as delicious braised lamb shanks and so much more than I have room to describe here.

There also are plenty of unique cold prepared salads, from house-made bruschetta, amazing broccoli rabe with sundried tomatoes, three bean salad, marinated roasted peppers, artichoke stems and tuna salad with shells, to name a few.

And, although Moschella’s hasn’t yet started selling its gourmet pizzas or arancini (rice balls), Devanie says to give it another week or two and they’ll be available. 

There also are huge display cases of “Grab & Go” prepared food items, including both refrigerated and frozen sections.

In other words, if you need a whole tray of lasagne to bring to Christmas dinner, you can buy it today (while supplies last) and bake it to perfection yourself. I didn’t show pics of the Grab & Go displays here because I didn’t have room and they’re as photogenic as the other photos.

Dessert, Too?    

Do you really need to ask? Moschella’s has an amazing display case of everything from rainbow, chocolate sandwich (see photo on next page) and lace cookies to sfogliatella (think of a super-crisp croissant loaded with a thick, cannoli-like cream) and yes, cannolis hand-piped, also with that homemade cannoli cream. And, best of all, all of these luscious, decadent desserts are made in-house.

And of course, Moschella’s has all of the pre-packaged imported items Italian families and great cooks crave — from cookies and cakes to virtually every brand of imported tomato sauces (top right photo on next page), pastas, olive oils and balsamic vinegars (including oils and vinegars bearing a Moschella’s label) and so much more.

Like my new friend Liz from Staten Island said as she walked through Moschella’s — “I feel like I’m home!”

And Yes, Fine Wines, Too!

Mario, the guy usually behind the cheese counter, is from Sardinia, where learned all he could about Italian wine, cheese and cuisine, and speaks fluent Italian. He also helped pick Moschella’s amazing assortment of truly fine wines, the largest percentage of which are from Italy.  If you love Italian reds like I do, you have to check out Moschella’s selection of Brunellos (photo, right), Barolos, Amarones, Barberas, Chiantis and Sangioveses — it’s the best variety I’ve seen since I left New York City almost 30 years ago. 

Yes, these are a little pricy, but oh so worth it. There also are other more popularly priced Italian and domestic red, white and sparkling wines, and many more. 

So, do yourself a favor and get to Moschella’s and start shopping now. This issue will hit mailboxes on Dec 21 or Dec 22, but Devanie says they are taking orders until they close at 4 p.m. on Christmas Eve, when they open early (at 7 a.m.).

Moschella’s Italian Eatery & Market is open every day, 9 a.m.-6. p.m. (other than their holiday hours) at 5648 Post Oak Blvd. For more information, call (813) 973-7500 or visit Moschellas.com.


Recommended Posts

No comment yet, add your voice below!

Add a Comment