James Beard House invites Tampa Bay chef David Benstock over for dinner
April 2017

In July, the Il Ritorno chef-owner and his team get to cook for guests at the legendary abode.

Chef David Benstock of IL Ritorno to Cook at James Beard House
April 2017

Co-owner and executive chef of IL Ritorno, David Benstock, revealed today that he has been invited to cook at the James Beard House in New York City. The Beard House is an extension of the James Beard Foundation (JBF), and only a handful of chefs from the Tampa Bay region have been invited to cook at the James Beard House over the past 30 years.

IL Ritorno to Double Its Space: New Layout, New Services
March 2017

There is no other restaurant in all of St. Petersburg, let alone Downtown, that can be compared to IL Ritorno. The closest we have ever come was to go to Rome and Venice Italy.

More to love: Il Ritorno grows without leaving St. Pete's 400 block
March 2017

An event space and private dining room are part of the downtown restaurant's expansion.

People On The Move
February 2017

Randall's experience includes stints at Walse NYC, Morimoto New York, and three years at The Modern NYC, where he worked as bar manager and beverage director for the cafés before moving to Florida.

January/February 2017

The annual St. Pete Wine & Food Festival Presented by Publix featured some of Tampa Bay's best chefs and restaurants this past November in downtown St. Pete's North Straub Park.

Santa Claus is coming to town: Where are you dining (and drinking)?
December 2016

The holidays are a busy time, so why not treat yourself? Bay area restaurants and bars on both sides of the bay have
limited-time eats and merry get-togethers planned for Christmas weekend.

All Eyes Gallery, Eve Edelheit's Favorite Photos of 2016
December 2016

Each year, Times photographers choose their favorite photos from the past 12 months. These are from Eve Edelheit.

Local chefs put their spin on readers' classic holiday recipes
December 2016

Readers have weighed in with their favorite holiday recipes, some haloed entertaining classics and others decidedly idiosyncratic family heirlooms.

Good Morning Suncoast
November 2016

Chef David joins Chef Judy to cook up some Yellowtail Crudo on Good Morning Suncoast.

dupontREGISTRY Tampa Bay
September/October 2016

duPont Registry™ Tampa Bay is the luxury lifestyle guide to the area. A showcase of anything and everything luxurious throughout Tampa Bay and beyond, the magazine contains feature stories, local profiles, restaurant and new product reviews, and articles on travel, wine, home design and furnishings, new businesses, luxury real estate, and health and beauty.

St. Pete Wine & Food Festival arrives Nov. 2
September 2016

Calling all foodies! Try out incredible dishes and wine pairings at the St. Pete Food & Wine Festival from Nov. 2-6.

Skyway Soiree: Sarasota and St. Pete Chefs Join Forces
Meaghan Habuda, September 2016

Lunch has stuck at downtown St. Pete’s Il Ritorno.
After a trial period was held for the modern Italian eatery’s lunch service in August, positive diner reception convinced owners Erica and David Benstock to serve their lunchtime offerings permanently on the 400 block.

St. Pete, the not-so-surprising place for arty party people
Robin Soslow, September 2016

When craving a candy box of sensory pleasures, it's hard to beat St. Pete.
You can laze on sugary-sand gulf beaches lapped by emerald waves, then catch a trolley to a cornucopia of world-class art, shopping and gustatory delights edging Tampa Bay.

IL Ritorno does Lunch…A review
August 2016

So when Chef Dave announced that they were going to open for lunch this week, August 15th - 19th, Kevin and I were thrilled! Chef sounded invigorated and excited as he was telling us about some of the menu items.

Dining Planner: Special wine and beer dinners to quench summer doldrums
Laura Reiley, August 2016

Il Ritorno, one of my favorite restaurants in St. Petersburg, has launched a new family night program. Chef David Benstock, who seems always in the mood for a little experimentation and self-reinvention, will prepare a family-style menu according to guest preferences.

One on One Interview with Chef David Benstock of IL Ritorno
July 2016

This particular chef made a name for himself in Tampa Bay and beyond. Chef David Benstock’s restaurant has unquestionably become one of Tampa Bay’s hot dining spots! From the Short Rib Mezzaluna to the Torched Cobia, IL Ritorno’s unique food and Chef David’s memorable style are the perfect combination for a dining adventure that every foodie should experience.

2016’s Top Under-the-Radar Food Towns
June 2016

These cities are no secret, but they may not be the first places that come to mind when you think of great food and drink—until now. We shine a spotlight on five oft-overlooked locales and highlight the culinary bellwethers currently transforming the dining landscape of their hometowns.

Skyway Soiree: Sarasota and St. Pete Chefs Join Forces
Roberta Soslow, June 2016

A breakdown and preview of the Skyway Soiree on June 12th featuring Chefs David Benstock of Il Ritorno of St Petersburg and Paul Mattison of Mattison's restaurant in Sarasota.

Eve Edelheit, June 2016

Creative freedom is definitely a major perk. Being able to create new dishes and play with ingredients on my own terms is really fulfilling. We have come a long way since opening, and the equipment we’ve been able to buy, like our new pasta extruder, has really inspired me to change things up and offer our guests something new and exciting as often as possible.

Where to go for Tasty Italian Cuisine
Michelle de Silva Richmond, May 2016

Italians take their food very seriously and their main meal - "il pranzo" - is taken at lunch time. It begins with antipasti, followed by "il primo," consisting of pasta or minestrone, and is followed by "il secondo," or main course, consisting of meat or fish. Dessert and fruit are next, and finally, of course, there's coffee.

St. Pete's Il Ritorno, Green Bench to collaboratively collide
Meaghan Habuda, May 2016

Green Bench Brewing Co. and Il Ritorno are gearing up for a collaborative multicourse dinner this weekend.

Save a Trip to Italy, Try Il Ritorno for Contemporary Italian in St. Pete
Briana Dodson, May 2016

When I think of eating traditional Italian food, typically my expectations aren’t too high. Immediately I contemplate how much I’m willing to spend on a flight to Italy, just to know that I’ll be getting an authentic Italian meal.
Then, there’s Il Ritorno, located in St. Petersburg.

The Dish: Il Ritorno chef David Benstock talks modern Italian food and more
Irene Maher, April 2016

In 2004, David Benstock was enrolled in Florida State University studying business when he realized he missed the kitchen. He'd been working in them since he was an adolescent growing up in Seminole. So he abandoned the idea of continuing in the family uniform manufacturing business and enrolled in cooking school in Denver.

Yeah, it's a hoax. But here are some reasons for Lady Gaga to move to St. Pete
Stephanie Hayes, March 2016

If you happened to be on Facebook over the weekend, and of course you were, you probably saw some exciting celeb news in your feed.

#StPeteLove ::: IL Ritorno ::: a review
Caitlyn, March 2016

Over the last year, St. Petersburg, FL has become the new hub for restaurants, new hot spots & events. And with the scent of a slight sea breeze and a water view at every turn, St Pete is always buzzing with locals, visitors, and the frequent visit from Flipper.

Virtual reality, dreamy food and fantastical murals add to
sunny St. Pete’s allure
Roberta Soslow, February 2016

A block east, Il Ritorno has earned a loyal following of foodies since 2014 with Italian-accented dishes that celebrate the robust and subtle flavors of seasonal produce. In January, a teaser of artichoke and heart of palm puree with roasted apple, fennel and basil oil set the stage for the chef’s popular five-course tasting menu.

Top 50 Restaurants of Tampa Bay: 2016 Edition
Laura Reiley, January 2016

David Benstock just turned 30. His wife, Erica, is pregnant with their second son. He’s hiring a sous chef and finally bought a pasta extruder so he doesn’t have to hand-crank his old-fashioned one (which, when pressed, he’d hook up to a drill to go “high tech”). In short, he’s growing up. Yet every time I scoot in for dinner it feels like some of the most exciting and audacious food around. There’s a vivacious prettiness to his food that feels — he’s not going to like this — very feminine. Salads are always visually stunning: I had a fall salad, no longer on the menu, with frisée and apples and pears that, if you squinted, looked like Monet’s water lilies. It’s a small restaurant that already has a fairly regular following, dinner only, with sourcing that can range from West Coast mushrooms and caviar to right-in-our-back-yard greens and citrus.

25 Best Things to do in St. Petersburg, Florida
December 2015

Il Ritorno is an upscale Italian restaurant that brings an authentic taste of Italy to St Petersburg. The warm and inviting restaurant features an intimate and attractive dining room with flickering candles and elegant décor, creating a perfect atmosphere for the delectable cuisine.

Il Ritorno Brings Flair to Italian Cuisine
March 2015

If you're a fan of Italian cuisine, Il Ritorno in St. Petersburg is making its mark on Tampa Bay's food scene. Items like charred octopus and baby beet salad are staples at the restaurant on Central Avenue. We talked to Chef David and his wife Erica about the business. See them in the clip to the left. For more, go to

Top 50 Restaurants of Tampa Bay: 2015 Edition
Laura Reiley, January 2015

This lovely newcomer is where I like to eat when I’m not working, partly because of the intimate and attractive dining room (with its modest noise levels and flickering candles) and partly due to the warmth of owners David and Erica Benstock. But the bigger reason is that you see the person behind the food in every dish, each plate a reflection of the aesthetic and diligent efforts of an individual. David makes his own ’nduja sausage and cured meats, he makes his own pastas, he pickles ramps and preserves tangerines, bakes his own focaccia and little salt-flecked ciabatta rolls and sophisticated cakes. It’s very contemporary Italian, with sensible portions and precise presentations.

St. Pete's Il Ritorno to expand after year in operation
Meaghan Habuda, December 2014

After celebrating its one-year anniversary Dec. 10, Il Ritorno in downtown St. Pete, led by chef-owner David Benstock and his wife Erica, has plans for expansion. "Turning away reservations is the greatest compliment to David and the culinary team, but we never want to turn away guests," Erica said in a news release Friday. To accommodate more diners, the contemporary Italian eatery will bring additional seating to its outdoor dining area. The restaurant will also keep growing its catering service, which, according to Erica, has doubled in six months.

Best Culinary Magic-Making
CL Staff, October 2014

The combination of pecorino, truffle fonduta, and concentrated tomato in Il Ritorno’s short rib mezzaluna is like a magic trick: When you bite into the small triangles of translucent pasta, your mouth is full of short rib, yet the braised meat is barely present. The simple filled pasta practically blows your head off with flavor. Chef David Benstock’s charred octopus appetizer is equally magical, but the trick is kept under wraps. How is the octopus so tender? (We suspect a languorous sous vide bath.) Never mind — just take a bite and lap up the sauce of broccoli rabe pesto, parmesan crisp, plus confit tomatoes and garlic with salted capers. You’ll swoon.

5 Spots That Will Make Sure The First Date Isn't The Last
I Love The Burg Staff, August 2014

The restaurant promises to introduce your taste buds to an entirely new flavor experience through traditional Italian dishes. Why is it perfect for a first date? Since most meet cute small talk doesn't center around dietary restrictions and issue of the gastro intestinal nature, finding a restaurant that you both can dine comfortably at is often difficult. Il Ritorno can accomodate most food allergies and since their food is always fresh they offer a transparent view into how each dish is prepared. You know what they say about oysters? Il Ritorno offers $1 oysters on top of their unbeatable happy hour specials every Thursday from 5-7pm. Enjoy a unique culinary experience while enjoying the company of someone who complements your taste and personality.

Starry Night: St. Pete's Il Ritorno
Jon Palmer Claridge, April 2014

The first hint that this is someplace special comes when an au courant slate plate arrives with small crisp squares of rosemary focaccia and perfect mini ciabatta dotted with salt. As I break bread and dip it into a small ramekin filled with fresh basil, Parmesan and fruity olive oil, I am transported back to Tuscany. The combo announces that the team of chefs has serious chops. OK, I say to myself, “Let’s see what else they can deliver.” After all, this is just bread. Perfect bread, yes, but still…

Il Ritorno in downtown St. Petersburg is a gem of a newcomer
Laura Reiley, February 2014

One evening's caprese ($13) brought gooey, delicious water buffalo burrata cheese sandwiched between wedges of heirloom tomato with a few antennalike tufts of mache and a dotted pattern of basil oil and inky aged balsamic. Equally pretty and well conceived, another night's rectangular platter of tiny chioggia and red beets were separated by fluffs of goat cheese into which shards of pecorino crisp were sunk, with microgreens, roasted fruity/heaty smoked shishito peppers and translucent dots of Meyer lemon gel ($11).

Fresh Italian For The Discerning Palate
Patricia Vorbrich, February 2014

When head chef and owner, David Benstock, left St. Petersburg for college and then traveled around the world, little did he know he would be back in his hometown to open up his first restaurant, IL Ritorno. The name, IL Ritorno, is fitting for the restaurant, as it means "The Return" in Italian; which is exactly what Benstock did, returned back home, and it's just what he wants his customers to do, return to his restaurant.

IL Ritorno Introduces Modern Italian Cuisine to St. Petersburg
Hype Group, January 2014

IL Ritorno, a locally-owned modern Italian restaurant serving cuisine for the discerning palate, is excited to announce its Grand Opening. Executive Chef David Lazer Benstock returned to his hometown of St. Petersburg to bring a taste of fresh Italian cuisine to the community. IL Ritorno is located at 449 Central Avenue, downtown St. Petersburg. A Grand Opening celebration will be held on January 30th from 5pm – close, with complimentary appetizers, champagne and giveaways. Space is limited, so an RSVP is requested by those that wish to attend.