There are few things in life more enjoyable than an evening spent in the company of good friends. Last night was one of the best I have spent in a long time and there are several reasons why I enjoyed it so much.

We started with dinner at That’s Amore on Harbor Island in Tampa. That’s Amore is a tiny little place but they set an excellent southern Italian table. Our server, Tim, was never more than an unobtrusive step away and we enjoyed the added bonus of impromptu but talented live background music provided by the owner. The best part of the meal was the conversation, but that wasn’t the chef’s fault. He provided a delicious meal. The seafood risotto was fresh and creamy, the penne tender, but not over done. Vic’s steak didn’t pass the “moo” test, but you have a hard time getting a truly rare steak these days except in a steakhouse, and it was perfectly seasoned and grilled otherwise. If you are down Tampa way and find yourself in need of a good Italian meal, I recommend That’s Amore with 4/5 stars.

We finished our evening at the Tampa Improv, a comedy club with the well-deserved reputation of serving up the best comics in a congenial, if slightly crowded atmosphere. They did not disappoint. Most of the clubs I’ve been to have three comics of an evening; the Improv provided four, each one entertaining in his own right. I say four, because I have to include John Jacobs, the MC, who gave a short, but very funny performance before introducing the opening act.

The opening act started us off with a dose of sly southern humor that didn’t feel like a warm up. The only way you tell he was the opening act was his position in the lineup and the fact that his time was shorter than the rest. We were a little confused when the “main act” came out; being unaware of the Improv’s four-comic lineup. However, Tim Pulnik quickly had us laughing too hard to be worried about it.

The headliner, Alex Reymundo, presented a brand of intelligent, topical comedy which reflects on both current events and the funny side of relationships. He even managed to be funny when dealing with a couple of drunks in the crowd, a feat not all comics can manage with his grace or flair. Fair warning though, Reymundo’s humor resides firmly in the adult category. This is not surprising for a comedy club, I admit, and to be fair, no one else seemed bothered by it. But there was one bit of physical comedy that made me a little uncomfortable.

That being said, and having no reason to believe that last night’s slate of comedians was out of the ordinary for the Improv, I would recommend spending an evening there with 5/5 stars.

Disclaimer: I’m sorry not to include the name of the second comic who entertained us last night. The young woman I talked to at the box office couldn’t give me his name. If any of the three comics I have named happen to read this and will give me his name, I will be happy to repair the omission. clr

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