Jump to content


Photo

Tampa, FL

Florida Tampa

  • Please log in to reply
47 replies to this topic

#1 CitrineDC

CitrineDC

    shrimp

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 13 posts

Posted 02 November 2005 - 11:39 AM

For anyone dining in the Tampa region, I would recommend Bern's Steak House. Opened in 1956, it's quite an institution. The beef is well-aged, and while there are lots of appetizers and starters to choose from, my dining companions and I selected the regular menu. You order an entree and it comes with a side salad, baked potato, delicate onion rings and a vegetable. Our vegetable choice was sweet and gingery shredded carrots, which even my carnivore boyfriend wolfed down. All the vegetables are organically grown on Bern's own farm. I've posted some pictures below.

If you go, request a tour of the kitchen and wine cellar after your meal. And definitely make reservations in the upstairs dessert room.

Here's a picture of my Chateaubriand....

Attached Thumbnails

  • IMG_0266.JPG


#2 CitrineDC

CitrineDC

    shrimp

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 13 posts

Posted 02 November 2005 - 11:42 AM

Here's Bern's wine cellar, with one of the largest collections of wine in the U.S.

More big wine....

Bern's fish tank in the kitchen...

Yummy desserts in the upstairs room. The desert room is divided into little individual rooms, so it's very private. Quite romantic, even though I was there with a group.

More desserts...

Attached Thumbnails

  • IMG_0270.JPG
  • IMG_0275.JPG
  • IMG_0269.JPG
  • IMG_0277.JPG
  • IMG_0278.JPG


#3 Sthitch

Sthitch

    Qui Nihil Sum

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,136 posts

Posted 02 November 2005 - 11:51 AM

I second Berns. This is a wonderful steakhouse, and even better when you are dinning on someone else's expense account. We used to make-up reasons to go see clients in Tampa just for their steak. I particularly enjoyed the steak tartare that is dotted with pieces of fresh black truffle, the best French onion soup I have ever tasted, rich and flavorful Delmonico, and those onion rings.

#4 bookluvingbabe

bookluvingbabe

    leviathan

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,901 posts

Posted 02 November 2005 - 12:01 PM

I haven't been since 1988 but I really enjoyed it the handful of times I went when I was down there in 1987-1988.

Gosh... I'm feeling old now...

Jennifer

#5 CitrineDC

CitrineDC

    shrimp

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 13 posts

Posted 02 November 2005 - 12:05 PM

Thank you Sthitch! I can't believe I forgot about the onion soup. It comes with the meal. While the entrees are expensive (most starting at $32), it is a very good value if you consider all the sides you get. I also ordered a carafe of the house wine, based on the recommendation of a chef friend who told me Bern's house wine tends to be a cab or merlot blend of typically very expensive wines that were opened to purchase by the glass. I would have liked to sample something else, what with the many choices, but since I was being treated, I didn't want to run up the bill too much.

#6 Joe H

Joe H

    leviathan

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,820 posts

Posted 07 November 2005 - 08:04 PM

My wife and I came very close to moving to Clearwater Beach, one of my favorite places on the face of the earth. Having a fried grouper sandwich at Frenchy's on the Beach-behind a white sand dune perhaps 50 yards from the lapping clear water (!) on the white sands of the Gulf of Mexico at sunset is a memory that can last until retirement.

The Beach Bistro at Holmes Beach , on Anna Maria Island, a barrier island outside of Bradenton, is considered by many to be one of the very best of Florida's restaurants. It is also one of it's most romantic. Perhaps one of the world's most romantic. With its softly lit location literally on the beach, after sunset it is a special place, more than worth the one hour drive out from Tampa. This is their website:

http://www.beachbistro.com/

Closer to Tampa, the Lobster Pot at Reddington Shores has long been considered to be one of the state's best seafood restaurants. This is their website: http://www.lobsterpotrestaurant.com/ An outstanding bouillibasse along with several exemplery grouper and red snapper presentations this is a difficult reservation but worth the effort. Also an excellent effort with escargot and, for those who have never had snails, about as good as you will find. At least a half dozen times over the past ten years I have driven out from Tampa for dinner and every time it was more than worth the drive.

Tampa's Cuban restaurants are interesting. The Columbia is the most famous. I'm not so sure that they are really any better than the old Omega but their menus are much more varied. A traditional visit for anyone travelling to Tampa.

Many consider Tampa's overall best restaurant to be Mise en Place. Zagat is among them. This is their website: http://www.miseonline.com/dinner.html
This lacks the charm, personality and national reputation of Bern's; but for locals it is the hardest reservation in the city. This is probably as close as one can come to a serious meal in the Tampa Bay area.

For myself Tampa and the surrounding area are more about sunsets, intracoastal waterways and fresh grouper; even "grouper and friends" which is now off the menu at Nick's in Tarpon Springs. B 21 is a great (and cheap) wine/liquor store on highway 19 that has the best prices in America on Reidel (I'm serious about this and, yes, they advertise on the internet.) I don't really remember a great meal in the Tampa Bay area-but I do remember a number of great experiences of which dining was only a small part.

Edited by Joe H, 07 November 2005 - 08:14 PM.


#7 brendanc

brendanc

    ventworm

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 183 posts

Posted 22 December 2005 - 05:45 PM

I know Rocks will move this but I wanted to get it into circulation. Having just returned from a brief three day chaotic mission to see in laws in Sanford NC(Johnston Bros. BBQ next to Johnston Bros produce on route 1, awesome) my brother in law and his family have recently relocated to Tampa and cannot find a good meal anywhere. They are huge fans of chinese/korean/thai/ vietnamese, but any restaurants with something to offer would be great, I'll be forwarding the thread to them in a couple of days or so. Any help would be greatly appreciated..
-Brendan

#8 DonRocks

DonRocks

    leviathan

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 15,376 posts

Posted 22 December 2005 - 05:53 PM

I know Rocks will move this but I wanted to get it into circulation. Having just returned from a brief three day chaotic mission to see in laws in Sanford NC(Johnston Bros. BBQ next to Johnston Bros produce on route 1, awesome) my brother in law and his family have recently relocated to Tampa and cannot find a good meal anywhere. They are huge fans of chinese/korean/thai/ vietnamese, but any restaurants with something to offer would be great, I'll be forwarding the thread to them in a couple of days or so. Any help would be greatly appreciated..
-Brendan

[I can't move it if I haven't yet seen it

he says, while looking the other way for a few hours...]

dcdining.com - Restaurant Reviews - Facebook <--- LIKE Meeeeeeee! Twitter <--- FOLLOW Meeeeeeee!

If you're a member here, please Friend me personally on Facebook (send me a message with your screen name, please, so I know which member you are!)


#9 laniloa

laniloa

    grunt

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 793 posts

Posted 23 December 2005 - 08:50 AM

Not the flavors you mention but I had a very nice meal at Mise En Place in Tampa about 2 years ago. And isn't there a Roy's in Tampa? Yeah, yeah, a chain. But one of the better ones.

#10 Jacques Gastreaux

Jacques Gastreaux

    Don't Ask

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,280 posts

Posted 23 December 2005 - 09:39 AM

I never said I was going to take you to Florida, I said I was going to Tampa with ya.
Please unload all firearms and remove ski masks before entering establishment.

#11 mdt

mdt

    @#$%#^&*!

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,054 posts

Posted 23 December 2005 - 10:02 AM

I never said I was going to take you to Florida, I said I was going to Tampa with ya.

Getting into the holiday cheer a little early this morning? :)

#12 wolverine

wolverine

    ventworm

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 122 posts

Posted 02 March 2007 - 04:46 PM

Going down to Tampa to visit family soon. Based upon the reviews here and input from friends, we've already booked Bern's. Any other suggestions from persons who have been to Tampa in the last year or so?

#13 jparrott

jparrott

    A stew called New Orleans

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,896 posts

Posted 11 March 2007 - 09:11 PM

Psst. Call ahead to Bern's and see if they have any 1993 Georges Roumier Chambolle-Musigny left in stock. If it's offsite, tell them to bring it in. And drink as much of it as you can. Yum. And less than $70 on the list, I believe.

Jake Parrott
Haus Alpenz
Importers to the trade, serving the adventurous palate
Follow me on twitter: @jakehparrott
Anyway, I need f (4, 2) resolved to an integer value....


#14 wolverine

wolverine

    ventworm

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 122 posts

Posted 12 March 2007 - 04:23 PM

Thanks for the advice. The first post mentions kitchen and wine cellar tours. Does anybody know if you call or ahead or just request one upon arrival?

#15 jparrott

jparrott

    A stew called New Orleans

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,896 posts

Posted 12 March 2007 - 05:01 PM

Usually, your waiter or captain will offer them, I think.

Jake Parrott
Haus Alpenz
Importers to the trade, serving the adventurous palate
Follow me on twitter: @jakehparrott
Anyway, I need f (4, 2) resolved to an integer value....


#16 txaggie

txaggie

    ventworm

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 106 posts

Posted 27 September 2007 - 01:47 PM

cjsadler reminded me that i had not posted any pictures from our dinner at Bern's in April. It wasn't the best steak that we had ever eaten but the experience was great, and I love the separate dessert room.
steak.jpg


After dinner, we toured the kitchen and the wine cellar. Sprouts for the salads are grown at the restaurant.
sprouts.jpg

The wine cellar is incredible.
wine cellar.jpg

For dessert, cjsadler had the Banana Cheese Pie ("The Classic. A banana-cream cheese mousse in an almond praline crust with sliced fresh bananas, whipped cream and banana coulis.")
banana cream pie.jpg

I had the King Midas ("A signature recipe of rich and moist carrot cake, with macadamia nut ice cream and warm Valrhona chocolate sauce. A Bern's original.")
king midas.jpg



#17 jiveturk21

jiveturk21

    hammerhead

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 514 posts

Posted 04 October 2007 - 02:22 PM

I go to Tampa every March to see the Yankees play three or four spring training games. In general, I don't love the Tampa area, at least the places we have been, but we always seen to enjoy the baseball and the food, so that is not all that bad.

We always go to Bern's one night, it is never even a question. I will agree with what someone said above, it is not the best steak that I have ever had, but it is the best steakhouse experience that I have had. The wine list is ridiculous, the tours of the kitchen and wine cellar are great, and the desserts are wonderful.

Other than Bern's, we checked out a tapas place called Ceviche, right on Bayshore Blvd, that we loved. I really loved the food there and the sangria, but the vibe in there is the best, very young, very fun. We have also had good experiences in the past at Restaurant BT, Mise en Place and Six Tables. We didn't like Armani's as much, it was nice, but the price hurt a lot, which is saying a lot for me.

#18 Dmnkly

Dmnkly

    grouper

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 95 posts

Posted 05 October 2007 - 12:39 AM

Since this thread was just bumped, I figured I'd share that I had an utterly fantastic few days in Tampa a few months back. I can't say I'm a big fan of the city itself, but there's no denying day two was one of the best eating days I've had in a long time. I don't know that a total rehash of my blogging for that few days is appropriate, but here are a few highlights:

Posted Image
Cuban Sandwich at La Teresita
Straight-up Cuban counter diner fare near the airport, accompanied by a porky garbanzo soup (not pictured). A good Cuban is one of those things that's greater than the sum of its parts. Though I haven't sampled a Miami-style Cuban in its native environs, I think I'm a fan of the Tampa variant. The bread is generally lighter, crispier -- less heavy and lardy. Anyway, if you're looking for some good, simple Cuban (and you should be, if you're visiting Tampa), this is a great spot.

Posted Image
Devil Crab at Florida Bakery
Acquired about a block down the street from La Teresita, devil crabs are native to Tampa. Composed of the leftovers of two local industries, the filling is made of crab, onions, tomatoes, garlic and a wackyload of vinegar, while the crumbly crust is made from leftover sandwich bread. It's a really enjoyable little snack with a lot of kick, both of the tart and spicy variety.

Posted Image
Peel and Eat Shrimp at Rusty Bellies
Really, anything from Rusty Bellies (in Tarpon Springs) is fantastic. The folks who run the place have their own dayboats (which they built by hand!), so just about everything you eat there was swimming earlier in the day. But even setting aside the astounding freshness, they treat everything perfectly, which is to say minimally. These shrimp and the fried grouper sandwich were standouts.

Posted Image
Beef Martini Sandwich at Wright's Gourmet House
Nothing fancy here, just freaking good. Their specialties are the kind that make me think they have a team of grandmothers in the back. They're the kind of sandwiches I'd never make -- white bread, butter, pickles, etc. -- but they're awesome. I tried the Beef Martini shown here, with roast beef, bacon and mushrooms that had been sauteed in butter, herbs and wine, and I also really dug the Golden Gate (not pictured), with roast pork, bacon, swiss, german dill pickles, mustard sauce and an awesome, fresh, chunky peach chutney.

Posted Image
Smoked Mullet at Ted Peters
But if I had one meal in Tampa / St. Pete's, this is the one I'd do. Kick ass smoked mullet on the side of a four lane highway. Admittedly, my experience with smoked fish is limited, but I can't imagine it gets much (if any) better than this. Nothing fancy. Just a whole mullet that's been infused with about seven trees' worth of smoke. I gave it a little shot of lemon, and that was all it needed. They also make a really mean fish salad with the same mullet.

Dominic Armato
www.skilletdoux.com


#19 Camille-Beau

Camille-Beau

    ventworm

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 438 posts

Posted 08 October 2007 - 07:24 PM

Other than Bern's, we checked out a tapas place called Ceviche, right on Bayshore Blvd, that we loved. I really loved the food there and the sangria, but the vibe in there is the best, very young, very fun.

Seems that 'Ceviche' is in the news for more than just their food for the opening of their new outpost in Orlando :blink:
"If God did not intend for us to eat animals, then why did he make them out of meat?" -- John Cleese

"And the people did rejoice and did feast upon the lambs and toads and tree-sloths and fruit-bats and orangutans and breakfast cereals ..."

#20 johnb

johnb

    leviathan

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,092 posts

Posted 20 October 2009 - 08:47 PM

......irreplaceable Bern's Steak House, long-listed for the Beard national Outstanding Restaurant award last year, it boasts the world’s largest privately held wine cellar, .....if anyone wants to see a copy of their wine list of old, I have one from the late 1980s and it is just massive, literally the size of a phone book, fully bound in hardcover,

Mine is from April 1984. Pretty much as you describe. Quaint, actually, in that they were printing it off on a dot matrix printer in those days.

Some samples from the 1984 list, for service in the restaurant

Lynch Bages 1961 $82.65
d'Yquem 1935 $120.50
BV GLPR 1977 $35.00
Robert Mondavi CS 1977 $24.20
Davis Bynum PN 1977 $15.95

#21 winger1930

winger1930

    grouper

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 56 posts

Posted 28 January 2010 - 03:00 PM

Anyone been recently? Heading down there next week for a few days and looking for some recs, and I'm staying in downtown Tampa but have a car. I know about Bern's, and probably going to go to Frenchy's. Looking for a couple good places for dinner (need to celebrate wifey's 30th there) and any seafood shacks/super casual places near the beach (Clearwater and maybe further south).

-Paul


#22 Ericandblueboy

Ericandblueboy

    Boo Boo

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,194 posts

Posted 04 November 2010 - 11:11 PM

Spending 3 nights in Tampa, from Thanksgiving Thursday to Saturday. We're staying near the Tampa airport and we'll be there after taking a cruise to the Cayman Islands and Cozumel. The reason we're staying is to hang out with my father in law who lives in Clearwater. Need good food in Tampa or Clearwater but I don't want to dress up. Looked at Bern's but ultimately decided that's not where I really want to go. Any other recs for restaurants or dishes to try?

#23 Steve R.

Steve R.

    ventworm

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 197 posts

Posted 05 November 2010 - 09:01 AM

Spending 3 nights in Tampa, from Thanksgiving Thursday to Saturday. We're staying near the Tampa airport and we'll be there after taking a cruise to the Cayman Islands and Cozumel. The reason we're staying is to hang out with my father in law who lives in Clearwater. Need good food in Tampa or Clearwater but I don't want to dress up. Looked at Bern's but ultimately decided that's not where I really want to go. Any other recs for restaurants or dishes to try?

Spent 2 nights in Tampa about 3 weeks ago and I'm afraid I wont be of much help to you, except to strongly warn you NOT to go to Sidebern's. One of the worst meals at this price point that we've had in years, more to do with the chef's "innovative" combinations of too many ingredients that didnt work together at all. Nice looking place, nice bar area, good drinks, friendly (but not informed) service but the food... Unless, of course, you're in the mood for a good piece of fish, coated with a nice spice rub, sitting on horseradish mashed potatoes in a strongly flavored pork jus. Just as described on the menu (dont ask what I was thinking in ordering this).

Bern's, on the other hand, was a great surprise. Four of us ordered a 36 oz filet to share and it was right up there with other very good steakhouses (dry aged). Cant compare it to my hometown (Brooklyn) Peter Lugers since I didnt get porterhouse, but I'd be eating at Berns if it were in NYC or anywhere I visit. And remember that all the extras (soup, salad and a lovely large baked potato w/the works are all thrown in gratis). By the way, the wine list is tricky. They've apparently stuck to their concept of adding a % to the price they paid for the wine so the best bargains (and they are incredible bargains) are the older vintages that they bought years ago at low prices and have stored (perfectly) in their cellars. Of course, this requires real knowledge of which old stuff will open and which will be useless but our, luckily, our friends have their own cellar and knowledge and found 2 bottles at dirt cheap prices from the '80s that were incredible. It's a major schtick place but, in my opinion, worth the visit if a)you're a rabid carnevore & b)you dont mind or enjoy a show for the tourists.

#24 pizza man

pizza man

    hammerhead

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 502 posts

Posted 05 November 2010 - 12:39 PM

Spending 3 nights in Tampa, from Thanksgiving Thursday to Saturday. We're staying near the Tampa airport and we'll be there after taking a cruise to the Cayman Islands and Cozumel. The reason we're staying is to hang out with my father in law who lives in Clearwater. Need good food in Tampa or Clearwater but I don't want to dress up. Looked at Bern's but ultimately decided that's not where I really want to go. Any other recs for restaurants or dishes to try?

I suggest Peter Taylor's pizzeria-Wood Fired Pizzeria and Wine Bar..very casual, good pizza, and Peter is pretty cool. + his oven was designed by a NASA guy or something. Anyway, good pizza.

Rutted gob buster.  I will deny you..


#25 DonRocks

DonRocks

    leviathan

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 15,376 posts

Posted 05 November 2010 - 12:53 PM

I suggest Peter Taylor's pizzeria-Wood Fired Pizzeria and Wine Bar..very casual, good pizza, and Peter is pretty cool. + his oven was designed by a NASA guy or something. Anyway, good pizza.

It's worth going to Bern's for the amazing dessert room (although I'm not sure if you can go just for that).

dcdining.com - Restaurant Reviews - Facebook <--- LIKE Meeeeeeee! Twitter <--- FOLLOW Meeeeeeee!

If you're a member here, please Friend me personally on Facebook (send me a message with your screen name, please, so I know which member you are!)


#26 jiveturk21

jiveturk21

    hammerhead

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 514 posts

Posted 05 November 2010 - 01:58 PM

It's worth going to Bern's for the amazing dessert room (although I'm not sure if you can go just for that).

I have gone to Bern's only for dessert. It was on a weeknight though, it didn't seem that crowded, it was later in the evening and we just showed up and asked. I am guessing that it would be much tougher to pull off on a weekend night.

#27 Steve R.

Steve R.

    ventworm

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 197 posts

Posted 05 November 2010 - 03:18 PM

I have gone to Bern's only for dessert. It was on a weeknight though, it didn't seem that crowded, it was later in the evening and we just showed up and asked. I am guessing that it would be much tougher to pull off on a weekend night.

Probably true but when we were there it looked like they had expanded the upstairs somehow (at least that's what our friends said). Lots of room to spare up there but it was a Tuesday night so...

#28 Joe H

Joe H

    leviathan

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,820 posts

Posted 05 November 2010 - 08:53 PM

With all due respect to Bern's, Mise en Place and 35 or 40 others we've eaten at over the past two decades the best restaurant on the Gulf Coast of Florida (Naples to the panhandle) involves renting a car and driving an hour or so from Tampa to Holmes Beach: the Beach Bistro. One of the most atmospheric rooms on earth. Forty or so seats in a room literally on the beach with a low slung ceiling, candle light and true intimacy. Great dishes include wild mushroom creme brulee and an extraordinary take on shrimp scampi which they call shrimp Mosca after the Waggaman, LA original. We've driven the hour each way from Tampa or Clearwater Beach a number of times. Consistently worth the trip. Unfortunately it is known: 29 or something like that from Zagat for food and making a reservation is like reserving for Komi. It's also out of the way. http://www.beachbistro.com/ An American original.

#29 Ericandblueboy

Ericandblueboy

    Boo Boo

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,194 posts

Posted 28 November 2010 - 11:02 AM

Thanksgivings supper was at Bon Appetit in Dunedin (prounced dun-ee-din) just north of Clearwater. This restaurant is reputed to be a good French joint with a view of the water. They offered a $36 buffet or a $40 four course meal. Apparently making reservation on Open Table meant we opted for the four course meal. I didn't put up a struggle as the view in the dining room where the four courses were served was pretty damn gorgeous - of a calm bay. The four courses themselves might be a tad overpriced, the first course was your selection of fruit cup or butternut squash corn chowder, the second being a house salad, the third being your selection of an entree (we all chose turkey with all the trimmings), and the fourth course being dessert. The food was decent enough but we had a severely limited menu. This place was Chowhound approved but not fully endorsed by me other than the view.

Friday we ventured to St. Pete beach, past the pink Don Cesar to Sea Critters on Pass-a-Grill. A lobster claw only sandwich was $13 and way overcooked - flavorless and tough, oh you poor lobsters that died in vain! The seafood platter wasn't much better - fried grouper, fried shrimps, fried scallops, crab cake, onion rings and fries (we opted out of the conch fritters because I see no reason to cause the harvestation of more of these creatures that don't taste very good). The batter was different on each sea critter but none was particularly good. The fish was overcooked and dry, no where near as good as Eammon's. The shrimps were heavily breaded. The crab cakes overseassoned compared to the filler-free good stuff we can get up here. I would not eat at this Chowhound recommended restaurant again if you paid me.

Friday night we tried one of the best Chinese joints in Tampa according to CH, China Yuan. They don't know how to prepare pan fried noodles, which is a bad sign for an authentic Chinese joint. The snow pea shoots were good though and my wife's selection of General Tso's chicken was fine. I was craving Chinese and good veggies after being at sea for days and this place was adequate for my needs.

Saturday we went to Ybor City's Columbia, a 15 room house that seats 1700. It's a Tampa institution that started in 1905. We started with their devil crab croquettes, tamales, and their famous 1905 salad - crisp iceberg lettuce with julienne of baked ham, natural Swiss cheese, tomato, olives, grated Romano cheese and our famous garlic dressing (100 year old family recipe of fresh garlic, oregano, wine vinegar and Spanish extra virgin olive oil). I think they could've updated the salad by using greens other than iceburg. My entrée of Snapper “Adelita” - grilled and topped with hearts of palm, artichoke hearts, sun dried tomatoes, olive oil, garlic and onion - was a rather bland but nicely cooked piece of fish. My wife had their Original Cuban Sandwich - smoked ham, pork, salami, Swiss cheese, dill pickle and mustard on hot Cuban bread. The sandwich was delicious but mostly I tasted salami, not typically on a Cuban sandwich, AFAIK. So Columbia isn't great but it's worth checking out. The rest of Ybor City - not so much, a bunch of bars and tattoo parlors.

#30 Ericandblueboy

Ericandblueboy

    Boo Boo

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,194 posts

Posted 28 November 2010 - 05:18 PM

The kid eyed the sandwich hungrily but all she had was cereal and pureed veggies from a jar.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Cuban Sandwich at Columbia Ybor City.JPG


#31 petercarrjones

petercarrjones

    grouper

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 51 posts

Posted 22 December 2010 - 08:28 PM

As a Clearwater native, I'll second some of these places- Bern's for the reasons stated: Good meat and good wine. Private dessert rooms being another big plus. I loved the Frenchy's establishments on Clearwater Beach for their great fried seafood and atmosphere (Rockaways on the beach and the original- with its old Florida divey feel). I also wanted to mention another Holmes Beach all-star (if you can't get reservations to Beach Bistro), Sign of the Mermaid is a fantastic find with great FL seafood. They also have some of the best pies I've ever tasted. With three National Pie Contest wins for three different pies, you can't go wrong.
@pete_eats

#32 Joe H

Joe H

    leviathan

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,820 posts

Posted 06 May 2011 - 10:32 PM

Has anyone been to The Refinery in Tampa? We go in two weeks and this looks really interesting: farm to table and one of the restaurants considered for a Beard award for best new restaurants in the U. S.

#33 Skysplitter

Skysplitter

    Platinum

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 78 posts

Posted 17 May 2011 - 01:23 AM

Has anyone been to The Refinery in Tampa? We go in two weeks and this looks really interesting: farm to table and one of the restaurants considered for a Beard award for best new restaurants in the U. S.

Joe- I'll be down there this weekend for the hockey game and will be eating there and at Cafe DuFrain. (And Ravenous Pig in Orlando for good measure when I get off the plane.) I'll post a review when I get back!

#34 Joe H

Joe H

    leviathan

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,820 posts

Posted 17 May 2011 - 10:08 PM

Joe- I'll be down there this weekend for the hockey game and will be eating there and at Cafe DuFrain. (And Ravenous Pig in Orlando for good measure when I get off the plane.) I'll post a review when I get back!

Thanks, Skysplitter. We go on Thursday night-we can compare notes!

#35 Skysplitter

Skysplitter

    Platinum

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 78 posts

Posted 18 May 2011 - 10:24 PM

Thanks, Skysplitter. We go on Thursday night-we can compare notes!

Haha, funny how the world works! Hopefully the good meal karma will be in full swing when we stop by this week.

#36 Joe H

Joe H

    leviathan

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,820 posts

Posted 19 May 2011 - 09:27 PM

Haha, funny how the world works! Hopefully the good meal karma will be in full swing when we stop by this week.

Skysplitter, I don't want to ruin the adventure of this for you so I'll save my opinions until after you've been. Just two notes, however: the restaurant has a great deal of "character." And, there is a first course of "pork belly." Don't leave without trying it.

#37 Skysplitter

Skysplitter

    Platinum

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 78 posts

Posted 25 May 2011 - 12:02 AM

Skysplitter, I don't want to ruin the adventure of this for you so I'll save my opinions until after you've been. Just two notes, however: the restaurant has a great deal of "character." And, there is a first course of "pork belly." Don't leave without trying it.

Alrighty, I'm back, so have at your review. The pork belly was indeed amazing. Everything else? Ehhh, stay tuned for my review of the Ravenous Pig in Orlando. Hands down favorite of the 2.

#38 Joe H

Joe H

    leviathan

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,820 posts

Posted 25 May 2011 - 09:04 AM

Alrighty, I'm back, so have at your review. The pork belly was indeed amazing. Everything else? Ehhh, stay tuned for my review of the Ravenous Pig in Orlando. Hands down favorite of the 2.

We were EXTREMELY disappointed with the Refinery. Three dishes which spent time in the oven (including a souffle) were dried out and essentially flavorless. Really liked the pork belly and a good house salad. Sturgeon was OK at best. Also liked the "personality" of the restaurant. But it just wasn't very good. Actually shocked that it had received the press.

#39 Skysplitter

Skysplitter

    Platinum

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 78 posts

Posted 25 May 2011 - 11:38 PM

We were EXTREMELY disappointed with the Refinery. Three dishes which spent time in the oven (including a souffle) were dried out and essentially flavorless. Really liked the pork belly and a good house salad. Sturgeon was OK at best. Also liked the "personality" of the restaurant. But it just wasn't very good. Actually shocked that it had received the press.

Hah, sounds like we had the same experience. I couldn't sit at the bar and have the full menu because it was "busy", which as a solo diner, peeved me. Also, I had a delightful red wasp as a dining companion, but what can you do about that.
The pork belly, corn, tomato and pea shoot salad was really good. I recalled thinking that several of the appetizers looked really good, so I should've just ordered those for dinner. Sturgeon- ok, just another piece of white fish on a place. The quinoa cakes were interesting, and the watermelon/celery/kalamata tapenade was also interesting, but didn't blow me away by a long shot.
Dessert had 2 problems. 1, and this is no one's fault, is that I have a weird tolerance for peanut butter. Peanut butter from a jar or in a candy? Fine. Peanut butter ice cream? My stomach revolts. Apparently it does with peanut butter cake as well - I had no idea. But since white chocolate is an abhomination, the pudding dessert was out. But the second problem was with the dessert itself. Now, it's been a long time since I've had a tart-tatin, but I've cooked with plantains, so I can't explain why the plantains were rock hard to the point that I wanted to ask for a knife to cut them into bite size pieces off the top of the cake. The tart tatin, which after consulting google, was a very high cake with the plantains on top. And it was dry. Like how long has this been sitting around the kitchen dry. And I don't think that's tart tatin.
But yeah, I mean, I was seriously disappointed. It made me want to go back to Orlando that night to the Ravenous Pig! I WANT THAT GRILLED CHEESE AGAIN!

Attached Thumbnails

  • refinery.jpg


#40 Rhone1998

Rhone1998

    hammerhead

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 703 posts

Posted 30 December 2011 - 01:50 PM

Bern's Steakhouse was packed and hopping at 8:30 the Wednesday between Christmas and New Years. They couldn't seat a walk-in solo diner in the dining room until 10:00 so I got on the waiting list for the lounge area and had a 4-top to myself there about 45 min later.

The food was generally really good, the portions *very* generous, and the service friendly. I chose a steak sampler that was on the specials menu, three 3-oz portions of American Wagyu, tenderloin, and the aged delmonico (the best of the three by far...superb). As mentioned above the entrees come with a small bowl of excellent French onion soup, a house salad (mostly iceberg but also containing spinach and some other more interesting greens, in addition to a serviceable winter tomato, green peppers, and an olive), along with a baked potato with the works, onion rings, and a rotating mix of vegetables, in my case grilled squash and almond roasted carrots. It's a lot of freakin' food, and since I started my meal with another quite-generously portioned tuna tartare (with wasabi and a soy-sauce based "Asian" sauce, not a fresh idea but an excellent preparation) I had no room for dessert at the end and so can't comment on that part of the experience. A sommelier helped me choose a half bottle of a '66 Chateauneuf du Pape for about $55 that drank really nicely and went great with the steaks.

--
Dan


#41 jparrott

jparrott

    A stew called New Orleans

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,896 posts

Posted 04 March 2012 - 06:25 AM

The steak I had last night at Bern's (Kansas City Strip) was miles better than the one I had there in 2005. A half bottle of Leon Revol Cote-Rotie 1964 was singing. The bar staff were gracious and reasonably efficient, though they are hamstrung by the wine-by-the-glass service program, which makes it hard to time meals here.

I used to say, tongue-in-cheek, that the best night out in Tampa was a Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese and a night drinking at Bern's. On last night's evidence, it seems, one could once again consider eating there.

Jake Parrott
Haus Alpenz
Importers to the trade, serving the adventurous palate
Follow me on twitter: @jakehparrott
Anyway, I need f (4, 2) resolved to an integer value....


#42 jiveturk21

jiveturk21

    hammerhead

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 514 posts

Posted 04 March 2012 - 10:39 AM

the best night out in Tampa...

Bern's for dinner followed by a trip to Mons Venus.

I had enough of those nights in my 20's, I can barely stay awake for a 9:00 PM reservation these days.

#43 wineitup

wineitup

    ventworm

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 148 posts

Posted 09 March 2012 - 08:00 PM

Try Taco Bus the food there is pretty authentic.
www.foodericksburg.com

#44 Joe H

Joe H

    leviathan

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,820 posts

Posted 09 March 2012 - 11:28 PM

Bern's for dinner followed by a trip to Mons Venus.

I had enough of those nights in my 20's, I can barely stay awake for a 9:00 PM reservation these days.


Mons Venus.

....what was the one on the other side of Dale Mabry? Space Odyssey?

We're going back thirty (that's 30!) years...

But that's fair. I've been going to Clearwater Beach since 1982 and have done my best to eat my way around the Gulf Coast. Frankly, excepting the Beach Bistro in Holmes Beach (which I love), the Tampa Bay area may be known best for Mons Venus.

I should also mention that I haven't been there since 1983.

...I haven't.

#45 SeanMike

SeanMike

    Pan-Human Alcoholist

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,560 posts

Posted 23 May 2012 - 09:37 AM

Unfortunately it looks like a trip to Bern's won't be in the cards for me this week, what with SOFIC in town (which is why I'm here) taking up all the reservations.

Last night we went to Datz's Deli and had a great meal.

I checked in on Foursquare, and with the purchase of a Cigar City Jai Alai IPA our table got a free order of Fried Mac and Cheese bites. I thought I was over mac and cheese, particularly in that format, but these dense nuggets with associated meat were delicious. We also got an order of Sweet Death Wings which were fried perfectly, nice and juicy, with a sweet chili sauce.

Our French companion (via 23 hour flight from Lyon) had his first experience with Chicken and Waffles (well, here called "Chicken and Tweet" or something like that). Fried chicken, cheddar cheese waffles, a jalapeno maple (IIRC) syrup, and spinach, plus a Stone Arrogant Bastard draft - he was ranting about how great it was.

My coworker got the artisanal pasta, a huge bowl of fresh pasta and chicken. It was the first time I saw her unable to finish her meal.

I got the Bourbon Vanilla Pork chop, which while a bit sweet was very good, with parmesan risotto and chopped veggies. Loved it.

Service was a bit spotty to start with but it was a beautiful night and a great meal. I'd definitely go every time I'm back here. You can check their website for the wait time (not with iOS, as the widget uses Flash) and put in your phone number to get on the list before you show up.

http://www.scofflawsden.com/
The Scofflaw's Den, Cocktails and Cigars
It just keeps going, and going, and going...
 


#46 SeanMike

SeanMike

    Pan-Human Alcoholist

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,560 posts

Posted 25 May 2012 - 01:29 PM

Dinner with the owner of my company and a few VPs ended up being at Malio's. Fancy looking place, steak house, but while I found the salad to be overly-olive-ed the veal chop was quite delicious and perfectly cooked.

Also, they had Smooth Ambler bourbon prominently displayed. Which seemed random to me but hey!

http://www.scofflawsden.com/
The Scofflaw's Den, Cocktails and Cigars
It just keeps going, and going, and going...
 


#47 SeanMike

SeanMike

    Pan-Human Alcoholist

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,560 posts

Posted 18 May 2013 - 05:19 PM

So this year's SOFIC trip:

 

* Centro Catina - not worth it

* Tampa Bay Brewing Company - some good beers, and I had a great blackened swordfish sandwich for lunch.

* Nicahabana Cigars - they roll them there, and have coffee/espresso/etc. Didn't have caffeine, but the cigars were inexpensive and are quite great.

* King Corona Cigars - more great cigars, and a decent booze selection. Very friendly folks! I will definitely devote a couple of hours to visiting there again.

* Bad Monkey - bar owned by former 2 star spec ops general. Mostly military and first responders, but friendly, fun spot.


http://www.scofflawsden.com/
The Scofflaw's Den, Cocktails and Cigars
It just keeps going, and going, and going...
 


#48 Joe H

Joe H

    leviathan

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,820 posts

Posted 18 May 2013 - 07:55 PM

The best restaurant in the Tampa Bay area is the romantic, art deco intimate thirty seat New Orleans inspired Black Pearl in Dunedin.  I am not alone in believing this:  Tampa Bay magazine first noted this several years ago.  Our visit two weeks ago was outstanding.  If it was in D. C. it would be one of our best.  Negative:  it is known.  For a weekend reserve a month in advance.  My analogy to NOLA is fair:  I would put it in the same breath with Restaurant August.

 

Superb gorgonzola lobster risotto with pistachios and truffles, best etoufee I have ever had (and this includes Cafe Des Amis in Breaux Bridge), oysters Bienville to equal Galatoire's-in fact their gifted chef of seven years was previously at the Windsor Court.

 

Across the street is Strachan's who make the best carrot cake in America. 

 

Bern's, the Refinery-nothing in Tampa can touch the Black Pearl.  It IS a Great restaurant.







0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users