Thursday, June 21, 2018
Features and More

Restaurant news: Tampa Bay area openings, updates

Bamboo shoots into our local lexicon

Bamboo seems to be a new buzzword of sorts. Last weekend marked the opening of Twisted Bamboo in Bay Arbor Place at 3687 Tampa Road in Oldsmar. The concept incorporates the familiar tropical drinks (plus increasingly ubiquitous mojito and martini menus) and a roundup of fun pan-Asian dishes in a lively atmosphere.

In Tampa, Bamboozle is packing them in downtown at 516 N Tampa St. Quick and healthy Vietnamese fusion has charmed office workers at lunch (breakfast and dinner may be on the horizon), with classic pho and traditional noodle salads, followed up by the oh-so-sweet Vietnamese coffee lush with sweetened condensed milk.

Out with gelato, in with Irish coffee

One of Tampa's best Italian dessert spots has closed. La Casa Dolce Cafe on S Howard Avenue succumbed primarily to terrible parking and a lack of kids (notorious gelato eaters) in the neighborhood. They're looking for another space, but will ditch the wine and beer and focus strictly on gelato, desserts and coffee. The vacated space has been taken over by the owners of MacDinton's Irish Pub and Restaurant across the street.

At Partners: merging games, music, food

Another grand opening last weekend took place at the new Partners Sports Cafe at 2924 Fifth Ave. N in the historic Kenwood neighborhood in St. Petersburg. According to owners Alain and Emerson Grainger (formerly of Velvet Underground on Fourth), the menu is overseen by Lisa Robinson, a Wolfgang Puck alum and former chef at Race Rock in Orlando. Gourmet sandwiches and homey dishes like lasagna make up the menu, with a dance area, game room and regular live music enlivening the dining room. For details, call (727) 321-0088.

Gulfport chef dabbles in look-alike Dali

Congratulations are in order for Jose Luis Pawelek, chef/owner of Elements Global Cuisine Restaurant in Gulfport. He won the Salvador Dali Look-alike Contest held earlier this month at St. Petersburg's Dali Museum. In celebration of the artist's 104th anniversary of his birth, dozens of entrants sent in a video depicting their interpretation of either Dali or one of the artist's surrealistic works. The video was judged by famed filmmaker John Waters, and the in-person contest was judged by local celebrity and publisher of Citilife Magazine, Sterling Powell. "I chose Jose Luis as the winner since he stayed in character during his video as well as throughout the evening."

Smoke Barbecue opens in Tampa

Smoke Barbecue & Grill opens this week at 901 Platt St. in Tampa. One of uber-restaurateur Gordon Davis' partners, Rick Knapik, a former chef at Ceviche in Tampa, describes the menu as "New World barbecue." This means traditional dry-rubbed pork shoulder, brisket, spareribs and huge beef ribs, a Hawaiian rotisserie chicken, skewers of shrimp and scallops, and other skewers of mixed veggies. Whole meal prices will hover between $15 and $21, with side dishes that include sweet potato fries, Asian-inflected cole slaw and sauteed greens. A liquor license is still pending, but the aim is just beer and wine. For information, call (813) 254-7070.

Laura Reiley, Times food critic

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Bar review: St. Pete’s Garage is a dive with Pride

Bar review: St. Pete’s Garage is a dive with Pride

Last year’s St. Pete Pride went smoothly, despite some behind-the-scenes drama involving the decision to relocate the parade to the downtown waterfront, rather than the Grand Central District, where it had traditionally been held. After all, the Gran...
Published: 06/21/18
Local craft beer of the week: Beach Slap Piña Colada Wheat Ale from Mad Beach Craft Brewing Company

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Published: 06/21/18
Wine dinners, beer projects and more will wet your whistle this summer

Wine dinners, beer projects and more will wet your whistle this summer

FILIPINO FOOD: WELCOME CHISMISHave you been to the Heights Public Market at the 73,000-square-foot Armature Works yet? It’s the buzzy food market in Tampa Heights with more than a dozen vendors offering up everything from rolled ice cream to Cuban sa...
Published: 06/20/18
On stage this week: Freefall Theatre’s ‘The Musical of Musicals,’ Jay Pharoah

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SENDUP: MUSICAL OF MUSICALSFive composers, a talented cast, choreography by Cheryl Lee and music directed by Michael Raabe — that’s Freefall Theatre’s recipe for a laugh-filled, season-ending summer musical, appropriately titled The Musical of Musica...
Published: 06/20/18
Artists’ talks and Sharon Norwood’s definition of beauty

Artists’ talks and Sharon Norwood’s definition of beauty

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Published: 06/20/18
Here’s the skinny on the ketogenic diet: What it is, how to follow it properly

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It started with jugs of olive oil and cans of tuna, lots of it, which my husband hauled in one day and plunked on the counter. "That’s my lunch!"That was about three months ago, and every day since there has been a new entity in our house to consider...
Published: 06/20/18
Five ideas for rainbow-themed foods to serve at your Pride party

Five ideas for rainbow-themed foods to serve at your Pride party

More than 50,000 people are estimated to attend Pride weekend in St. Petersburg, which runs Friday to Sunday. (June is LGBTQ Pride Month.) Whether you plan to march in the parade or host your own smaller gathering, we’ve selected five rainbow-themed ...
Published: 06/20/18
My husband has been on the ketogenic diet for three months. Here’s how he does it.

My husband has been on the ketogenic diet for three months. Here’s how he does it.

This week I wrote about something with which I have become very familiar: the ketogenic diet. If you’re like, "Huh?" you are where I was three months ago, before my husband, Phil, embarked on the weight-loss regimen. The keto diet is a high-fat, low-...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/20/18
Jobsite’s ‘Dancing at Lughnasa’ should be more gripping than it is

Jobsite’s ‘Dancing at Lughnasa’ should be more gripping than it is

TAMPA — The virtues of Dancing at Lughnasa, with which Jobsite Theater closes its season, are many. This drama by the celebrated Brian Friel opened in 1990 to much acclaim. It captures a family’s joys and sadnesses, and the quickness with which one s...
Published: 06/19/18
A perfect pick for dessert

A perfect pick for dessert

America’s Test KitchenIt might seem impossible to improve on a perfect peach, but we decided to try. We wanted a simple, warm dessert that amplified the peaches’ flavor. To achieve tender, flavorful peaches with a lightly sweet glaze, we began by tos...
Published: 06/19/18