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In Tampa: Manhattan Dolce opens a bar and bistro, Wimauma serves Southern cuisine, Glorified Cupcakes delivers

VIRGINIA PARK — The business partners looked for the right location to open their nightspot for almost two years.

"We finally gave up and decided to apply to wet zone here," said Lovie Hudson, standing in the sleek black and charcoal decor of their new Manhattan Dolce Bar and Bistro, which opened this week.

Hudson, along with Becky Pease, have also incorporated their business — and their names — to form Pease & Love Enterprises. Get it?

The landlord for their restaurant, Scott Wetmore, is the third partner in the venture at the corner of Manhattan Avenue and El Prado Boulevard. There are about 80 seats inside plus another 50 on the patio. A full package store and catering will be added later.

Hudson, an environmental scientist and former Hillsborough Community College professor, invites nonprofits, book clubs, schools and "especially any green groups" to hold meetings at the restaurant during the day.

Chef Robert Prisinzano, formerly of Cafe Alma and AquaKnox at the Westin Tampa Bay, created a menu of international small plates, including beef carpaccio, Sambuca mussels, tuna tartar, crab cakes, five-spice lamb lollipops and short rib tacos. Desserts, including Amaretto Lovie Cake, named for Hudson, are made on site.

Pease's husband, John, is a music promoter, and he is focusing on the music. He'll be booking live music or a DJ nightly, starting at 10 p.m.

"The music quality and diversity will be just as decadent as our liquor-infused desserts," Hudson said.

Manhattan Dolce Bar and Bistro, 4328 W El Prado Blvd. Open 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. Monday through Saturday; opening on Sundays in mid January. Visit themanhattan tampa.com; (813) 832-3388.

It's Wimauma, the restaurant

Chef Gary Moran and his wife, Amy Moran, have acquired Delizie Bakery on S MacDill Avenue, renaming it Wimauma "because we love the name of the city."

The casual restaurant is scheduled to open today, serving "all fresh, local Florida cuisine,'' said Amy, including steamed shrimp; buttermilk hoe cake with house-smoked trout served with caramel butter and flying fish caviar; and a fried oyster sandwich topped with Gary's own smoked tomato jam.

If the owners' names sound familiar, it may be from a recent spate of press about their short-lived venture with restaurant owner Ron Stewart at Knife & Co. The couple left four days after opening, said Amy, due to personality differences.

"He wants a more formal atmosphere and we don't believe in a concept like that,'' she said.

No wonder her favorite menu item is the Frogmore stew, also known as Beaufort Stew, a coastal mix of clams, mussels, shrimp and sausage steamed with potatoes and corn, served in a bucket. (No frogs, however.)

The restaurant's vintage postage stamp logo depicts the three daughters of the founder of Wimauma, C.H. Davis. He named the town by combining the first letters of their names, Willie, Maude and Mary.

Wimauma, 4205 S MacDill Ave., will be open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday; and 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; (813) 793-1687.

Glorified Cupcakes and more at shop

Pedro Gonzalez is putting churchgoers to work at Glorified Cupcakes. He's the pastor of "Saturday Night Cafe," an alternative service at the Casa del Alfarero church on Hesperides Street. And last month Gonzalez, a former pastry chef at various Las Vegas hotels, opened the cupcake shop on Kennedy Boulevard near Himes Avenue.

Those who help at the cupcake shop are volunteers, but eventually the workers hope to own their own bakeries. One of them, Roylis Rodriguez, plans to open a second Glorified Cupcakes in two weeks on MacDill Avenue and Interbay Boulevard.

Gonzalez expects to have 10 outlets open by next year.

'It's a kingdom business," Gonzalez said. "A tithing of 10 percent will go to the church. We want to serve our community by blessing the needy."

Peanut butter cup, dulce de leche, key lime and almond joy cupcakes cost $2.75 each. Oreo, coconut, red velvet, Cuban coffee and carrot cake, $2.50. Delivery is free within 5 miles with a $20 minimum order.

For weddings, showers, birthdays and business events, the bakery makes full-size cakes surrounded by cupcakes. Salads and wraps are also available. Grab a latte, cappuccino or gourmet-flavored coffee, too.

Glorified Cupcakes, 3601 W Kennedy Blvd., is open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Visit glorifiedcupcakes.com or call (813) 874-2253.

Amy Scherzer can be reached at ascherzer@tampabay.com or (813) 226-3332.

In Tampa: Manhattan Dolce opens a bar and bistro, Wimauma serves Southern cuisine, Glorified Cupcakes delivers 12/15/11 [Last modified: Thursday, December 15, 2011 3:30am]
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