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Everybody's Business

News about West Elm, Fusion at Flambé, Oregano, and 211 at the Hilton

HYDE PARK — Hyde Park Village bid goodbye to Williams & Sonoma and said hello to its cousin, West Elm. The home decor store faces its sister, the Pottery Barn, on Snow Circle.

West Elm opened Sept. 18 loaded with contemporary furniture, rugs, lighting, bedding and kitchenware designed to be "authentic, affordable and approachable." Decorating ideas are ripe for the borrowing, especially for small spaces.

West Elm is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Visit westelm.com or call (813) 251-3500.

Mediterranean tastes flare up at Channelside

Fusion at Flambé hopes to ignite the dining scene in forlorn Channelside Bay Plaza.

"Ownership remains the same, but we're a whole new place," said general manager and chef Michael Manno, who opened Sept. 18 in the former Taverna Opa.

Manno reinvented the Mediterranean-driven menu, adding the flavors of South America, East Asia and India.

"Start with a handmixed craft cocktail and our signature appetizer, kalamata calamari," Manno suggests. He says the Mediterranean summer roll, stuffed with shrimp, fresh spinach, artichoke hearts, feta and sundried tomatoes, was an instant hit.

Ouzo lobster tail with roasted vegetables and basmati rice shows off his flair, especially followed by flaming bananas Foster.

Banquet space is available for private parties up to 100 guests.

Parking is free in the Garrison Street lot opposite Hooters "on non-event nights," said Manno.

Fusion at Flambé, at 615 Channelside Drive, is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and till 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Visit fusionflambe.com or call (813) 512-8999.

Oregano on Kennedy lays it on thick

More than 100 items — from antipasta to ziti — make Oregano authentic, says Joe Elbey, who is already welcoming repeat customers to the Kennedy Boulevard restaurant he opened Sept. 16 near Himes Avenue.

"At least 30 percent came back the first week," says Elbey, including Rick Barcena, who owned the business when it was called Rigatoni. "He's my biggest fan."

Elbey sold Biagio's Pizza & Pasta in New Tampa, and the buyers are keeping the name.

Meals might start with a choice of six soups, including escarole and bean, lobster bisque, pasta fagioli and French onion.

Salads range from Caesar to the Oregano, a $10.25 mix of greens topped with chicken cutlet, eggplant and roasted peppers.

It takes a while to peruse the menu, featuring mussels, calamari, stromboli and calzone, veal and seafood entrees and 22 kinds of pasta. Standout grilled chicken dishes are Rigatoni Leo, made with spinach and sun-dried tomatoes in pink vodka sauce, and Penne Michelangelo, made with chopped ham and green peas in alfredo sauce.

"But I'm a pizza guy," Elbey said, offering a grand-opening large pizza, thin or Sicilian crust, for $6.95 until Tuesday.

Catering and delivery are available.

Oregano is at 3437 W Kennedy Blvd. Hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday; noon to 9 p.m. Sunday. Call (813) 872-8222.

211 reasons to eat at Hilton downtown

The Hilton Tampa Downtown renovation, which began in March, will be complete when a full-service Starbucks opens Monday.

Already, the business crowd is making a beeline to the sleek and modern 211 Restaurant & Bar, where the all-you-can-eat weekday lunch buffet is earning a buzz at $14, excluding beverage.

"Monday and Tuesday is soup, salad and paninis," says restaurant manager Alpay Kaya, who transferred from Fort Lauderdale when the Hilton franchise purchased the Hyatt Regency Tampa.

"Wednesday is Latin Day; Thursday it's Asian style; Friday is pasta."

Chef Serge Saouma also cooks up a daily breakfast buffet ($17) as well as a menu of cereals, eggs and pastries. Lunch offers small plates, sandwiches and flatbreads from $11 to $16. Dinner features mussels, fondue and short ribs from $10 to $34.

The 211 Restaurant & Bar is open daily in the Hilton Tampa Downtown, 211 N Tampa St. Hours are 6:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. for breakfast, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for lunch, and 5:30 to 10 p.m. for dinner. Visit tinyurl.com/py2qupb or call (813) 222-4975.

Do you know something that should be Everybody's Business? Call (813) 226-3332 or email ascherzer@tampabay.com.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction: The 211 Restaurant is located inside the Hilton Tampa Downtown at 211 N Tampa St. The name of the restaurant was incorrect in a story in Friday's City Times.

News about West Elm, Fusion at Flambé, Oregano, and 211 at the Hilton 09/25/13 [Last modified: Monday, September 30, 2013 2:05pm]
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