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Restaurant News

  1. Tampa-style Cuban sandwiches are the star at Tampa Sandwich Bar in Korea

    Food & Dining

    Geunmin Kang and Hyunmin Cho were excited about the present from one of their customers. They posted a picture of it on their Facebook page: two bags of Tampa-based Vigo rice mixes. Not exactly a glamorous hostess gift, but precisely what might thrill the owners of the Tampa Sandwich Bar in Seoul, Korea, which opened in …

    Geunmin Kang, left, and Hyunmin Cho, who’ve never visited Tampa, started the Tampa Sandwich Bar in Seoul.
  2. Dining Planner: New restaurants at Disney, Universal and downtown Orlando

    Food & Dining

    Orlando GRUB

    Something is happening in Orlando. Yes, the Mako coaster at SeaWorld, but I mean something else. The theme parks have always had better food than they needed to (mental scroll of amusement park food elsewhere in the country: turkey legs and I-can't-believe-they-fried-this-and-put-it-on-a-stick …

    STK Orlando, a modern steakhouse with a hip lounge, is now open at Disney Springs.
  3. Restaurant review: Opal Sands' new spot Sea-Guini brings solid Italian, seafood despite odd name

    Food & Dining


    Some restaurants have bad names on purpose (Crabby Dick's). And then there are those that may be the naive choices of non-native speakers. (Let's assume Chewy Balls is a boba tea place and Crapitto's Cucina Italiana an unfortunate surname situation.)

    Pan-seared hogfish, made with local hogfish, roasted Florida corn broth, sweet gulf shrimp, smokehouse bacon and potato hash, as well as roasted cauliflower, is one of the fresh seafood options at Sea-Guini at Opal Sands Resort.
  4. Review: Fish Bar and Grille a welcome seafood-centric newcomer to Gulfport

    Food & Dining


    From the outside looking in, Gulfport has a more coherent identity than most of the communities in Tampa Bay. Folks are civic-minded, a little iconoclastic and a whole lot of friendly. It has more than its share of wind chimes, paintings of geckos and mailboxes shaped like manatees or jowly pelicans. Its …

    Gulf grouper — available grilled, blackened, panko-crusted or fried, with a variety of sauce choices — is among the seafood options at Fish Bar and Grille, which opened in March.
  5. Dining Planner: Clearwater Beach Restaurant Week starts

    Food & Dining

    Clearwater Beach Restaurant Week

    Clearwater Beach Restaurant Week runs through May 22.
  6. Bern's Steak House wins 2016 James Beard Awards Outstanding Wine Program

    Food & Dining

    This year's only Tampa Bay James Beard finalist came up gold, the first year our area has medaled in the "Academy Awards of food" since Bern's Steak House sommelier Derrick Pagan won for wine service in 1992. Who was our big winner this year?

    Bern's Steak House.

    Bern’s Steak House tweeted this photo of David Laxer, Bern’s owner, left, and Eric Renaud, senior sommelier, at the James Beard Awards in Chicago on Monday night. 
  7. Restaurant review: Solid Asian street food at St. Petersburg's Hawkers could use more polish

    Food & Dining


    I was smitten by the first Hawkers, which opened in Orlando in 2011. Aiming to re-create the street foods of Asia, it was an edgy, industrial space with concrete floors, corrugated aluminum wainscoting and an audacious color scheme. Named for the sidewalk peddlers who "hawk" via exuberant call or …

The fare at Hawkers includes Slow-Braised Pork Belly Hawkers Baos.
  8. Restaurant review: Lithuanian spot Drama Burger delivers funky but solid burgers, eclectic atmosphere

    Food & Dining


    It's nearly the best scene in Pulp Fiction. Vincent asks Jules if he knows what they call a quarter pounder with cheese in Paris. Jules says, "They don't call it a quarter pounder with cheese?" Vincent: "No, man, they got the metric system. ... They call it a royale with cheese."

    The Pastrami Burger at Drama Burger in Tampa is well worth the $12.99. The Angus beef patty on brioche is topped with homemade pastrami, red onions, pickles and homemade mustard-mayo.
  9. Dining planner: Bloody Mary Festival, Grilled Cheese Festival and more foodie events

    Food & Dining

    Total Meltdown: Tampa Grilled Cheese Festival

    “The Grilled Cheese” from the Cheesery Food Truck is made with cheddar, American and Havarti cheeses.
  10. What food critic Laura Reiley learned by not dining out for two months

    Food & Dining

    I went cold turkey.

    I took two months off of reviewing restaurants so that I could work on the Tampa Bay Times' Farm to Fable series. (Look for the second part in Sunday's paper; it's all online now at
  11. Dining planner: Safety Harbor Beer and Burger Showdown and some of our favorites

    Food & Dining

    BURGER KINGS: Safety Harbor Beer and Burger Throwdown

    The Demi-God is served with cheddar, Swiss, sauteed mushrooms, caramelized onions and horseradish mayo at Engine No. 9.
  12. Dining Planner: Bern's Winefest, Festa Italiana and Tampa Bay's best Italian restaurants

    Food & Dining

    FOODIE HAVEN: Bern's Winefest

    Every year, many a foodie looks on in envy after tickets sell out too quickly to snag at seat at Bern's Winefest. But this year with 14 events spread across Bern's Steak House, Haven, Bern's Fine Wines and Spirits, and the Epicurean Hotel, the 19th annual week of …

    Events at  Festa Italiana in Ybor City’s Centennial Park include the popular grape stomping for kids.
  13. Dining Planner: PhilFest celebrates Filipino food, Kenwood's Pinot in the Park

    Food & Dining

    Get colorful: PhilFest

    There will be streams of colorful banners, young Filipino women in flowing dresses and lots of traditional food to celebrate PhilFest on the grounds at the Bayanihan Arts and Events Center this weekend. The annual event offers an impressive glimpse of the Philippines, with …

    Joey Jose of New Port Richey stirs simmering goat meat for kaldereta, a traditional Philippine dish, during PhilFest 2008.
  14. Rays add Pipo's, Green Bench craft beer and Longoria's Ducky's to Tropicana Field menu

    Food & Dining

    This season you can get Pipo's at the ballpark and a craft beer from Green Bench brewed especially for the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays on Tuesday unveiled a renovated concourse at Tropicana Field with new menu items from Tampa Bay businesses.

    The Tampa Bay Rays and Green Bench Brewing Co., St. Petersburg will introduce a new craft beer, 2- Seam Blonde Ale to Tropicana Field this season. It will be sold exclusively at the stadium at 30 locations during home games. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  15. Dining planner: Loquat Festival of fuzzy, sweet-tart fruit, our dining suggestions

    Food & Dining


    It's the third year for the Florida Loquat Festival celebrating the fuzzy, sweet-tart fruit, and there will be samplings, preserves and other loquat products for sale. You can learn how to cultivate, can and cook with the tiny tropical fruit (with trees for sale). And join …

    Loquat fruits, growing in clusters, are oval, rounded or pear-shaped. Ecology Florida and Friendship Farms & Fare host the inaugural Florida Loquat Festival from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 5 at the Market Off Main, 6241 Lincoln St., New Port Richey.