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Restaurant News

  1. One solution to Florida's wild pig problem: Eat them

    Food & Dining

    PUNTA GORDA — When life hands you nuisance pigs, make pork chops.

     Pork hangs inside a refrigerated container at Three Suns Ranch in Punta Gorda, Florida on Friday October 17th, 2014. The ranch USDA slaughters feral pigs and sells the meat to area restaurants.   MONICA HERNDON | TIMES
  2. Cheeseheads keep business booming at Culver's burger chain in Largo

    Business

    LARGO — Parrish Sandefur admitted he worried about the success of his restaurant before it opened. Not too long ago, he and his wife, Alicia Sandefur, opened up the first Culver's in Tampa Bay on East Bay Drive. Although the quick service restaurant was a go-to eatery for him and his family for years back …

    Culver's has come to Pinellas County. Parrish and Alicia Sandefur have opened the first Wisonsin-based Culver's which is known and loved by Cheeseheads for "Butter burgers'' and frozen custard.
  3. Nordstrom Rack opens in Brandon; BurgerFi arrives in SoHo

    Retail

    After nearly a year of planning, Nordstrom Rack is set to open its new Brandon location on Friday at 9 a.m.

    Nordstrom Rack’s “Happy Style Hunting” branding comes to 11201 Causeway Blvd. in Lake Brandon Plaza on Friday.
  4. Review: Sunspot Fresh Bar in St. Petersburg is cheery, wholesome

    Food & Dining

    ST. PETERSBURG

    The 600 block of Central is a magnet for those who march to the beat of their own drum, all that percussion adding up to a heady beat. Ann Shuh, a former lawyer, took over two 1928 buildings months ago, yanking out the guts of Collective Tattoo and Gallery and replacing them with Sunspot Fresh Bar, …

    Sunspot Fresh Bar features artwork on the table and walls as well as  a pay-by-pound salad bar.
  5. Iconic Goody Goody restaurant returning to Tampa

    Food & Dining

    TAMPA — Longtime Tampa residents get misty-eyed when you mention Goody Goody, the iconic restaurant known for its pies and bags of hamburgers "POX" — that's pickles, onions and the fabled secret sauce. On Monday restaurateur Richard Gonzmart announced he is bringing it all back in a new Goody Goody.

    Yvonne Freeman delivers an order to a table at the fabled Goody Goody restaurant in Tampa before it closed in 2005.
  6. Food from farm to table: an illuminating process

    Books

    It all started with a pig. Or, more specifically, half a pig. Jim Webster, when he was a copy editor and writer for the Tampa Bay Times, drove up to Nature Delivered, Rebecca Krassnoski's farm near Tampa, with the aim of filling up his freezer with humanely raised pork. He wasn't looking for loin, shank and belly …

    Jim Webster, America Farm to Table: Simple, Delicious Recipes Celebrating Local Farmers
  7. Review: Villa Bellini brings upscale Italian to Tio Pepe space

    Food & Dining

    CLEARWATER

    It's got pilasters and curved archways and marble statuary and carved fireplace mantles and complicated deco wrought-iron work. In short, the new Villa Bellini in the 1928 building that housed Tio Pepe for decades is a knockout. There's valet parking, a gracious gaggle of lovely young women at the front …

    Available at Villa Bellini in Clearwater is Pasta Calamarata, a medley of crab meat, pasta, shrimp, scallops served with a light cherry tomato sauce.
  8. As St. Petersburg's Beach Drive hops, valet permits stop

    Business

    ST. PETERSBURG

    Beach Drive's success has bred traffic jams, parking shortages and the demand for more valet services. • Though these aren't the worst problems to have, Mayor Rick Kriseman and other city officials are talking with business owners to figure out how to address them.

    Cassis on Beach Drive NE in St. Petersburg is one of several downtown restaurants that offers valet parking for customers. It is the only one directly on Beach. Others are on side streets.
  9. New pizza place rises in Brandon; HydeOut revitalizes the old Rack

    News

    BRANDON — If you have lived in the Tampa Bay area anytime in the past 37 years, there's a good chance you have tasted a slice of homemade pizza from Al Carapella.

    Friends Al Carapella, left, and Jim Liburdi show off a freshly baked stromboli at Brandon Pizzeria, their restaurant at 140 N Parsons Ave. The spot was formerly home to Seafood Dive and La Septima.
  10. Dough, Max & Chz and Mr. Lasagna home in on a single food in South Tampa

    Food & Dining

    TAMPA

    In metro areas where restaurants densely stud every street, entrepreneurs have gotten tunnel vision: Serve a single food, do it right, carve a niche, plug it on social media, watch the lines grow. In New York alone, you'll find the Meatball Shop, S'Mac (mac and cheese mania), Potatopia (all spuds, all the …

    Mr. Lasagna Veal lasagna stacks up against any Italian mother’s.
  11. Noi and the Bake cook Italian to Interbay; the Joint cracks Palma Ceia, Amelia's Abubut fashions for kids

    Retail

    INTERBAY — An Italian renaissance is under way at the southern end of Bayshore Boulevard with the arrival of the Bake, a cafe and bakery, and Noi (translates as "us") Italian Kitchen and Bar.

  12. James Beard Foundation scholarship fundraiser draws Tampa Bay's rock star chefs

    Food & Dining

    TAMPA — BT Nguyen leaned over the first plate, spreading bits of hearts of palm, mango, celery and sweet pepper on the plate, topping that with a ripe wedge of avocado and gently poached lobster, finishing the dish with a confetti of micro-herbs and passion fruit vinaigrette.

     Chef BT Nguyen makes some final adjustments to her lobster and avocado with sweet peppers, mango, celery, palm hearts, mint, cilantro and passion fruit vinaigrette.
  13. Bern's Steak House little sister SideBern's to become Haven wine bar

    Food & Dining

    TAMPA — When the doors reopen at 2208 W Morrison Ave. at the end of the year, it will no longer be SideBern's. Say hello to Haven, a midpriced wine bar restaurant.

    SideBern's closed June 24 to undergo what was announced as a serious gussying up. At an all-star James Beard Foundation scholarship dinner at the Epicurean Hotel on Monday night, David Laxer, Bern's owner and Epicurean Hotel partner, announced that plans have changed. [Google Street View]
  14. Review: Bodaciously fresh bowls off Bayshore — that's Fresh Kitchen

    Food & Dining

    TAMPA

    Takeout parking spots in front are for 7.5 minutes only. The restaurant closes at 9:35 p.m. What gives? They are memorable. But those 30 seconds and that five minutes are not the only things that separate the new Fresh Kitchen from so many other South Tampa restaurants.

    Among the choices for bowls are coconut cauliflower, grilled broccolini, and roasted Brussels sprouts and mushrooms. Or you can choose from “chef’s specials,” the all-in-one-meal ranging from $9.50 to $12.
  15. Millennials' influence changing fine dining in Tampa Bay

    Food & Dining

    Haute is no longer hot.

    In Tampa Bay and nationally, nearly all of the exciting, high-profile restaurants to open in the past two years have been casual and moderate to mid-priced. At none of them are you required to wear a jacket. At none will you find tuxedoed waiters or red roses in crystal vases. In short, …

    David Rojas, a waiter at Donatello Italian Restaurant since 1988, takes orders on a Friday night last month at the fine dining establishment at 232 N Dale Mabry Highway in Tampa. High-end meals are in decline in favor of more casual dining.