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Restaurant News

  1. Dining Planner: Cottage Industry Expo, Epic Chef Showdown, new foodie magazine launches

    Food & Dining


    Mike Sponaugle has been in the restaurant business, one way or another, for the past 20 years, first in St. Petersburg and then in Miami with an outdoor furniture business that serviced the restaurant industry. He wanted to get back to town and considered what concept might …

    From left, Ariana Losch, Michele Stone, Ellen Madden, Dawna Stone and Matt Dieter are the forces behind LocalsDish magazine.
  2. Grilled cheese shop Central Melt opens in St. Petersburg

    Food & Dining

    St. Petersburg now has two restaurants devoted specifically to grilled cheese sandwiches.

    Central Melt's Roast Beef on Fleek features roast beef, arugula, red peppers and asiago and havarti cheeses. [Christopher Spata | Times]
  3. Restaurant review: Metro Diner in St. Petersburg brings nice breadth, breakfast all day

    Food & Dining


    Sit on the chrome and vinyl stool and close your eyes.

    "Can I get a runner?"

    "Need an over medium well!"

    "No more biscuits!"

    "Why your eggs look so pretty?"

    A lunchtime crowd fills the new Metro Diner on Fourth Street N in St. Petersburg.   You’ll find a list of the daily specials on a colorful chalkboard.
  4. Chefs Rick Bayless and Art Smith talk about their Disney restaurants

    Food & Dining


    For the past few weeks national media have been swooning over the newly unveiled Disney Springs, the shopping-dining-entertainment complex formerly known as Downtown Disney.

    Frontera Cocina at Disney Springs, headed up by chef Rick Bayless, serves gourmet Mexican dishes.
  5. Campy, gay-friendly Hamburger Mary's comes to St. Petersburg in August

    Food & Dining

    ST. PETERSBURG — Mary is coming to town.

    Kenny Lawson performs in a drag show at the Hamburger Mary’s in Clearwater in May.
  6. Dining planner: 5 of the best places to get a milk shake in Tampa Bay

    Food & Dining


    You feeling it yet? Car seats like the surface of the sun; house windows sweating from within. I think it's officially the dog days of summer in Tampa Bay, time for something quenching, cooling and refreshing.

    A strawberry milk shake at Munch’s.
  7. Looking for the bay area's best doughnuts? These 10 shops are tops

    Food & Dining

    Here are Tampa Bay's top 10 doughnut shops, the goods rigorously selected for tenderness, flavor, crumb, presentation, topping range and sheer audacity. Right up front, no Dunkin' Donuts and no Krispy Kremes. And here's why: At this point, most locations of these doughnut giants are not making their own product on site. …

    Doughnuts cool after being fried at Dough in Tampa. Classics cost 99 cents.
  8. Restaurant review: Thinh An Kitchen & Tofu wows with homemade tofu, other Vietnamese options

    Food & Dining


    We've all played the game. Some of us couch it in terms of the desert island: What food would you want with you while stranded, Castaway-style? Others take it in a grimmer direction with the Death Row Meal. Craft your final repast.

    House made chili-lemongrass tofu is plated at Thin An Kitchen and Tofu on Wednesday, July 13, 2016 off Waters avenue in Tampa. 
  9. Seafood wars ahead? Reflecting on farm-raised fish on National Caviar Day

    Food & Dining

    BRADENTON BEACH — Champagne wishes and caviar dreams, it must be Robin Leach's favorite holiday. Today is National Caviar Day.

    Crab and Healthy Earth Caviar: With National Caviar Day upon us, last week the Beach House on Bradenton Beach hosted a lecture and tasting of Black Opal caviar, the much-anticipated farm-raised black sturgeon caviar developed at Mote Marine Laboratories. More than $1 million worth of the high-quality black caviar, produced from farm-raised Siberian sturgeon, has been produced since December.
  10. Dining planner: Celebrate Bastille Day, trash fish and Tampa's Cuban sandwich

    Food & Dining


    Down with the Bourbon monarchy! Thursday is Bastille Day, the French national day celebrating the beginning of the revolution back on July 14, 1789. In France, there's always a major military parade along the Champs-Élysées in Paris. Then, of course, there is the …

     A stack Tampa Cuban Sandwiches.
  11. Restaurant review: Bavaro's brings the allures of Neapolitan-style pizza to St. Petersburg

    Food & Dining


    Dan Bavaro was at the vanguard. Back in 2009 when he debuted his first restaurant in Tampa, there weren't too many Neapolitan-style pizzerias in the country. It's not New York style, it's not from Chicago or New Haven. It's not street pizza you fold along the vertex angle to make a skinnier triangle …

    Pasta selections at Bavaro’s in St. Petersburg include homemade tagliatelle with Bolognese sauce.
  12. Dining Planner: Dunedin Orange Festival and celebrating Tampa Bay's best diners

    Food & Dining


    Slice of orange
  13. Beer plus yoga? Local breweries say yes with classes

    Food & Dining

    It's a quiz. Ardha uttanasana? Yes, that's standing half-forward bend. Parivrtta parsvakonasana? Trickier, but you got it. Extended side angle pose. Now how about this one: taka sipa brewasana.

    SCOTT KEELER   |   Times
  14. Restaurant review: Zaytoon Grill brings solid food to St. Pete but could showcase even more Palestinian flair

    Food & Dining


    A few years ago, the London-based chef Yotam Ottolenghi ignited what the New York Times' Julia Moskin called "Jerusalem fever." An Israeli, Ottolenghi co-wrote Jerusalem, and a previous cookbook called Plenty, with Sammi Tamimi, who is Palestinian. All politics aside, the two …

    The chicken shawarma: marinated shreds of chicken along with cuke, tomato and red onion, with a tangy tahini dressing.
  15. Dining Planner: Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest turns 100, celebrate with Tampa Bay hot dogs

    Food & Dining


    July 4? Sure, sure, Independence Day. But in some circles, the main attraction is the annual Nathan's Famous International July Fourth Hot Dog Eating Contest on Coney Island, which dates back exactly 100 years to 1916. It's an annual tradition for a different brand …

    Customers enter Mel’s Hot Dogs on Busch Blvd. in Tampa. After 38 years of a cash-only policy, Mel’s Hot Dogs has started accepting credit cards recently.