Restaurant news

  1. Tampa Bay restaurateurs share tales of customers behaving badly

    Food & Dining

    The couple's first date was not going swimmingly. Sitting at the wine bar at Clearwater's Cuvée 103, the woman seemed exceptionally, er, thirsty. Eventually she stood up and wobbled her way onto the stage where a jazz trio was getting into full swing, Florida Orchestra bass player T.J. Glowacki plucking …

  2. Wake up: Orlando chain to open Keke's Breakfast Cafe in Tampa


    A new breakfast spot opening in Tampa is out to prove that the first meal of the day isn't just the most important, it's the best.

  3. Vue 19 nightclub, Vue Sushi & Martini Bar have closed


    ST. PETERSBURG — Despite an initial $2 million investment and a location offering views of Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, Vue 19 nightclub on the 19th floor of One Progress Plaza has closed. Vue Sushi & Martini Bar, which was started by the same owners on the first floor, has also closed.

    The Vue Sushi & Martini Bar on the first floor of One Progress Plaza has now closed.
  4. Southern Living names Tampa's Refinery one of top 100 restaurants in the South

    Food & Dining

    The hits just keep coming for Tampa's Refinery. It's had James Beard nods, Zagat honors and gushing praise from most publications around. This week Southern Living magazine weighed in, giving the Refinery a spot in the South's top 100 restaurants. Cities like New Orleans and Charleston featured heavily while …

    Michelle and Greg Baker, owners of The Refinery in Tampa.
  5. Bucs fans can look forward to better food at Ray Jay (with video)

    Food & Dining

    TAMPA — From fresh uniforms and a new logo to new coach Lovie Smith and exciting free agent signings, Bucs fans' hopes are soaring for this season. At a media event Wednesday, even more new goodies were unveiled at Raymond James Stadium. As part of a collaboration between the Tampa Sports Authority and …

    Pam and Paul Crawford sample some of the new menu items Wednesday at Raymond James Stadium. She was particularly enamored of the burger, which she called “seriously gourmet.”
  6. Fine dining restaurant Dulcet planned for downtown New Port Richey

    Local Government

    NEW PORT RICHEY — A new restaurant is in the works downtown that will offer fine dining and live music.

  7. Review: Local Public House is a new pearl in little San Antonio

    Food & Dining


    Restaurant people spend their evenings watching other people have a good time. On their own nights off, usually a Monday or a Tuesday, they venture out for some good times of their own. Restaurants that are open those nights slap a little hospitality discount on food or drink, and eventually, they …

    The regional cheese and charcuterie platter includes housemade pickles and pecan brittle, both noteworthy.
  8. Ulele to debut beers, local menu at Aug. 26 launch in Tampa (w/video)

    Food & Dining


    On Aug. 26 one of the year's most anticipated restaurants opens its doors as Keith Sedita and the Columbia's Richard Gonzmart launch Ulele Native-Inspired Food and Spirits at the site of Tampa Heights' historic steam-powered pump house.

    Line chef Jose Cox prepares oysters at Ulele in the former Tampa Heights' historic steam-powered pump house ahead of their Aug. 26 opening.   Ulele will feature a sprawling restaurant, rooftop bar, beer garden with microbrewery and beer room next to the city's brand new Water Works Park.  [JAMES BORCHUCK   |   Times]
  9. Review: The Oyster Bar in St. Pete is improved but true to its past

    Food & Dining


    There are three components to describing an oyster: saltiness (as a rule, the colder the water, the saltier the oyster), texture (delicate, firm, etc.) and its sweetness or finish (descriptions range from metallic to cucumbery, grassy and watermelony). Kumamoto is a Pacific oyster, quite small, with …

    Among seafood offerings at the Oyster Bar are mussels in white wine, lemon, butter and herbs, served with a pesto baguette ($10).
  10. Reno restaurant to open in downtown St. Petersburg next month

    Food & Dining

    ST. PETERSBURG — St. Petersburg native Jon La Budde is getting back into the restaurant business. Just after Labor Day he will open Reno at 27 Fourth St. N, the former home of Primi Urban Cafe.

    Reno, with a nod to sophisticated nostalgia, will settle into the former Primi Urban Cafe space in downtown St. Petersburg.
  11. Mazzaro's owner plans to open Annata Wine Bar this month in St. Petersburg

    Food & Dining

    ST. PETERSBURG — Kurt Cuccaro aims to open his Annata Wine Bar on Beach Drive before the end of the month, tentatively shooting for Aug. 21 or 22 as the launch date.

    Kurt Cuccaro, who owns Mazzaro’s Italian Market, says the bar will have rare cheeses. The design has repurposed wine boxes and barrels.
  12. Besito Mexican Restaurant to open at WestShore Plaza


    TAMPA — Besito Mexican Restaurant is opening its first location in Florida at WestShore Plaza.

  13. Buckets Grill opens, music shop expands, art store relocates


    INTERBAY — Meatloaf, country fried steak, shrimp and cheese grits, all made to satisfy, is the main fare at Buckets Grill & Comfort Food, which opened July 1 on S Dale Mabry Highway near MacDill Air Force Base.

  14. Bloomin' Brands stock pummeled after report of weaker second quarter


    TAMPA — Bloomin' Brands expected business would rebound after harsh winter weather kept diners away throughout much of the country.

  15. Review: Bizou Brasserie needs some serious fine tuning

    Food & Dining


    After poor service, noise is the second-leading complaint about restaurants. When I started reviewing restaurants a couple decades ago, posh restaurant design included thick carpet, drapes, plush tablecloths, soft upholstered chairs, the faint tinkle of music and dapper servers who recited the evening's …

    Bizou Brasserie, at Le Méridien in Tampa, suffers from high noise levels and high wine prices. An Educated Guess cab sells for about $15 a bottle retail but is offered at Bizou for $15 per glass.