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Restaurant News

  1. Reviews: Orlando's Trattoria al Forno goes rustic; the Cowfish goes bold

    Food & Dining


    The gifts are unwrapped, but your guests are still camped out and hogging the hot water. Give them an extra stocking stuffer by guiding them to some of Orlando's many allures, including a couple of brand new dining spots, one at Disney's BoardWalk and the other at Universal's CityWalk. Equip them with the …

    A Cowfish bento box has a miniburger, sweet potato fries, spicy-soy Thai cucumbers, edamame and sushi.
  2. Review: Tampa's Café Martí gets to the heart of Cuban food

    Food & Dining


    Rodney Rodriguez was a professor of Spanish at Manhattan College. But in September he and his brother, Ricky, launched Café Martí at the site of a former Papa John's on Gandy Boulevard. As second acts go, it's a pretty big flying leap. But for this Tampa native, it made its own kind of sense.

    Like several dishes at Café Martí, the arroz con pollo with yellow rice is served with cooked collard greens.
  3. Review: Red Mesa Mercado is a solid addition to St. Petersburg's taco scene

    Food & Dining


    It's a growing menace. Without vigilance, St. Petersburg may soon be overrun. The peril? Tacos. And burritos. Also, very solid salsa and chips. St. Petersburg already had Tijuana Flats, Chipotle, Burrito Boarder, Nitally's, Red Mesa and its Cantina, and then Casita Taqueria and Taco Bus crowded in, …

    Lunch choices at Red Mesa Mercado, 1100 First Ave. N, include, clockwise from top left, taquitos with guacamole, a ground beef empanada, a chicken chimichanga and a Cali burrito stuffed with ground beef, french fries, beans, cheese and more.
  4. Family 'fudge sauce' Maison de Nora makes a comeback

    Human Interest

    Editor's Note: Maison de Nora fudge sauce is $12 a jar and the fudge cookies are $12 for a dozen (at least 10 oz.) Send a message to or call (813) 220-5666 to place orders and to arrange either local pick up, delivery or shipment. It is not currently available at Oxford Exchange.

    The Maison de Nora fudge sauce is solid until heated, creating an addictive, velvety concoction. The Stiltons made their selling debut recently at the Oxford Exchange Holiday Gift Bazaar, selling the jars for $12 each.
  5. Barbecue smoking in Seminole Heights, Carrollwood; South Tampa Chamber gets new digs


    A year of planning and dreaming and today's the day, said Lysa Bozel, co-owner of the Bourgeois Pig restaurant with her husband, Michael.

    Holy Hog’s menu features traditional Southern favorites with an emphasis on pork, Texas-style Brisket and St. Louis Ribs.
  6. Locale Market opens to gaga shoppers at St. Petersburg's Sundial



    On the opening day of Locale Market, a Pop Craft artisanal popsicle stand offered free samples to the more than 200 people waiting in line Wednesday. Most of the would-be shoppers were saving their calories for what lay inside. A good call.

    Customers peruse the interior of the new Locale Market on Wednesday, opening day for the two-floor, 20,000-square-foot upscale epicurean marketplace and farm-to-table restaurant at downtown St. Petersburg’s Sundial.
  7. Couple, 77 and 75, markets fresh seafood from Spring Hill shop


    SPRING HILL — A customer eyed an anvil-sized chunk of fresh tuna on ice at Weeki Wachee Seafood Market and inquired whether it was farm raised.

    The butcher case displays fresh catches from around the area.
  8. Tampa's Ulele a winner in OpenTable's Top 100 Best Restaurants in America award

    Food & Dining

    From more than 5 million reviews submitted to OpenTable for more than 20,000 restaurants nationwide, Tampa's Ulele has been named a winner of OpenTable Diners' Choice Awards for the Top 100 Best Restaurants in America. Since its August debut (so hey, it only had half a year to make the cut), this Tampa Heights newcomer …

    Photo by CHERIE DIEZ   |   Times
  9. Gourmet Locale Market set for afternoon opening at St. Petersburg's Sundial


    At 3 p.m. Wednesday, Locale Market opens its doors in the new Sundial St. Pete.

    Celebrity chefs Don Pintabona and Michael Mina, far left, pose with Locale Market employees Tuesday afternoon during a group photo session in front of the restaurant in St. Petersburg. [BOYZELL HOSEY   |   Times]
  10. Asian Pearl in Clearwater welcome addition in Pinellas

    Food & Dining


    When you've been married a long time, certain set pieces emerge. There's the thing he says when there are too many previews at the movies. Or the harangue I launch into when a telemarketer "survey" turns into a sales pitch. My spouse will be happy that I'm crossing one off my list. It's the "why is …

    Sizzling Beef Ribeye With Mixed Mushrooms at Asian Pearl.
  11. Culver's 'Butter Burgers' come to Tampa; shops exit Hyde Park Village


    NORTH TAMPA — Culver's, the Wisconsin-based chain best known for its ButterBurgers with butter-coated buns, debuted in Tampa on Monday with the opening of a restaurant at 15001 N Nebraska Ave.

    Group 073
  12. Early look at Stillwaters Tavern, another celebrity chef effort in St. Petersburg

    Food & Dining

    ST. PETERSBURG — Around the corner and upstairs from Beach Drive's BellaBrava, four men sit in a war room of sorts, poring over architectural renderings. Robert Sanderson, Dyce Craig, Lee Karlins and Top Chef contestant Jeffrey Jew are hashing out the details for their new Stillwaters Tavern, which will …

    Jeffrey Jew from Top Chef will be the chef at Stillwaters Tavern in St. Petersburg.
  13. Culver's bringing its ButterBurgers to U.S. 19 in Port Richey


    PORT RICHEY — Culver's, a popular restaurant best known in the Midwest for its ButterBurgers, has submitted plans for a restaurant in Port Richey at the city's busiest U.S. 19 intersection.

  14. Review: Tampa Bay's first BurgerFi serves up sublime fast food

    Food & Dining

    TAMPA — Shake Shack, Smashburger, Burger 21, Burger Monger, Square 1 Burgers — surely the premium burger wars are so pitched that the battlefield is at capacity. Yet into the Tampa Bay melee steps BurgerFi, which debuted in the new Post SoHo Square building at the end of October. The North Palm Beach-based …

    BurgerFi, which opened in October next to Ava on S Howard Avenue in Tampa, offers burgers free of antibiotics and hormones, and never frozen or microwaved, sublime fries and dreamy desserts.
  15. 'Hickory Daiquiri Dock' and other cocktail books go to market

    Bars & Spirits

    Tim Federle made his first professional leap from Broadway actor and dancer to children's author penning the middle school novels Better Nate Than Ever and Five, Six, Seven, Nate! Then, it seems, he got thirsty. His first book for adults was the bestselling Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails With a …

    Tim Federle shows off the illustrations in his first book for adults, Tequila Mockingbird, at a reading in Tampa earlier this year. His latest cocktail book is Hickory Daiquiri Dock.