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Restaurant News

  1. Dining Planner: Clearwater Beach Restaurant Week starts

    Food & Dining

    Clearwater Beach Restaurant Week

    Clearwater Beach Restaurant Week runs through May 22.
  2. 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. 
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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]
  11. 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.
  12. Review: How snack subscription boxes NatureBox, Graze, Love with Food and Treatsie stack up

    Food & Dining

    Call it the Amazon Effect, this idea that you can order anything online and it will show up at your doorstep a few days later. We're used to it for things like toilet paper and electronics. But mail delivery services have by now fully taken over the world of food, too, for everything from fast food to groceries to home …

    Snack delivery services will send an assortment of goodies, ranging from quinoa to sweet-salty pumpkin and sunflowers seeds, straight to your home for a fee.
  13. Reader feedback: We wrote about New Jersey pork roll, and a lot of people responded

    Food & Dining

    When I wrote about the New Jersey pork roll in our Try This feature last week, I had a feeling there were many Times readers out there who love it as much as I do. Since then, I have received a lot of emails filled with adoration for and memories of this Jersey meat delicacy. Here are a few of them, complete with …

    Hey, Taylor Pork Roll. Thanks for the taste — and the memories.
  14. Dining Planner: Where to eat during the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

    Food & Dining

    pit stops: AROUND the Grand Prix

    One of the Kings Street Food Counter’s offering is the Marv Levy, a chicken sausage topped with celery, carrots, bleu cheese crumbles and buffalo sauce, and accompanied by a cucumber-tomato-onion salad. The diner is in downtown St. Petersburg.
  15. How to eat Indian food the traditional way (hint: it's with your hands)

    Food & Dining

    If it's bland, run.

    That's my No. 1 rule for eating Indian food in restaurants. It's self-explanatory.

    Diners at India Grill in Tampa eat with their hands, as is custom, using naan and other breads to wrap around the food and gravy in their dishes so the whole morsel can be eaten in one scoop.