Restaurant news

  1. Closing Masaryktown Harmony House Restaurant unloads 'estate' collection

    Business

    MASARYKTOWN — After 20 years dishing up homemade schnitzel, spaetzle and other European fare, Pete and Mariana Mandreanu have packed up the pots and pans at Harmony House Family Restaurant and are embarking on another passion: spending time with their grandchildren.

    Mariana Mandreanu, who came from Romania to the United States in the 1970s with husband Pete, sorts necklaces for display the at Harmony House Family Restaurant estate sale.
  2. Review: At Sohkdii, go bold with spicy Laotian cuisine

    Food & Dining

    KENNETH CITY

    There are reasons there are so few Laotian restaurants in this area. Some of it is immigration patterns and demographics, and some of it is because Thai food has stolen its thunder a bit. The country just west of Laos has made a concerted effort to promote its cuisine to the world and has been largely …

    Paintings of Nang Kwak, Goddess of Wealth, watch over the dining room of Sohkdii Lao & Asian Cuisine in Kenneth City, possibly the only Laotian restaurant in the bay area.
  3. Ohio-based Panini's opens in Lutz, plans Westchase expansion

    Retail

    LUTZ — Panini's Bar & Grill recently opened in the space that once housed Splash! An Ocean Grill. If the bustling crowd at 3 p.m. on a Tuesday is any indication, this place is off to a promising start.

  4. Review: Castile at Hotel Zamora is a new culinary star in St. Pete Beach

    Food & Dining

    ST. PETE BEACH

    Restaurant chefs are often wanderers, staying in a kitchen a year or two before moving on. For this reason, reviewing restaurants gets tricky. You say glowing things about a restaurant and, poof, the chef is promptly off somewhere new. I've been watching Ted Dorsey for a while, but I took my eye off …

    Temptations at Castile, at the Hotel Zamora, include baked oysters served atop a Himalayan salt block, black grouper cheeks and yellowfin tuna poke. Ted Dorsey and Zach West think outside the standard beach-food box, especially with seafood and salads.
  5. Fitlife offers healthy, fresh meal options in Brandon

    Business

    BRANDON — The mac 'n' cheese has carrots and veggies hidden in the sauce, and the brownies are made with a dried plum base.

    From left, Tiffany Doyle, community store leader, Jim Studdiford, franchise owner, and David Osterweil, founder, gather this month at the grand opening of Brandon’s first Fitlife Foods store. It’s the sixth area location for the concept that began in 2011 and allows customers to purchase healthy, ready-made meals in three sizes and heat them up at their convenience.
  6. Frenchy's rooftop bar opening at Clearwater's Capitol Theatre

    Business

    CLEARWATER — When the renovated Capitol Theatre reopened for business last December, concertgoers were wowed by its acoustics, its lineup of shows, its state-of-the-art sound system, its wraparound exterior balcony and the cool bars in its lobby and mezzanine.

    Frenchy’s Rooftop Terrace, at the newly renovated Capitol Theatre, will offer drinks and free hors d’oeuvres on show nights.
  7. Two Twistee Treat ice cream stands slated to open

    Retail

    TOWN 'N COUNTRY — Two new Twistee Treat ice cream stands are opening in North Tampa in time to provide some tasty relief from the sweltering summer heat.

    You’ll soon be able to visit two cone-shaped Twistee Treat spots locally. One location will open on Sheldon Road this month, and another will open on Fletcher Avenue in August.
  8. Review: Guy Harvey RumFish Grill makes a big splash in St. Pete Beach

    Food & Dining

    ST. PETE BEACH — There are those stores that are like clubs. Bass Pro Shops, Ron Jon Surf Shops, even Apple stores — yes, they sell stuff, but it's more aspirational than that. These are lifestyles on offer.

    A stunning aquarium, designed by the Tanked guys, overlooks diners at RumFish Grill & Bar in St. Pete Beach on July 10.
  9. Former Gator, NFL star Crawford Ker sells WingHouse to grow it

    General

    After 20 years in the business of chicken wings, beer and sexy waitresses, Ker's WingHouse has a new owner. But Big Daddy remains in charge.

    Former Florida Gator Crawford Ker started WingHouse in 1994.
  10. Local restaurants serve up sides of classes, paddleboarding, yoga

    Food & Dining

    you sit there, they bring you the food. Chew, swallow, pay, depart. Unless you're an exceptionally vigorous chewer, you're not breaking a sweat the whole evening. It's why most of us go out to eat: so we don't have to do the work. But when you think about it, it's a little passive. For you overachievers, what if …

    You can learn Italian and enjoy a meal with Roberto Alvarez.
  11. Visit Tallahassee for fine and funky food and lodging (and football)

    Florida

    TALLAHASSEE — Boiled p-nuts. Sometimes "boiled" is spelled wrong, too. There are stands that dot the back roads of the rural Florida Panhandle, fronted by hand-lettered signs that tout the glories of the green peanut. The outskirts of Tallahassee are P-nut Central, the stands' proprietors hunkered over burners at …

    For a terrific view of Tallahassee, head to the Level 8 bar atop the Hotel Duval on Monroe Street. It offers one of the nicest views of Tallahassee looking west toward Florida State University. The Capitol can be seen to the south.
  12. Review: Farm-to-table food wows at Tampa Marriott's Waterside Grill

    Food & Dining

    TAMPA

    The Waterside Marriott closed its marquee restaurant, Il Terrazzo, in January. This moves its No. 2 restaurant, Waterside Grill, into the primary spot. The decor will underwhelm you, as will the service, but then the food comes and Kapow! you're shocked by how good it is. Longtime chef Rich Willerer is …

    Grilled mahimahi ($24) sits on a bed of cucumber, radish, cilantro, lime and jalapeno salad at the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel.
  13. Restaurateur Richard Gonzmart crowdsources food sampling for Ulele restaurant

    Human Interest

    TAMPA HEIGHTS — Dinner one day last week for a lucky few — 40 or so — was a sampling of ice creams vying to make the menu of soon-to-open Ulele.

    Richard Gonzmart, who also owns the Columbia, says that the opening date of Ulele, featuring native-inspired cuisine, is not set.
  14. Rococo among Tampa Bay restaurants honored by Wine Spectator

    Bars & Spirits

    ST. PETERSBURG — Rococo Steak's efforts paid off.

     From left Josh Fan, Chris Prachar and Joe Orsino stand in the temperature controlled cellar of Rococo Steak. [LARA CERRI  |   Times]
  15. Bacco and Venere restaurant takes a Roman spin

    Business

    TEMPLE TERRACE — One of the newest additions to the city's dining scene takes its name from the Roman god of wine and the goddess of beauty.