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Restaurant News

  1. Review: Annata Wine Bar on Beach Drive offers superb sips, nibbles

    Food & Dining

    ST. PETERSBURG

    What makes a cheese board exceptional?

    Range is important. You've got to have different animal types (goat, sheep, cow), but also different rind types (bloomy rind cheeses like Brie, Camembert and triple creams; washed rind or stinky monastery-style cheeses; natural rinds) as well as different …

    Bartender Sarah Leake serves friends at the casual “sit and nibble” concept that complements Beach Drive’s full-service restaurants. Sips consist of 30 wines by the glass and 90 bottles.
  2. Koizi hibachi, sushi restaurant expands to Brandon

    Business

    BRANDON — Cheree Zhang wanted to build on the buffet dining model without having to worry about the negative concepts that sometimes accompany self-serve, open food bars.

    Hibachi meals, sushi, soup and more are available at Koizi Endless Hibachi & Sushi Eatery, which recently opened a second Hillsborough County location, at 11245 Causeway Blvd. in Brandon.
  3. Holy Hog smokes downtown; Platinum Zipper boutique blings out

    Retail

    TAMPA — Ceiling fans whirl over picnic tables outside the newest Holy Hog BBQ, cooling customers downing St. Louis-style ribs, smoked ham, pork, turkey, chicken, sausage, brisket and more.

  4. Everybody's Business for Sept. 12: Mimi's Cafe closes

    Business

    CARROLLWOOD — In a move that surprised many, the Mimi's Cafe in Carrollwood's Main Street Plaza closed near the end of August.

  5. Bonefish Grill founders to open Noble Crust restaurant in St. Petersburg

    General

    ST. PETERSBURG — Two members of Bonefish Grill's founding team are opening a new restaurant called Noble Crust, serving food dubbed "seasonal Italian with Southern soul.''

    Noble Crust executive chef Rob Reinsmith, a Pinellas County native, paints table bases in a photo posted to the restaurant project’s Facebook page Aug. 22. Noble Crust will serve locally grown, seasonal ingredients, and most dishes, including gnocchi, pasta, gelato, cured meats and cheeses, will be made in-house and from scratch.
  6. Review: Ulele brings Old Florida style, substance to Tampa waterfront

    Food & Dining

    TAMPA

    It's the most expensive $1 Richard Gonzmart ever spent.

    Deconstructed Seafood Pot Pie is a chowder of shrimp, octopus, grouper, smoked oysters and vegetables in a white wine cream. It’s flanked by pillows of puff pastry and asparagus on wild rice.
  7. Emerging New Florida cuisine is like history on a plate

    Food & Dining

    The new star ingredient on Tampa Bay menus: Florida's rich history.

    At Ulele, gulf oysters are charbroiled on a barbacoa grill, a pre-Columbian tool for slow-roasting over an open flame.
  8. Restaurant pricing expert weighs on how to offset rising costs

    Business

    TAMPA — Rising costs of beef, labor and health care mean tight times for fast-food restaurant owners.

    Tom Kelly, 64, is the founder, chairman and CEO of Revenue Management Solutions.
  9. Graffiti Junktion chugs into Palma Ceia; La Sunshine Boutique dresses downtown; Premier Barber snips vets

    Retail

    PALMA CEIA — The early November opening of sports bar Graffiti Junktion on Bay to Bay Boulevard brings welcome renovation to a former wing joint that flew the coop long ago.

  10. New Little Greek to open in September in Valrico

    Business

    VALRICO — Rob Wolfenden caught the franchise restaurant bug in the early 1990s as a teen.

    Little Greek is a fast-casual restaurant chain that offers the dishes you’d expect, like Greek salads. The Valrico restaurant is set to open in Lithia Crossing shopping center in late September.
  11. Restaurants, breweries collaborate to offer signature beers

    Food & Dining

    Every restaurant worth its salt these days offers a selection of craft beers, often drilling down to showcase local and regional options. And now restaurants are taking it one step further, brewing their own beers or partnering with local breweries to develop signature suds. • These "bespoke beers" are one …

    Ty Weaver, head brewer at 3 Daughters Brewing, and Vinoy executive chef Mark Heimann collaborated on the signature Paul’s Landing. Heimann created a few dishes to go with the fruity wheat beer named for William Paul, who helped to start the orange groves in the area in 1854.
  12. Review: Explore rich flavors of Afghanistan at Anaar in Tampa

    Food & Dining

    TAMPA

    I am going to wager that most of you haven't eaten it. Yes, you've covered your knees with an afghan when you're a little chilly, you've watched those silky Afghan hounds prance at dog shows, but have you ever tried Afghan cuisine? Didn't think so. That's because there are so few restaurants in the United …

    The offerings at Anaar, on Henderson Boulevard in Tampa, include, from left, Kabuli Palaw, Lia’s Loaded Fries and Chicken Carahi. Family-style meals, which are appetizer-entree-dessert combinations, also are available. And, there’s a full bar.
  13. Our food writer conquers Arby's Meat Mountain: Is it any good? (w/ video)

    Food & Dining

    TAMPA — I planted my flag on Meat Mountain, and it was good.

     It's not on the menu, so when you go to Arby's you have to ask for the Meat Mountain.  It costs $10 and has pepper bacon, roast beef, cheddar cheese, angus beef, brisket, corned beef, swiss cheese, ham, turkey and a chicken tender. And, supposedly, it's only 1,275 calories. [JAMES BORCHUCK   |   Times]
  14. Trouble brewing at CopperFish over city fines, unpaid rent

    Retail

    TAMPA — A suit filed this week in Tampa may cause a ripple of fear among local foodies: South Tampa's CopperFish, one of the most exciting debuts of 2013, has hit a rocky patch.

    EDMUND D. FOUNTAIN   |   Times  The CopperFish Platter, consisting of jumbo prawns, chef's choice oysters, Middle Neck clams, poached lobster, and crab cocktail.
  15. Third independent grocery store helps low- and middle-income families

    Business

    BRANDON — Fatima and Ali Jaber moved here from New Jersey 11 years ago with an idea to focus on meeting the grocery needs of middle- and low-income families. Ali ran three stores up north for two decades and together the couple opened the 22,000-square-foot Mega Supermarket on Nebraska Avenue in Tampa featuring a …

    Edwin Cheguen, manager at Brandon Meats & Market, checks on some of the produce items at the store, the third for Fatima and Ali Jaber, at 247 W Brandon Blvd.