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Restaurant News

  1. Publix's beloved, and seasonal, Hula Hula Macadamia Ice Cream back in stores

    Taste Test

    OMG, it's back. Last year, our Taster's Choice panel slogged through dozens of punishing blind taste tests (we double-dog dare you to sample ten cold chicken broths or Worcestershires without getting a little tetchy), and one glorious day we set our …

    The Hula Hula Macadamia Ice Cream, purchased Monday at a Publix in St. Petersburg. [Photo by Michelle Stark]
  2. Review: Fodder & Shine is a faithful re-creation of Florida Cracker food

    Food & Dining


    Recipe for world domination: Start a successful restaurant. Once that's up and running, launch No. 2, often something more affordable and accessible so it builds customer base without stealing thunder from the flagship. Eventually, Vegas, Dubai and frozen entrees.

    Cornmeal, Chicken Fat Fried Chicken is accompanied by a side of no-flour skillet corn bread and tomato gravy and rice. Fodder & Shine does a fine job showcasing fresh and local ingredients.
  3. Trouble in beach bar paradise: Pinellas and the Getaway feud with I.C. Sharks



    From a distance, the waterfront bars and restaurant scene at I.C. Sharks and the Getaway off Gandy Boulevard look like a Shangri-la of boats, beer, seafood and sand. But the owner of the Getaway and Pinellas County are both in litigation against popular beach bar, seafood market and bait shop …

    TIKI HUT ROOF ON DOCK: According to Pinellas County, I.C. Sharks has violated codes by building a tiki hut over its dock, which keeps light from reaching underwater vegetation. Fines have reached more than $500,000 since May 2013. Owners of neighboring restaurant-bar the Getaway say that I.C. Sharks is using its pilings to anchor floating docks.
  4. Clementine Café via Airstream is coming to Ybor Daily Market



    They're still talking about the chicken.

    "It was perfect," said Theresa Bloise, a food blogger at She Bites, who was one of about 20 people at a private dinner last weekend catered by the soon-to-debut Ybor City restaurant Clementine Café.

    Brian and Misty Sommers and their son, Franklin, 8, pose in front of their Airstream at Executive Auto Design in Largo on Jan. 20. The Land Yacht will become Clementine Café, which will be at the Ybor Daily Market at 1920 E Seventh Ave. in Ybor City in February.
  5. Tampa restaurant news: Fusion Bowl, a French bakery, relocated chocolate and more

    Food & Dining

    Downtown Tampa is starting the year with a heap of restaurant news. Fusion Bowl just opened at 504 E Jackson St., owned by Michelle Vuu, whose family has been in the restaurant business in St. Petersburg for years (currently Edo Japanese Steakhouse). As one might expect, the menu is an Asian-fusion concept that …

  6. The Scrambled Egg opens in FishHawk; 'gelati' comes to Hyde Park


    LITHIA — FishHawk residents Jennifer Adamo and Joel Granata felt inconvenienced having to drive more than 4 miles in any direction to enjoy a hearty breakfast.

    Joel Granata and Jennifer Adamo opened the Scrambled Egg restaurant on FishHawk Boulevard last week.
  7. Review: Cocktails inspire menu at Station House in St. Petersburg

    Food & Dining


    Beach Drive restaurants garnered most of the hubbub in 2014, but 2015 might be the year of First Avenue S. Construction is going great guns on Hofbrauhaus (which has other locations in Chicago, Pittsburgh, Las Vegas and Munich), World of Beer folks are working on opening pizza restaurant POW (WOB to …

    Bartender Alexandre Bravo focuses on the concoction at hand at Station House, which serves “American cocktail cuisine.”
  8. Yard of Ale Gastro Pub in Feather Sound closes its doors

    Food & Dining

    CLEARWATER — Monday drink specials were posted on social media, but by night Yard of Ale Gastro Pub in Feather Sound had closed its doors for good. What happened?

    The bar at the Yard of Ale Gastro Pub in Clearwater, is host to dozens of craft beers, wines and spirits - scotch, bourbon, whisky - house wines and nightcaps.
  9. Tampa's Ava now open for lunch

    Food & Dining

    TAMPA — Michael Stewart and Joe Maddon's hot restaurant Ava, which debuted in November, quietly began lunch service Monday.

    The interior of Ava.
  10. Some Moscow Mule drinkers have sticky fingers

    Public Safety

    The Moscow Mule, a mix of ginger beer, lime juice and vodka, hit the Tampa Bay scene about two years ago in a shiny copper mug not long after it was named one of Oprah's favorite things. But as the cocktail has become more popular so have the mugs, worth about $20 each. Now a growing number of proprietors are forced to …

    The Moscow Mule is traditionally served in a copper mug, but restaurants like Z-Grille have seen the mugs disappear.
  11. App ranks Tampa Bay's most-Instagrammed restaurants

    Food & Dining

    Foodstagramming was not among the Oxford English Dictionary's words of the year. (The big prize went to "vaping." Eh.)

    Hey, it’s a celeb-stagram! Keyboardist and youngest sister in the Grammy-nominated indie rock trio Haim Alana Haim snapped this at Hogan’s Beach.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.