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  1. Wine Madonna

    Downtown St. Petersburg : 111 Second Ave. NE, St. Petersburg, 33701

    Wine lounge for wine lovers; wine list changes regularly, includes dessert wines, ports, wine smoothies. No kitchen, but limited menu from nearby selected venues available.Hours: open daily at 3 p.m., till late, especially on weekends; available for private tastings.Read more here.

  2. Oystercatchers

    Editor's pick

    Rocky Point : 2900 Bayport Drive, Tampa, 33634

    The Grand Hyatt puts hotel quality at sea level with a wide range of smart fish and seafood, including a mix-and-match market of choice style and sauce choices for the day's catch. Great view from top-dollar Sunday brunch to rosy sunsets.

  3. SideBern's

    Editor's pick

    South Tampa : 2208 W Morrison Ave., Tampa, 33606

    Where Bern's is the big-name brawn in wine, steaks and overindulgence, SideBern's is the modern brains and R&D lab. The next generation of Laxers caught up to contemporary cooking and turned SideBern's into a culinary academy. On the plate, that results in mind-bending entrees, especially gr …

  4. Columbia Restaurant

    Editor's pick

    Ybor City : 2117 E Seventh Ave., Tampa, 33605

    The granddaddy of them all, Columbia Restaurant bears the distinction of being the oldest restaurant in Florida as well as the nation's largest Spanish/Cuban restaurant, with 13 rooms extending one full city block. Some of these waiters have been here a lifetime, there are stirring flamenco show …

  5. Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World

    Editor's pick

    Lake Buena Vista : 1515 N Buena Vista Drive, Lake Buena Vista, 32830

    The original concept for this Disney park was that it would operate as an actual production facility, so the park has a real backstage Hollywood vibe, including behind-the-scenes glimpses of Hollywood-style action live shows. For thrill-seekers, there's some of Disney's most heart-racing rides:  …

  6. Salt Rock Grill

    Editor's pick

    North Pinellas beaches : 19325 Gulf Blvd., Indian Shores, 33811

    This gorgeously designed collaboration between Frank Chivas and Tom Pritchard is renowned for its straight-ahead grill cookery, fresh seafood, raw bar and deep wine list. The restaurant also has a fantastic patio bar that overlooks the Intercoastal Waterway, and an outrageous early-bird special  …

  7. Roy's

    Editor's pick

    International Plaza District : 4342 W Boy Scout Blvd., Tampa, 33607

    It's hard to resent chain restaurants when Outback can bring a chef like Roy Yamaguchi and his jeweled fusion of French polish and Asian flavors to our table. Love rack of lamb or Hawaiian fish? Roy's local partners do them up teak-brown, with orchids, breezy guitars and a happy crowd of casual  …

  8. Roy's

    Editor's pick

    Sarasota : 2001 Siesta Drive, Sarasota, 34239

    It's hard to resent chain restaurants when Outback can bring a chef like Roy Yamaguchi and his jeweled fusion of French polish and Asian flavors to our table. Love rack of lamb or Hawaiian fish? Roy's local partners do them up teak-brown, with orchids, breezy guitars and a happy crowd of casual  …

  9. Universal Orlando

    Editor's pick

    Orlando : 6000 Universal Blvd., Orlando, 32819

    Orlando's other big theme park franchise always seems like it's trying to keep up with Mickey Mouse and Co. down the road. But it's come a long way in the past decade. The first thing you must know is the terminology: the entire complex is known as Universal Orlando, and that includes two theme  …

  10. A Taste for Wine

    Editor's pick

    Downtown St. Petersburg : 241 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, 33701

    Bern's may have the better wine list, but many of us would rather hang out at A Taste for Wine. The wrought-iron balcony offers a great view of Central Avenue in St. Pete. Inside, there's art on the walls from JJ Watts gallery, and live music on weekends: jazz, folk, flamenco, pop, etc. They als …

  11. Black Palm Restaurant

    South Pinellas beaches : 1700 Park St., St. Petersburg, 33710

    Kathy and Lui Arango ran Black Palm on the Pass-a-Grille end of St. Pete Beach for eight years, building a reputation as a great place for Latin-inspired tapas and an even better place for wedding receptions and other nuptial-related gatherings. They closed that location in early in 2014 and pro …

  12. Cafe Largo

    Editor's pick

    Largo : 12551 Indian Rocks Road, Largo, 33774

    Cafe Largo, a fixture since 1986, is aging beautifully. And while menu choices aren't vast, each one gets the same careful treatment: An included house salad is napped with a model Dijon vinaigrette, with a handful of house-roasted sweet peppers, a cube of roasted beet in a sweet-tangy Bagnol v …

  13. Sundial 19

    Downtown St. Petersburg : 151 Second Ave. N, St. Petersburg, 33701

    For a classy date night, it's hard to beat a meal at one of downtown St. Pete's cool restaurants, a movie, a walk through the park and - why not? - a night at the Vinoy. BayWalk recently opened "The Gallery," a wing of four smaller indie-movie theaters with oversized leather seats, art …

  14. Cafe Ponte

    Editor's pick

    Clearwater : 13505 Icot Blvd., Clearwater, 33760

    Cafe Ponte is still a yardstick against which the area's other fine dining restaurants may be measured. The dining room looks positively spruce, its red, sage and black color scheme crisp and stylish; linens and table appointments are top-notch. Servers are courteous and professional even when s …

  15. 717 South

    Editor's pick

    South Tampa : 717 S Howard Ave., Tampa, 33606

    Read a review here.

  16. Capital Grille

    Editor's pick

    International Plaza District : Bay Street at International Plaza, 2223 N West Shore Blvd. , Tampa, 33607

    When you need a $47 steak to make your Neiman Marcus purchases seem a mere pittance, this is the place to go. It's a national dry-aged beef chain with a 400-plus label wine list. Capital Grille offers top-notch service and a steak menu that's more inventive than many (see: the dry-aged sirloin c …

  17. Council Oak Steakhouse

    Editor's pick

    Tampa : 5223 Orient Road, Tampa, 33610

    Council Oak has managed to assemble a competent, thoughtful service staff and to train them well. Owned by the Seminole tribe (as is the restaurant of the same name in Hollywood), Council Oak is a new contender in the great American steak house wars. Morton's, Sullivan's Steakhouse, Don Shula's, …

  18. Rococo Steak

    St. Petersburg : 655 Second Ave. S, St. Petersburg, 33701

    From side dishes to musical selections, Rococo has brought a subversive eye to reinventing the steakhouse, its presence alone a novelty in downtown St. Pete, where there is an odd paucity of steakhouses. Rococo Steak offers no creamed spinach, no boats of béarnaise, no baked potatoes, no  …

  19. 3 Daughters Brewing

    St. Petersburg : 222 22nd St. S, St. Petersburg, 33701

    A project of Mike Harting, 3 Daughters opened in late 2013 and features an 18,000-square-foot production brewery in the Grand Central district, plus a wood and stone tasting room, a game "room" of sorts in part of its warehouse and an honest to goodness miniature golf course. A little  …

  20. Tryst Gastro Lounge

    Downtown St. Petersburg : 240 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg, 33701

    Banquettes suitable for the likes of Marie Antoinette (had she been a barfly), a long onyx bar capped by a crowd of dazzling pendant lamps, shimmery silver wallpaper and a reflective mosaic tile backsplash on the bar — it's about as stylish a nightspot as we've seen in these parts. It has  …

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