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  1. 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, …

  2. Hattricks Tavern

    Editor's pick

    Downtown Tampa : 107 S Franklin St, Tampa, 33602

    It's not the closest hockey bar to the Amalie Arena, but it's the best. The staff knows everything about the game, and TV analyst Bobby "The Chief" Taylor has been known to stop by. With a nice menu, tons of Lightning memorabilia on the walls, tasteful brick decor and a shuffleboard ta …

  3. Hooters (Tampa, Channelside)

    Channelside : 615 Channelside Drive # 127, Tampa, 33602

    With a prime corner spot at Channelside, this Hooters gets its share of Gasparilla revelers, cruise boat passengers, Forum partiers and anyone else that comes into its orbit. So consider yourself either stoked for meeting far-flung constituencies or forewarned about a large mass of party-minded  …

  4. Spain Restaurant & Toma Bar

    Downtown Tampa : 513 N Tampa St, Tampa, 33602

    In a downtown that has tumbleweeds and buzzards (we're kidding about the first item but the second is oddly true) it's encouraging to know that there's a hot spot for swank mingling, great sangria and tasty tapas. Renovated in 2003 by Abell Garcia, the space features a dominant use of white, plu …

  5. Eddie & Sam's NY Pizza

    Downtown Tampa : 203 E Twiggs St, Tampa, 33602

    When one of the ginormous cheese pies emerges from the pizza oven, it's easy to lose your cool. You want to stand there, fold a slice in half and inhale. It's pure NYC, get this, made with real New York City water. The pie: Thin, pliable crust but with the right chewy tooth-resistance, it's the  …

  6. R Bar

    South Pinellas beaches : 245 108th Ave., Treasure Island, 33706

    It's dark, and the exterior is a little sketchy. But the drinks are stiff. The staff is warm, and Mike Calzone rips it up on guitar, sax, whatever every Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. And while you're listening to Calzone, you're doing this: gorging on snow crabs. That's on Tuesda …

  7. Nakaya Japanese Bistro - CLOSED

    South Tampa : 301 W Platt St # C, Tampa, 33606

    CLOSED - At the end of 2013 real ramen came to town. The Cadillac version is chashu ramen, a rich soy-inflected broth swirled with spinach and seaweed and toothsome noodles, with halved soft-boiled quail egg, a pink-edged oddity called kamaboko (a cured seafood product that is more texture than  …

  8. Annata Wine Bar

    Downtown St. Petersburg : 300 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg, 33701

    Hours: 4-10 p.m. Sun.-Thur., until 11 p.m. Fri.-Sat.Read a review here.

  9. Floridian Cuban Sandwiches

    Editor's pick

    South Tampa : 4424 W Kennedy Blvd. # B, Tampa, 33609

    Harold Seltzer, co-founder and former president of the Sam Seltzer's Steakhouse chain, saw a gem called the Floridian. It is a Treasure Island old-timer founded by the Dilar family, distinguished by its long record of winning the title of best Cuban sandwich in the area. He licensed the concept  …

  10. Bella's Italian Cafe

    South Tampa : 1413 S Howard Ave. # 101, Tampa, 33606

    Joanie Corneil and Bill Shumate opened the SoHo restaurant more than 25 years ago. At the time it was one of only a handful of restaurants between Kennedy and Bayshore. Years later, many times more restaurants have come to the area. The place has had two remodels in its lifetime and still manage …

  11. Crystal Dining Room at the Floridan Palace Hotel

    Downtown Tampa : 905 N Florida Ave, Tampa, 33602

    Looking up, it's a visual smorgasbord: shimmering chandeliers, ornate gilded wrought-iron balustrades and immense white and gold-trimmed drapes Scarlett O'Hara could have made a whole wardrobe out of. But the best is the ceiling, hand-painted medallions and cupids and scrolled crests that nearly …

  12. Kurdi's Fresh Mediterranean Grill

    Downtown Tampa : 777 N Ashley Drive, Tampa, 33602

    Heveen Kurdi launched this spot several years ago, really a straight-up example of the foods from her home in Amman, Jordan. Like more familiar Lebanese cuisine, it was rife with kebabs, hummus, falafel and shawarmas. It became a go-to spot for business lunchers, but as the sophistication level  …

  13. Fusion Bowl

    Tampa : 504 E Kennedy Blvd., Tampa, 33602

    Hours: 8 a.m.-5.m. Mon.-Fri., 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Sat.-Sun.Read a review here.

  14. Pisces Sushi and Global Bistro

    Countryside : 2340 State Road 580, Clearwater, 33763

    James Keene spent years at Haiku Sushi in St. Petersburg, as sushi chef at Island Way and then as opening sushi chef at the Venue. At Pisces, the focused menu stays rooted in Japan with the odd South American or Mediterranean fillip. The sushi aesthetic is clean, without a lot of gloppiness, and …

  15. Nabruzzi Trattoria

    Lutz : 6062 Van Dyke Road, Lutz, 33558

    Hours: 4-9 p.m. Tues.-Thur., until 10 p.m. Fri.-Sat., noon-8 p.m. Sun.Read a review here.

  16. Haven Wine Bar

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

    Hours: 5-10 p.m. Mon.-Wed., until 11 p.m. Thur.-Sat.;, closed Sun.

  17. Farm Table Kitchen at Locale Market

    Downtown St. Petersburg : 183 Second Ave. N, St. Petersburg, 33701

    The tiny restaurant set on the second floor of Michael Mina and Don Pintabona's Locale Market represents the 1 percent of meals that transcend sustenance and become art. It's not for everyone. The $105 price tag will exclude some folks, and introverts may find it aversive to share a table with g …

  18. Locale Market

    Downtown St. Petersburg : 183 Second Ave. N, St. Petersburg, 33701

    The 20,000-square-foot collaboration between celebrity chefs Michael Mina and Don Pintabona in the Sundial complex includes 11 kitchens.Hours: 10 a.m.-9 p.m. daily, bar opens at 11:30 a.m., at 12 p.m. on Sundays.

  19. Dulcet Restaurant and Lounge

    West Pasco : 6220 Grand Blvd., New Port Richey, 34652

    Dulcet is equal parts restaurant and nightclub, the brainchild of local pharmacist Nelson Ohihoin. He was nonplussed by the area's lack of nightlife, importing, with partner David Hall Jr., innovative technology to the 6,200-square-foot property. There is a constellation of more than 40 Bose spe …

  20. Sea Salt at Sundial

    Downtown St. Petersburg : 183 Second Ave. N, St. Petersburg, 33701

    Fabrizio and Ingrid Aielli opened the glamorous second outpost of their Italian seafood extravaganza (the first is in Naples, Fla.) early in 2015. This is traditional fine dining with a deep-pockets/far-reaching wine list and a sumptuously appointed dining room. (Even the ladies' room boasts exc …

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