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  1. Donatello Restaurant

    Editor's pick

    232 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa, 33609

    The blush is not off the rose at this nearly 30-year-old Tampa original. In the dining room, tuxedoed waiters have the assurance only longtime employment provides, whether that's guiding guests through the menu or whipping up a tableside Caesar (the best in town). The food is rigorously tra...

  2. Bavaro's

    Editor's pick

    Downtown Tampa : 514 N Franklin St., Tampa, 33602

    In Tampa's deliciously blossoming downtown, this is pure Neapolitan know-how. Dan Bavaro spent time roaming Italy, falling deeply in lust with the mosaic-tiled, rounded brick pizza ovens handmade by Stefano Ferrara and his family outside Naples for the...

  3. Station House

    260 First Ave. S, St. Petersburg, 33701

    They’ve kept the cool basementy ratskeller feel of Cafe Alma, but broken up the center of the room with circular booths and, through a combination of new upholstery and blue-gray wainscoting, given the whole thing a higher level of sophistication. The best seats are at the bar, partly bec...

  4. The Refinery

    Editor's pick

    Seminole Heights : 5137 N Florida Ave., Tampa, 33603

    The Refinery is certainly Seminol...

  5. Castile Restaurant and Rooftop at Hotel Zamora

    3701 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach, 33706

    Right out of the gate, Hotel Zamora, a stylish 50-room boutique, seems to be doing things its own way. It's not on the beach side of Gulf Boulevard, but uses its bayou-side setting to best effect with a ravishing waterside pool and patio (and it's constructing a full rooftop bar and res...

  6. Fodder and Shine

    5910 N Florida Ave., Tampa, 33604

    Hours: 4-10 p.m. Sun.-Wed., 4-11 p.m. Thur.-Sat.

    Read a review here.

  7. Boizao Steakhouse

    Editor's pick

    International Plaza District : 4606 W Boy Scout Boulevard, Tampa, 33607

    Boizao (pronounced "boy-zoun") opened a couple years ago along Boy Scout Boulevard to capture some of the Tampa International Airport/Westshore business crowd. It's a vast, slick space (they may serve 1,000 diners a day) with a festive, all-you-can-eat party vibe. The waft of roti...

  8. Jade Bistro

    Editor's pick

    Pinellas Park : 6139 Park Blvd., Pinellas Park, 33781

    Almost all the dishes at Kim Luu's restaurant have that heady Vietnamese alchemy of sweet balancing salty or spicy, crunchy pitted against plush. Luu opened little space as An Ngon, but even regulars had a hard time pronouncing it. An is Vietnamese for "taste" and ngon means "...

  9. Meze 119

    Downtown St. Petersburg : 119 Second St. N, St. Petersburg, 33701

    Meze 119 is billed as "authentic Middle Eastern food with modern flair." That it is. What it may take the unobservant diner a while to figure out, though, is that it's 100 percent vegetarian. It's not that owner Dean Hershkowitz is being coy. It's as he says: "A lot o...

  10. Bailey's Catering & Restaurant

    Davis Islands : 238 E Davis Blvd. # 102, Tampa, 33606

    Author/radio host/chef/owner Kim Bailey has a lot going on in this prominent corner of Davis Islands. The Southern fare will stick to your ribs, and there is no shortage of down-homeness. Highlights of the menu were a spunky take on shrimp and grits and crab cakes that we’re almost entire...

  11. Bern's Steak House

    Editor's pick

    South Tampa : 1208 S Howard Ave., Tampa, 33606

    Naysayers can grouse, but there's no denying the fine meat and one of the world's best and cheapest wine lists. You can drink back through 20 years in Spanish, Italians, Rhones and zins for $75 or less. Lighten up and relax; just exploring the menu's new additions takes time. Desser...

  12. Diner Sixty West

    2525 Gulf-to-Bay Blvd., Clearwater, 33765

    Get in early to allow proper time to go through the huge menu. You’re bound to find something to interest you, because there is a little of everything, but a couple of tips: the chicken sandwiches are good, as is the meatloaf. And save room for a slice of pie from the dessert...

  13. Little Greek (South Tampa)

    South Tampa : 1155 S Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa, 33629

    Little Greek president Nick Vojnovic and founder Sigrid Bratic have quickly opened eight in the Tampa Bay area. Vojnovic was the previous president of Beef 'O' Brady's, helping that company grow from 30 units to 270. This new venture is a clean, pleasant, order-at-the-counter affair...

  14. Moon Under Water

    Downtown St. Petersburg : 332 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg, 33701

    Since 1996, its calling card has been a loose and ethnically diverse array of pub grub, all able accompaniments to a delicious, foam-capped black and tan. The signature dish is chicken tikka masala (said to be "Britain's true national dish"), and even Moon Under Water's walls ...

  15. Re Federico Ristorante

    Sarasota beaches : 15 Avenue of the Flowers, Longboat Key, 34228

  16. Frankies Hotdogs

    909 W Kennedy Blvd., Tampa, 33606

    If you're craving something substantial as a late-night snack, head to a Connecticut-based mini-chain called Frankies. Frankies keeps it very simple with its burger, plus it is open until midnight on the weekends. It also offers a side of vegetables with your burger. They’re fried, bu...

  17. Grind House Bar & Grill

    1500 N McMullen Booth Road # A15, Clearwater, 33759

    **Description provided by this business** Whether you're looking for a friendly place to unwind or just a place to hang out, Grind House Bar & Grill is the answer. Enjoy a British/American menu complimented by a full liquor bar and 42 varieties of beer from around the w...

  18. Gator's Dockside

    5840 E Fowler Ave., Tampa, 33617

    Gator's is an All-American, everything-Sunshine-State, Parrothead kind of joint. Like an alligator hunting lodge meets modern Florida retreat. You'll feel most at home if you're a University of Florida grad - obviously; almost as comfy if you're a USF Bull. If you're a Semin...

  19. Tampa Bay Brewing Co.

    Editor's pick

    Ybor City : 1600 E Eighth Ave., Tampa, 33605

    They brew their own beer, and it's damn good. They make their own pizza dough with that beer, and it's damn good, too. Beer-infused menu items like the Iron Rat Stout crab cakes and jalapeno beer cheese soup - well, they're also pretty damn delightful. But if you've lived your e...

  20. Joe's Crab Shack

    2730 Gulf to Bay Blvd., Clearwater, 33759

    It's better than many fish stands, but not because of food quality. The drinks put Joe's just over the edge. But if you're a serious lover of all things carb, you could do worse than this kitschy spot. Their steamer pots serve two.

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