1. Elevage at the Epicurean Hotel

    Tampa : 1207 S Howard Ave., Tampa, 33606

  2. Jackie's on Corey Bistro & Catering

    South Pinellas beaches : 338 Corey Ave., St. Pete Beach, 33706

    Chef Jackie likes to please, with a little bit of sweetness and big-hearted portions, but always with an eye to what's healthy. She's big into dishes that go light on carbs and gluten but focus in on gutsy veggies and fresh gulf fish. She respects her classical roots (steak Diane, an escargot na …

  3. Cuvee 103 Restaurant and Wine Bar

    Clearwater : 2454 McMullen-Booth Road, #103, Clearwater, 33759

    Hours: 3-10 p.m. Mon., 3-11 p.m. Tues.-Tues.-Wed., 3-midnight Thurs., 4 p.m.-1 a.m. Fri.-Sat., 2-8 p.m. Sun.Read a review here.

  4. 717 South

    Editor's pick

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

    Read a review here.

  5. Three Oaks Cafe

    Clearwater : 1575 S Fort Harrison Ave., Clearwater, 33756

  6. Nordstrom's Bazille

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

    In early 2013, as part of a major renovation, Nordstrom revealed its new cafe, Bazille. Replacing the more generic Cafe Bistro, Bazille is lovely, all curvy ceiling lines and warm chocolate browns. Although its interior is decidedly contemporary, there is something that makes one nostalgic for t …

  7. Yard of Ale Gastro Pub

    Gateway : 2675 Ulmerton Road, Clearwater, 33762

    Craft beers, with more than 28 on tap and 50 bottle varieties, specialty cocktails, beer flights, American fusion cuisine.Hours: 4 p.m.-3 a.m. Mon.-Fri., noon-3 a.m. Sat.-Sun.

  8. Cigar City Brewpub

    Tampa : 15491 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa, 33618

    In what was once a T.G.I. Friday's, Joey Redner has launched his first Cigar City Brewpub, the work of a brilliant team in fine fettle. Superbly designed, it's whimsical and lively with a short, affordable menu that feels like a breath of fresh air. It's gastropub fare with a spin, bringing some …

  9. Louies Modern

    Sarasota : 1289 N Palm Ave, Sarasota, 34276

    Hours: 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Mon.-Thur., until 11 p.m. Fri.-Sat., closed Sun.Read more here.

  10. Besa Grill

    Clearwater : 2542 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater, 33761

    In the spot that used to be Tuscano Grill, adjacent to the slick-Med Carmel Café and around the corner from the popular Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza, Besa Grill opened at the end of 2011. Sister restaurant to FlameStone in Oldsmar, it's Latin-inspired, not Mexican exactly, with stylish, nig …

  11. Birch & Vine at the Birchwood

    Downtown St. Petersburg : 340 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg, 33701

    Wander from the white-curtained cabanas to the edge of the rooftop with its sweeping views of Tampa Bay and Straub Park and you'll hear people all saying the same thing: "Why doesn't every place on Beach Drive have a rooftop bar?" Still, the main attraction is the ground-floor 225-seat …

  12. Stann's on 5th

    Safety Harbor : 155 Fifth Ave. N, Safety Harbor, 34695

    Hours: 4-9 p.m. Tues.-Thur., 8:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Fri.-Sun.Read a review here.

  13. Fire Bar & Grill

    Tampa : 3023 W Kennedy Blvd., Tampa, 33609

    New in 2012, the décor is a little clunky and amateurish, but Fire is certainly smokin' on the culinary front, having hired chef Ryan Kelly, a Culinary Institute of America grad and longtime alum of Roy's and most recently Tampa Bay Brewing Co. He has a serious knack of bringing contempor …

  14. Red Door Wine Market

    Lakeland : 733 E Palmetto St., Lakeland, 33801

    Lunch and dinner in a California wine country tasting room setting.

  15. Edison food+drink lab

    Editor's pick

    South Tampa : 912 W Kennedy Blvd., Tampa, 33606

    Edison embodies what was most exciting and new in 2012. I've heard restaurant industry folks grousing: How does Jeannie Pierola keep the prices so reasonable at her inventive Kennedy Corridor newcomer, opened in August (foie gras dishes under $20?!)? To them she might quote Thomas A. Edison hims …

  16. Mangroves SOHO Restaurant and Bar

    Editor's pick

    South Tampa : 208 S Howard Ave., Tampa, 33606

    Established in 1996, Mangroves has been a key player in making SoHo one of the region's top dining and drinking districts. The two-story restaurant and bar, which also features a deck with private cabanas, doubles as a nightclub on the weekends. Superior service makes this an excellent place to  …

  17. Grille One Sixteen (Carrollwood)

    Editor's pick

    Tampa : 15405 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa, 33618

    Terence Terenzi and partner Tom Schelldorf did the same very smart thing they did with their flagship restaurant of the same name in Carrollwood: They hired Angel del Monte of Alfonso Architects to do the design. It is drop-dead hip, super Miami-glammy. It is chock-full of white leather and slee …

  18. Indigenous Restaurant

    Sarasota : 239 S Links Ave., Sarasota, 34236

    It's a lovely Florida bungalow just a couple of blocks off Sarasota's Main Street, with a rustic interior and great use of indoor/outdoor space, including an intimate "wine cottage." Because it's busy and tables are set fairly tight, it can seem frenetic at times, but servers add warmt …

  19. Retropolitan

    Sarasota : 437 Burns Court, Sarasota, 34236

    Gastropub in the heart of downtown Sarasota. Menu includes Guinness and goat cheese burger, grilled meatloaf, broiled cod, steak frites.

  20. Mythos Restaurant at Island of Adventure

    Orlando : 1000 Universal Studios Plaza, Orlando, 32819

Top of page