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  1. Fetishes Dining & Wine Bar

    South Pinellas beaches : 6305 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach, 33706

    For years it was an outlier on St. Pete Beach, a community more comfortable with flip-flops than flambees. Bruce Caplan's salaciously named Fetishes Fine Dining was a throwback of sorts, a nod to the Continental restaurants of yore. Just eight tables and a menu that boasted tournedos, quenelles  …

  2. Pelagia Trattoria

    Editor's pick

    International Plaza District : 4200 Jim Walter Blvd., Tampa, 33607

    Located in the Renaissance Tampa Hotel at International Plaza, the restaurant has an Italianesque menu that starts in Spain and coasts the entire Mediterranean for lusty flavors, scallops and bean ragout, Manchego cheese and honeycomb, crunchy olives and artichoke ricotta flan. Panettone French  …

  3. Ocean Prime

    Editor's pick

    International Plaza District : 2205 N West Shore Blvd., Tampa, 33607

    This new high-end steakhouse may not seem like the most prudent choice in this economy, in this restaurant climate, even in this steak house-choked town. But it's fabulous, with a la carte prime meats and fresh fish cooked at 1,200 degrees and served simply. Many of the sides are stunning versio …

  4. Circles Waterfront Restaurant

    Apollo Beach : 1212 Apollo Beach Blvd., Apollo Beach, 33572

  5. Ulele Native Inspired Food & Spirits

    Tampa : 1810 N Highland Ave., Tampa, 33602

    Richard Gonzmart spent $6 million to get the doors open at Ulele and in just about every way it shows: It is a project of prodigious moving pieces, a thousand stories — an intricate cogs-and-wheels front door made by Dominique Martinez of Rustic Steel Creations; furniture and decor element …

  6. RumFish Grill at the Guy Harvey Outpost

    South Pinellas beaches : 6000 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach, 33706

    After innovative seafood, the beachfront restaurant's main attraction is a 33,500-gallon aquarium offering hotel guests the opportunity to snorkel among snook, redfish, tarpon, trout, grouper, snapper, small sharks and eels. Breakfast, lunch and dinner.Read a review here.

  7. Wharf Restaurant

    South Pinellas beaches : 2001 Pass A Grille Way, St. Pete Beach, 33706

    The weathered wood outside tips you off that seafood and its accompanying sides of potatoes and coleslaw are on the menu -- a tasty and filling necessity after a sun (or beer) drenched day on the beach. Be sure to get a seat out back on the water if you can so you can chat up the party-hearty bo …

  8. 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.

  9. Chili's Grill & Bar

    Countryside : 25987 U.S. 19 N, Clearwater, 33763

    With a menu full of Tex-Mex inspired dishes, Chili's has delightfully delicious food with great alcohol including their renowned margaritas.

  10. 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 …

  11. 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  …

  12. Elevage at the Epicurean Hotel

    Tampa : 1207 S Howard Ave., Tampa, 33606

  13. 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  …

  14. 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  …

  15. 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 …

  16. 717 South

    Editor's pick

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

    Read a review here.

  17. 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 …

  18. E & E Stakeout Grill

    Editor's pick

    Largo : 100 Indian Rocks Road N, Belleair Bluffs, 33770

    After many years in the same location, E & E Stakeout has done a major renovation. The kitchen received the bulk of chef Erwin Scheuringer's attention, with a complete gut and rebuild, but the rest of the building got new plumbing, air-conditioning, carpeting, banquette upholstery and other  …

  19. 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  …

  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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