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  1. Ava Restaurant

    718 S Howard, Tampa, 33606

    Hours: 5-10 p.m. Mon.-Wed., until 11 p.m. Thur.-Sat., 5-9 p.m. Sun., with lunch served 11 a.m.-2 p.m. daily.

  2. Ciro's Speakeasy & Supper Club

    Editor's pick

    South Tampa : 2109 Bayshore Blvd., Tampa, 33606

    Buy into the pervasive Prohibition era theme and it will pay off. The fare ranges from high-class finger food like truffled popcorn and manchego soft pretzels to seared tenderloin with a stack of fries cooked in duck fat. All that comes after a pick from an extensive cocktail menu where the dri...

  3. 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 ...

  4. Datz

    Editor's pick

    South Tampa : 2616 S MacDill Ave., Tampa, 33629

    Tampa now has a road trip-worthy deli, the vision of founder Roger Perry. It's like Zingerman's in Ann Arbor meets Zabar's meets Carnegie Deli: a theme park of gorgeous grocery items with a cheese counter, a bread counter, desserts, and a wide counter of prepared food items. But tha...

  5. Maison Blanche

    Editor's pick

    Sarasota beaches : 2605 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key, 34228

  6. Maritana Grille

    Editor's pick

    South Pinellas beaches : 3400 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach, 33706

    A major renovation in the dining room has made one of the area’s more swanky restaurants more contemporary. The renovations made their way into the kitchen, too, where fruits are being compressed and fish are being cooked in warm water baths. The black grouper cooked sous vide and served ...

  7. 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...

  8. Boca Kitchen Bar Market

    South Tampa : 901 W Platt St., Tampa, 33606

    Along with a growing group of Tampa Bay restaurants, the new Boca Kitchen Bar Market isn't satisfied with a little local lettuce and some backyard herbs—it sources locally, Big Time. The locavore fervor wouldn't mean much if what Boca did with all this bounty was ho-hum. Executive...

  9. Eddie V's

    International Plaza District : 4400 W Boy Scout Blvd., Tampa, 33607

    Opened early in 2013 across from International Plaza, it is the ninth Eddie V's nationwide and the first east of Texas. Orlando-based Darden (Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Longhorn Steakhouse, Capital Grille, Bahama Breeze and Seasons 52) bought the chain in 2011 and this is the first one open...

  10. CopperFish Seafood Grill & Oyster Bar

    South Tampa : 1502 S Howard Ave., Tampa, 33606

    Gordon Davis and SoHo Hospitality partner Kevin Enderle brought on partners Chas and Kyle Bruck to put together a new concept: craft cocktails like sister restaurant Ciro's, farm-to-table fare like Boca, with a focus on super-fresh, largely local fish grilled simply over hardwood. There'...

  11. Ulele Native Inspired Food & Spirits

    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 elemen...

  12. Haven

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

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

    A 2015 newcomer set in the old SideBern's location, this Bern's sibling less old-school fancy than Bern's, and less expensive than SideBern's, but no less ambitious than either. It has without a doubt the...

  13. Rooster and the Till

    6500 N Florida Ave., Tampa, 33604

    Without calling it this, Ferrell Alvarez and Ty Rodriguez have launched the most diligently local-farm-to-table restaurant in the area, its name a veiled reference to farm animals and fertile earth. They use Buddy Brew coffee; Hooker Tea Company; local craft beers; pork from Pasture Prime in Su...

  14. Texas de Brazil Brazilian Steakhouse

    Editor's pick

    International Plaza District : 4112 W Boy Scout Blvd., Tampa, 33607

    The number of varieties of meat on sticks that will come straight from the first to your plate — via a sword-like skewer — will be in the double digits. Try as many as you deem responsible, but don’t miss a visit to the salad area, with a magazine-like spread of vegetables and...

  15. Oxford Exchange

    Editor's pick

    South Tampa : 2420 W Kennedy Blvd., Tampa, 33609

    Vacant for decades, it was originally a horse stable. If the horses could see it now: marble and brass, soaring ceilings, flickering gas lamps and a black-and-white checkered floor that attract hungry souls like moths to a flame. It's straight-up gorgeous, with a kind of retro-chic that is ...

  16. 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 o...

  17. Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza (Clearwater)

    Editor's pick

    2534 N McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater, 33761

  18. Armani's

    Editor's pick

    Rocky Point : 2900 Bayport Drive, Tampa, 33634

    One of Tampa's top special-occasion and I-need-to-clinch-this-deal restaurants, Armani's has undergone major renovations and has seen new faces in the kitchen in recent years, but some of the traditions at the top of the Grand Hyatt remain unchanged: the antipasto offerings still have a...

  19. Bamboozle Cafe

    Editor's pick

    Downtown Tampa : 516 N Tampa St., Tampa, 33602

    It's Vietnamese quick-service downtown in all its vibrant, punchy glory, but served up in a way that's accessible and not intimidating. Step in line and order from the board. Fresh rolls are customized to suit, a water-moistened rice paper round cradling vermicelli, green leaf lettuce, ...

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