Tuesday, January 16, 2018


Laura Reiley, Times food critic

Laura Reiley, Times food critic

Laura Reiley is the Tampa Bay Times' restaurant critic and a former critic for the San Francisco Chronicle and the Baltimore Sun. She is the author of four books in the Moon Handbook series: Florida Gulf Coast; Walt Disney World and Orlando; Tampa and St. Petersburg; and the Paradise Coast. She has cooked professionally and is a graduate of the California Culinary Academy. In 2017 she was a Pulitzer and James Beard finalist and won the Paul Hansell Award for Distinguished Achievement in Florida Journalism.

The dining area at the recently renovated Byblos in Tampa, Fla. on January 10, 2018.

Restaurant review: Byblos Cafe has busted out of its mold with a broader Mediterranean menu, and that’s good

TAMPASeldom have I paid such close attention to a restaurant closure, remodeling and reopening. Byblos Cafe began a major renovation last year, keeping the restaurant open as long as possible during the summer with some nifty temporary walls to...
Published: 01/16/18
EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times
Yukke with wagyu beef, gochujang, sesame,
fuji apple, egg yolk and konbu chicharrones served at Ichicoro Ane in St. Petersburg on Thursday, January 4, 2018. The restaurant recently opened in the basement of Station House.

Restaurant review: Ichicoro Ane brings ramen, Japanese small plates and a whole lot of fun to St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURGWhen Station House restaurant opened on Christmas Eve 2014 it was a totally reinvented space, Steve Gianfilippo’s vision for the basement level of a 104-year-old, five-story, 30,000-square-foot building he’d bought for $3 million.
Published: 01/12/18
Updated: 01/13/18
Fabio Viviani, pictured in 2013. JASON LITTLE

Top Chef’s Fabio Viviani will open a restaurant in downtown Tampa

The Tampa Bay restaurant scene has hit a certain kind of critical mass. For several years, rumors have swirled that the nation’s celebrity chefs were considering this part of the Florida peninsula as "the next big thing," a place to colonize and set...
Published: 01/12/18
Senior scientist and director for the marine and freshwater aquaculture research program at Mote Aquaculture Research Park shows the Aquaponics system used to grow sea purslane plants at the park on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2017, in Sarasota, Fla. Aquaponics is a sustainable aquaculture system in which fish and plants are grown together. The water used to grow fish in tanks is filtered and used to farm plants hydroponically. The same water is then recirculated back to the fish tanks.

The future of food includes insect cuisine, edible packaging, sea vegetables and more

Insect cuisine. Edible packaging. High-tech rooftop gardens. The future of food is around the corner.
Published: 01/10/18
Historic Ybor City's La Segunda Bakery has announced a South Tampa expansion. Rendering via La Segunda.

La Segunda Bakery to open new South Tampa location — with seats

A Tampa Bay giant has stirred and is on the move. La Segunda Central Bakery, a family-owned Ybor City institution for nearly 103 years (they celebrate that birthday Jan. 15) and the largest producer of Cuban bread in the world, will open a second...
Published: 01/09/18
Tampa resident JoAnne Tucker is one of four category winners this year in the Pillsbury Bake-Off, dominating the appetizer category with her Toasted Spinach Pesto Ravioli recipe. As a category winners, Tucker will be featured in Food Network Magazine, get to take a trip to New York for an appearance on The Kitchen, will receive a passel of GE Appliances and $5,000 in cold cash.

Tampa’s JoAnne Tucker takes a win in Pillsbury Bake-Off

The Pillsbury Bake-Off is serious business and big bucks. Since 1949, the country’s most competitive home cooks put their thinking caps on: How can I use one of the designated Pillsbury products in a new, original — and here’s the tricky part —...
Published: 01/09/18
Greg Mikurak, owner of Rattle N Hum in St. Petersburg, is doing something a little different in the new year. The craft cocktail bar with its large selection of high-end whiskeys, scotches, bourbons, tequilas, etc. is starting a new promotion Saturdays from 4 to 8 p.m. In short, itâ\u0080\u009A\u0080\u0099s a two-for-one deal. That goes for Pappy Van Winkle 10 year: Buy a shot for $100 and get a second shot free.

Tijuana Flats now sells a ‘take-home burrito meal kit’ and Rattle N Hum offers BOGO shots

THE TWO B’S: BEER AND BACONFor the second year, Patrick Green is putting on the St. Pete Beer and Bacon Festival at Vinoy Park from 1 to 6 p.m. Jan. 20. Last year more than 5,000 people showed up to celebrate both B’s. Why this...
Published: 01/04/18
Updated: 01/10/18
Group of people talking and eating.

Our food critic’s tips for eating out and not gaining weight in 2018

There’s a three-panel comic circulating on social media right now. In the first panel is a stick figure with a Santa hat, the caption, "festive." In the second panel a pudgier stick figure is wandering, confused, with a wedge of cheese in his hand. In...
Published: 12/29/17
Updated: 01/03/18
EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times
A spicy lava flow poke bowl with cubed ahi tuna, cucumber, mango, seaweed salad, jalapeâ\u0080\u009A\u0080\u0093o, sweet onion, massage, and roasted seaweed with spicy house sauce at PIN Wok & Bowl on Thursday, December 22, 2017.

Restaurant to Try: Pin Wok and Bowl

The name is a riff on rock 'n' roll (I hope not with a gesture at a bad Asian accent), the Pin part a reference to a lute-like stringed instrument in Thailand, the instrument a subtle decorating motif in the new restaurant.
Updated one month ago
Travis Malloy and Joe Dalessio at the Temple Terrace Farmers market Saturday. [Photo Luis Santana | Times]

Two-acre urban farm could be coming to downtown Tampa

If all goes as planned at a meeting with the Tampa Housing Authority on Jan. 4, a 2-acre working farm will become a late addition to the city's Encore project.
Updated one month ago