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Tampa Bay restaurant and bar openings: GrillSmith expands to Sarasota, Mio’s replaces St. Petersburg eatery Meze 119

Crabby Bill’s Fish Camp also brings no-frills grub to St. Petersburg, plus Shaker & Peel is headed for Oldsmar and Must Wine Loft for St. Petersburg.
On Monday, GrillSmith introduced Sarasota to its fifth location two blocks north of Stickney Point Road. [GrillSmith Restaurant Group]
Published Aug. 27
Updated Oct. 17

Now open

GrillSmith

After closing in South Tampa earlier this year, GrillSmith opened on Aug. 26 in Sarasota. The grill-centric American restaurant’s fifth location flexing global flair offers lunch and dinner dishes like filet tip egg rolls, pork chop marsala, grilled lemon feta chicken and fried haddock tacos, plus brunch on the weekend. Complete your meal with the signature smoked old fashioned or another selection from the list of cocktails, whiskey and wines. Featuring a polished yet casual atmosphere, GrillSmith also operates in Clearwater, New Tampa, Carrollwood and Lakeland. 6240 S Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. (941) 259-8383. grillsmith.com.

Mio’s Grill & Cafe

Downtown St. Petersburg has welcomed this fast-casual Mediterranean-American joint where vegetarian hot spot Meze 119 stopped slinging modern Middle Eastern cuisine last month. On Aug. 15, Mio’s Grill & Cafe formally debuted its laid-back lineup of starters, soups and salads, burgers, sandwiches and mains with veg-friendly options, alongside beer and wine. The cold appetizer mix (hummus, grape leaves and tzatziki paired with pita bread), beef gyros, grilled lamb kofte platter and falafel wraps are among the highlights. And a late-night menu runs from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays. 119 Second St. N, St. Petersburg. (727) 498-8627.

Tikka Masalaa

Bet you can guess what Tikka Masalaa serves during lunch and dinner. Indian fare is the specialty of this recently launched Town 'N’ Country restaurant, which doesn’t keep the classics in short supply. Look forward to dishes such as butter chicken, samosas, Goan fish curry and dal tadka presented in a welcoming setting. 10029 W Hillsborough Ave., Tampa. (813) 443-2433.

Crabby Bill’s Fish Camp

In late July, Crabby Bill’s Family Brands, which started with the original Crabby Bill’s in Indian Rocks Beach in 1983, grew its portfolio with dining spot No. 10. Crabby Bill’s Fish Camp sources as many local ingredients as possible to pull off a casual, straightforward menu, showcasing eats like salt and pepper calamari fries, shrimp grilled cheese and sweet onion hush puppies. The spicy chicken sandwich sounds particularly tempting; the handheld’s poultry is brined in pickle juice, then battered and fried before being layered onto a buttered bun with lettuce, tomato, pickles and “special” mayo. Beyond the three Crabby Bill’s spinoffs in St. Pete Beach, Westchase and now St. Petersburg, Crabby Bill’s Family Brands runs everything from an oyster bar and taphouse to a coffee and shake shop. 10316 Roosevelt Blvd. N, St. Petersburg. (727) 202-8925. crabbybillsfishcamp.com.

Coming soon

Shaker & Peel

The crew behind playful Southern-comfort gastropub Craft Street Kitchen and taco-driven California grill Zim Zari have some more plans for Oldsmar with Shaker & Peel. Earlier this month, the restaurants teased to their forthcoming sibling in a post to each of their Facebook pages: “Shout-out to our sister restaurant and newest concept Shaker & Peel. All of those great specials we have been running at Zim Zari, Craft Street Kitchen Trinity, and Craft Street Kitchen Oldsmar [were] research and development from our talented chefs.” Shaker & Peel will use “farm-fresh ingredients" and "multicultural flavors” to tackle tacos with a “unique food philosophy.” Cocktails are also in store. 3159 Curlew Road, Oldsmar.

Must Wine Loft

Appellation is the focus of downtown St. Petersburg’s Must Wine Loft, the European-inspired wine and cheese shop coming along in a former laundromat across the street from the Historic Old Northeast neighborhood. According to its website, sommelier Jessica Arkwright and cheesemonger chef Raymond Cotteret founded Must Wine Loft with partner Alex Paunic. Cotteret and Arkwright taught interactive popup cheese and wine pairing classes together at the nearby Savory Spice Shop before joining forces on this latest venture, where their tasting adventures are set to live on. Must Wine Loft will feature global wines, vermouth, sherry and local beers that mingle with imported and domestic cheese and charcuterie, as well as sandwiches, tapas and pintxos. The partners have anticipated an October opening. 442 Second St. N, St. Petersburg. mustwineloft.com.

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