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Helen Freund - Food and Dining Critic

Food and Dining Critic

I write about food and restaurants in the Tampa Bay area. When I’m not writing about food or restaurants I’m probably talking about food or restaurants, or, you know, actually eating food at restaurants. I was never a picky eater, and never had a chance to be: Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, saying ‘no’ to things like geoduck sashimi or fiddlehead fern pesto just wasn’t cool. Instead, I tried everything, and have ever since. I studied journalism at the University of Washington and cooking at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. I most recently was the restaurant critic and dining editor of Gambit Weekly in New Orleans - another place where people love to eat and drink. When I’m not eating, I’m probably scuba diving and tagging along with spearfishers, hoping they’ll spear some dinner for me.

  1. The main entrance to The Michelin Guide restaurant star ratings reveal seen at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes, in Orlando on Thursday, June 9, 2022.
  2. Ferrell Alvarez, right, awaits the Michelin announcements Thursday in Orlando.
  3. A Gorgonzola salad is served at Bonu' Taverna, a new Italian restaurant in St. Petersburg.
  4. Good Fortune, a new Asian fusion restaurant, will open on the ground floor of the Station House in downtown St. Petersburg this summer.
  5. Where's Jubes, a new Australian brewpub and restaurant, opens Thursday in downtown St. Petersburg.
  6. Krate at the Grove, a Wesley Chapel shopping park made of shipping containers, will celebrate a grand opening June 4.
  7. A surf and turf burger is served at The Helm, a new seafood market and restaurant in St. Pete Beach.
  8. The new Michelin Guide Florida will be revealed on June 9 during a live ceremony. Rooster and the Till in Seminole Heights, shown above, is one of the Tampa restaurants that could be recognized by the elite guide.
  9. Two Tampa pitmasters faced off Friday during a segment of Good Morning America's "United States of BBQ" tour. (Shown above: A half rack of ribs from Betterway BBQ at 22 South, the food hall inside the historic Manhattan Casino in St. Petersburg).
  10. A Sunset Gun cocktail is served at Tampa's On Swann, made with 400 Conejos Mezcal and infused with basil, elderflower, yellow chartreuse, honey and habanero. Tequila and mezcal are increasingly popular spirits on cocktail menus at Tampa Bay bars and restaurants.
  11. Actors Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul pose for a selfie with fans at American Social in Tampa.
  12. An espresso martini is served at Luv Child in Tampa. The popular drink is experiencing a renaissance at bars and restaurants across the country.
  13. The display case with assorted pastries at La Segunda’s new cafe, March 7 in St. Petersburg.
  14. A view of the gift shop at the Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement in St. Petersburg. Take Mom to the museum this Mother's Day and let her pick out her present in the gift shop.
  15. Cap's, a new seafood-focused restaurant and cocktail bar, opens next week at 226 First Ave. N in St. Petersburg.
  16. The owners of Noble Crust are teaming up with Tampa's Fat Beet Farm to open Noble Tavern Off the Farm in St. Petersburg's Grand Central District.
  17. Anchor and Brine, at the Tampa Marriott Water Street, features a seafood-focused menu and a waterside setting.
  18. Brothers Christian and Joshua Jackson of Red's BBQ are opening Roam, a new steakhouse concept, on 34th Street N in St. Petersburg.
  19. Jay Luigi, a new restaurant on Fourth Street N in St. Petersburg, brings a modern, fast-casual spin to Italian dining.
  20. Un batido de mantequilla de maní y caramelo de Beans & Barlour viene con un borde de Cracker Jack y se encuentra entre una larga lista de delicias nuevas y recurrentes que se sirven en Tropicana Field esta temporada.
  21. A peanut butter and caramel milkshake from Beans & Barlour comes with a Cracker Jack rim and is among a long list of new and returning treats served at Tropicana Field this season.
  22. Noble Rice, a modern Japanese restaurant, is now open at Tampa's Sparkman Wharf.
  23. House of Vegano, a new restaurant specializing in vegan sushi, is now open in St. Petersburg.
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