Meaghan Habuda - Times Features Producer

Times Features Producer

I’m a Florida native who began covering the Tampa Bay bar and restaurant scene more than five years ago. After graduating from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg, I cut my teeth in journalism with local alternative weekly Creative Loafing, where I served as food and drink editor. I joined the Times in 2019 and will continue to sniff out all sorts of food news — openings and closings, events, chef moves, you name it — while spearheading other print and web duties on the Features team. So, yes, tip me off to all of the scoops, including the ice cream kind.

  1. St. Petersburg restaurant Brick & Mortar serves dishes like this miso-marinated black cod with broth of coconut milk and ginger, baby bok choy, sticky rice and house pickled jalapeno.
    It’s called Sea Worthy Fish + Bar.
  2. A rendering of Frenchy's To Go, which Frenchy's Restaurants hopes to launch in Clearwater this spring.
    The new facility in Clearwater will fill delivery, walkup and carryout orders.
  3. The annual St. Pete Beer and Bacon festival will return to Vinoy Park on Jan. 18.
    A barbecue and blues fest hits Zephyrhills and Bonefish Grill’s original location in St. Petersburg celebrates 20 years, plus Red Mesa gets a liquor license.
  4. Cigar City Brewing's taproom at Amalie Arena in Tampa has launched with its signature craft beers and bar bites.
    Sweet Elizabeth’s Organics has also brought food allergy-friendly fare to Lutz, plus Chicken Salad Chick will take over an iconic building.
  5. The passion fruit sashimi salmon at Peruvian Japanese fusion restaurant Nikkei, part of the Tampa Premium Outlets in Lutz.
    Water Oak has also launched, bringing a steak and seafood joint to Safety Harbor.
  6. Michael Micochero, left, and his father Mike will service events and businesses with their new Polar Cup van in Sarasota and Bradenton.
    A local family revives the Polar Cup in Bradenton and Sarasota, two chili competitions and more.
  7. Roast pork and yellow rice at La Teresita.
    Here are some of our favorite bites around Tampa Bay this month.
  8. Sisters and Tampa natives Atheer and Athar Naif are behind Harvest Bowl, coming to Seminole Heights.
    Create-your-own bowls with Middle Eastern flair are the focus, as is a retail section of gourmet goods.
  9. Duke Ellington, left, for many years worked with pianist-composer Billy Strayhorn, right.
    The Florida Orchestra celebrates two serial collaborators, plus Tibetan monks creating a sand mandala and a Busch Gardens music series return.
  10. Datz Restaurant Group owners Roger and Suzanne Perry brought the cozy, sophisticated Roux to South Tampa in August 2014.
    Best known for chargrilled oysters, the restaurant opened in an unassuming shopping center more than five years ago.