Advertisement
  1. Food

These Tampa Bay restaurants took honors in the Golden Spoon Awards

Rimma Kolesnikova, owner of Ristorante Acqua Alta, 2454 N McMullen Booth Road, serves desserts to customers. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times
Published Dec. 5, 2017

Florida Trend's annual Golden Spoon awards were announced last week, honoring Florida's best restaurants.

Although Florida Trend serves the state's business community, the Golden Spoons are a valuable consumer tool. Because Florida restaurants seldom feature heavily in national evaluations such as Zagat, the James Beard Awards and the Michelin Guide, the Golden Spoon, celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, provides a chance to assess Florida's dining scene as a whole and to compare one region with another.

This year, unsurprisingly, the Tampa Bay area had a robust showing, a reflection of the tremendous growth and increased sophistication of the area's restaurant scene.

In the "best new restaurants" category, Clearwater picked up Ristorante Acqua Alta, St. Petersburg gained the Reading Room and Tampa added the multi-vendor Hall on Franklin. By way of comparison, Orlando had only two notable newcomers and Sarasota had one.

In the "hall of fame" this year our area boasted a stable seven entries (Café Ponte in Clearwater, Bob Heilman's Beachcomber in Clearwater Beach, Marchand's in St. Petersburg, Maritana Grille in St. Pete Beach, and Bern's, the Columbia and Mise en Place all in Tampa), a list that leans heavily to the "fine dining" side. And in the regular Golden Spoon awards category, Tampa Bay scored big with 13 awards, ranging from Rusty's Bistro at the Sheraton Sand Key Resort in Clearwater to the hip Seminole Heights independent Rooster & the Till.

With dozens of restaurants poised to open on either side of Hillsborough Bay in the next two months, it will be interesting to see where the spoons fall in 2018.

Contact Laura Reiley at lreiley@tampabay.com or (727) 892-2293. Follow @lreiley.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. At The Tiki Cove, you don’t need too much imagination to place your mind and mood at an actual beach. JUSTIN GRANT  |  Justin Grant
    The Tiki Cove is a Florida-only novelty that anyone passing through will be sure to enjoy. | Bar review
  2. Try I Am The Walrus Berliner Weisse ib draft at Hidden Springs Ale Works, or look for it in cans at your local quality beer shop. JUSTIN GRANT  |  Justin Grant
    This is Florida, so some of our autumn brews fall outside the paradigm. | Local beer of the week
  3. Dunedin's Parlor House Bistro will feature an American-French menu that includes house-made pastries. Courtesy of Ryan Steffensmeier
    The new restaurant will serve American-French cuisine, offering a New Orleans vibe.
  4. Ginger molasses spice cookies LORRAINE FINA STEVENSKI  |  Special to the Times
    They’re loaded with fresh seasonal spices, plus pecans and raisins.
  5. Screenshot of Austin Davis from a Vice News documentary on Youtube. Vice News/Youtube
    The 20-year-old Keystone Heights resident has selective eating disorder believed to stem from childhood trauma.
  6. The John's Pass Seafood & Music Festival will return to Madeira Beach for its 38th installment this weekend. But the Friday event, Flavors of the Gulf, is a big draw for gastronauts. SCOTT KEELER  |  Times (2016)
    Flavors of the Gulf and two stone crab fests embrace Florida seafood, plus a mac 'n' cheese fest, Top Local Chef and a gardening class.
  7. Rocca partner and chef Bryce Bonsack stretches fresh egg yolk pasta that will later become tagliolini at his new Tampa Heights restaurant. LUIS SANTANA   |   TIMES  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Rocca’s chef will pay homage to the people he spent months learning from in Monforte d’Alba.
  8. A kamayan feast held in Tampa. Courtesy of Baybes Who Brunch
    A change in cocktails, more global ingredients, and here’s what else.
  9. A rendering of one retail corner at Sparkman Wharf, which is building up its dining offerings in Tampa. Courtesy of Strategic Property Partners
    The new arrival will pair small plates with more than 150 bottles of wine.
  10. Taco Bell Tuesday announced it had recalled 2.3 million pounds of its seasoned beef filling.
    The fast food chain announced Tuesday it voluntarily recalled 2.3 million pounds of beef after customers reported fining metal shavings in their food.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement