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A Taste of Tampa Bay

A glimpse at the people and places that make up our vibrant food scene.

 

  1. Restaurant review: Food and beer pair nicely at the Eatery at Brew Bus Terminal and Brewery

    Food & Dining

    TAMPA - Tampa Bay's craft beer scene is perennially in flux. New breweries open, others close or get scooped up by bigger breweries, some reinvent themselves so they can sell beer off site, and still others build on kitchens and add food to give enthusiasts another reason to sit tight.

    A Passion of the Heights hibiscus wheat ale is displayed at The Brew Bus in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, Jul 19, 2017.  The Brew Bus Terminal, which houses a microbrewery and tasting room and serves as a hub for bus tours to local breweries, has opened an on-site kitchen called the Eatery. With the opening of the new casual dining concept, the brewery joins the ranks of microbreweries across the country that have asked that question: "What goes with beer? Hey, how about food?"
  2. Tampa Bay chefs go head to head and Disney Springs gets another James Beard winner

    Food & Dining

    Epic Chef Showdown: Feeding Tampa Bay

    In a shoulder-to-shoulder format cook-off competition, chefs from Parkshore Grill and Mise En Place strove Monday night to become the Epic Chef of Tampa Bay. In this course, using ramen as a mystery box ingredient.
  3. Restaurant review: New Crabby's Dockside on Clearwater Beach retains beachy feel of Crabby Bill's

    Food & Dining

    CLEARWATER BEACH - Crabby Bill's was an institution on Clearwater Beach for 17 years. But the lease was up. The city wanted a request for proposal submitted for prospective tenants for the space (didn't know a restaurant review was going to get all business-jargony, did you?) and a whole bunch of the area's beachside …

    The grouper is the real deal, including as a Blackened Grouper Sandwich, served with a toasted bun, lettuce, tomato and onion.
  4. Get ready to freak out. National Ice Cream Day is coming.

    Food & Dining

    One of our editors came dashing over to Features the other day. I feared some major news had broken, a celebrity had shuffled off this mortal coil or a Kardashian had married a QR code while I'd glanced away.

    July 6 was National Fried Chicken Day.
  5. National Ice Cream Day is Sunday. Here are Tampa Bay's top ice cubes and ice creams

    Food & Dining

    CREAM IN ICE FORM: National Ice Cream Day

    Shaped like a giant vanilla ice cream cone, Twistee Treat at St. Pete Beach has a soft-serve machine to which they can add 66 different flavors.
  6. Ichicoro Ramen to open a sister restaurant in downtown St. Pete's Station House

    Food & Dining

    ST. PETERSBURG — Two years ago, Ichicoro wowed New York City with its Tampa-style ramen, noodles overflowing with Florida freshness and ingredients. Even Gwyneth Paltrow showed up to the pop-up to slurp noodles.

    The owners of Ichicoro Ramen in Seminole Heights announced that they will open a location inside the former site of Station House at 260 1st Ave S, in downtown St. Petersburg Tuesday afternoon. The new location will be called Ichicoro Ane. (Ane means big sister.) Pictured at what will be the new front entrance is Steve Gianfilippo (left), owner of the Station House building, Noel Cruz (center), co-owner of Ichicoro Ramen and Ichicoro Ane, and Kerem Koca, co-owner of Ichicoro Ramen and Ichicoro Ane. DIRK SHADD   |   Times
  7. Il Ritorno chef David Benstock prepares for dinner at the James Beard House

    Food & Dining

    ST. PETERSBURG

    The first song was Michael Jackson's Billy Jean, followed by Ben King's Stand by Me. And while I'm not sure what the message was from MJ, the Ben King song seemed just right: "No, I won't be afraid, no, I won't be afraid. Just as long as you stand, stand by me."

    Owner-chef David Benstock of Il Ritorno in St. Petersburg begins to prep for a walk-through of the dishes he will make for his first-ever solo dinner at the Beard House on Tuesday.
  8. Restaurant review: Don Rigatoni in Tampa offers quick, affordable pastas and sauces perfect for takeout

    Food & Dining

    TAMPA - It makes a ton of sense, now that carb-phobia has abated and there are legitimately decent gluten-free pasta options available: a place with 20 types of pastas, a dozen sauces, all mix-and-match to suit your tastes, plus add-ons from meatballs to grilled shrimp and all of it available to go in sturdy plastic …

    Rigatoni alla napoletana with meatballs is another option. The food is ideal for takeout, served in sturdy plastic containers.
  9. These Tampa Bay restaurants have the best wine, says Wine Spectator

    Food & Dining

    How did Tampa Bay do when it comes to wine this year?

    We rocked it.

    Annata Wine Bar on Beach Drive in St. Petersburg received one of Wine Spectator’s awards.
  10. New restaurants opening soon: Noble Crust Wesley Chapel and Heights Public Market

    Food & Dining

     

    So here's an interesting development at the soon-to-debut Heights Public Market in the Armature Works space in Tampa (public relations folks say it's on schedule for a September debut): Every four months they will do a "rotating stall" or guest concept. Local food trucks Surf and Turf and …

    Surf and Turf, the brainchild of husband-and-wife team Adam and Beata Browne, features fresh seafood.
  11. Rooster & the Till's guest chef dinner series brings in culinary minds from around the country

    Food & Dining

    TAMPA -- Chef Ferrell Alvarez was going to Seattle with friend and colleague Chon Nguyen, co-owner of FusionPrep, an iPad-based kitchen technology. They were definitely, definitely eating at their buddy Edouardo Jordan's red-hot restaurant Salare. Jordan, a St. Petersburg native and 1998 graduate of Boca Ciega High …

    The 40 or so people in attendance at the guest chef dinner series at Rooster & the Till in Tampa were treated to numerous wine-paired courses by chef Ferrell Alvarez and Eden Hill chef Maximillian Petty.
  12. St. Pete restaurant staple Z Grille is closed for good

    Food & Dining

    ST. PETERSBURG — Zack Gross has joked about closing before, as part of his ongoing April Fool's pranks. But Sunday afternoon, it was for real. Z Grille, one of downtown St. Petersburg's earliest and most long-standing ambitious independent restaurants, has closed.

    Zack Gross and his wife Jennifer pose for a portrait in their restaurant, Z Grille in St. Petersburg on Thursday, October 27, 2016.  EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times
  13. Make it a staycation: Where to eat and play around St. Pete Beach

    Food & Dining

    ST. PETE BEACH — The first time I heard the word "staycation" I rolled my eyes just slightly. I suppose the rolling was even fiercer, nearly enough to cause ocular sprain, when I heard the terms "mancation" (really, dudes, you do it differently?) and "babymoon." That's when an expecting mom needs a romantic …

    Sea Turtle Restaurant in St. Pete Beach is, well, just beachy. [Photos by EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times]
  14. How I almost watched Guy Fieri film 'Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives' at Buya Ramen

    Food & Dining

    ST. PETERSBURG — The first thing I noticed was the car.

    Guy Fieri, left, sits at a table inside Buya Ramen in St. Petersburg during filming for his series "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives." [Courtesy of Buya Ramen]
  15. Author Randy Wayne White could open St. Pete's biggest restaurant on the pier

    Food & Dining

    ST. PETERSBURG — The story begins with Yucatan shrimp.

    St. Petersburg Deputy Mayor Kanika Tomalin, pilot Mark Futch, Boca Grande, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, and author and businessman Randy Wayne White,  Sanibel, exit a Maule Super Rocket seaplane after taking a fight around Tampa Bay off the St. Petersburg waterfront, 6/28/17.  White and his business partners are in negotiations with the City of St. Petersburg to build a fourth Doc Ford's Rum Bar & Grille on the approach to the St. Petersburg Pier with a second event space on the pier according to White. The group met near Spa Beach after a ground breaking ceremony for the new pier. "We want to have our business open by the time the pier opens," said White. Other Dr. Ford restaurants are located on Sanibel, Captiva and Ft. Myers Beach. SCOTT KEELER   |   Times