- Jeremy Feb 26, 2005 12:50 AM
My girlfriend and I live in NY but she just got transferred to Tallahassee for 4 months and she's dying to find some great places to eat. We like seafood a lot but any style of food is fine. Any reccomndations?
Jeremy (and Samantha)
Thank you for suggesting Z-Bardhi. Based on your post, we had dinner there Friday night. Nice small Italian restaurant set in a small cottage with outdoor patio. It was just a bit too cold for outdoor dining that night. There were four at our table. As a first course, three had the house salad and hubby ordered 1/2 Greek salad. Next visit, I would order the half portion of the Greek salad. The field greens on the house salad were very limp and it was hard to detect the house dressing. For a $5.00 salad, I was underwhelmed.
Hubby loved his lasagne, my chicken picata was perfect with a veggie and sample of the ravioli of the day served on the side. The veal ala (something) looked good. The highest priase seemed to go to the nightly special of lasagne with shrimp and scallops. We will return.
We moved to Tallahassee last year and have found the restaurant reviewer for the Tallahassee Democrat, Ashby Stiff, to be consistant and have made a point to try his top rated 4 1/2 and 5 "hat" spots. The link is posted below.
Albert's Provance is the top of my list for seafood. It is a small bistro set in a strip mall complex (many of the area restaurants are found in strip malls it seems). The owner/chef is a local legend. They offer several nightly seafood specials along with a divine menu. My standards tend to be their grouper, coc au vin or osso bucco with the gargonzola salad.
Angelo's Seafood, on the coast, is worth the drive. We have a small beach house nearby and have been regulars for years. Great fresh seafood and greek salads. Sadly, many of the mom and pop restaurants along the coast have recently sold out to developers. The sleepy fishing villages along the panhandle are changing.
Chez Pierre offers fine food in an elegant southern plantation style home. Try dining on the patio if the weather permits. They have regular entertainment along with wine tasting menus.
I have found two good fresh seafood markets. Southern Seafood is located across the parking lot from Albert's Provance. Mike's Seafood and Oriental Market is worth checking out as well.
Mon Pere et Moi is a cozy place for lunch. It is a french chocolatiere serving quiche, sandwiches, salads and soup. They have recently started serving dinner on Saturday.
While you are in the area make a point to visit Thomasville, GA and Appalachacola, FL. Two short nice drives. Ashby has a few recs in his "out of town" list.
coming from a fellow NY'er who lived in Tallahassee a couple years ago...Ashby Stiff (the newspaper food reviewer) is absolutely clueless.
you can get mediocre French food at Chez Pierre...lots of local seafood (almost always fried) anywhere....your best bet is Grapes and Grain (wine store that doubles as a restaurant)...it's about the only decent dining in the area.
decent wine list at a place they call Les Divorcee...I forget what it's actually called....Les Cabaret maybe.
"Grapes and Grain"
I believe the poster is referring to the small import grocery-wine bar-restaurant called Cluster & Hops. A good place for a bite to eat, either light starters and a drink before a show or a full dinner. Good wine selection and knowledgeable staff. They also have a very nice billards table in the upstairs room.
Not fancy but I get a kick our of Good Time Charlies, kinda cajun, very informal,cheap,funky little place
As former New Yorkers who followed Times restaurant critics from Claiborne to Reichl, my wife and I (inveterate diners out) have found evaluations by Tallahassee critic Ashby Stiff to be equally knowledgeable,informative and wryly entertaining.
Some of Stiff's finds that we enjoy:
Albert's Provence for French flavored food. Nino's, Z. Bardhi and the little Riccardo's for Italian. Carlos'Cuban Cafe for both classic and creative. Cafe Cabernet for its excellent wine cellar. Angelo's on Kerry Forest and the no-frills Seineyard in Woodville for seafood. La Fiesta and La Tapatio for Mexican. Samrat for East Indian. Manna for its deli and dependable meals. Lucy Ho's for sushi and Oriental dishes. Reangthai for Thai.
We only wish that Destin were closer. Some very excellent restaurants there.
I'm always astounded that anyone finds anything of value in the reviews of Ashby Stiff. It's almost as if he doesn't look at anything beyond the mediocre food that is on his plate.
Cafe Cabernet's "excellent" wine cellar is only excellent if you enjoy paying 400 percent markup on a rather limited selection; there isn't a restaurant with a decent cellar in town, not one.
Kool Beans has gone into the toilet, and every entree is identical, a protein smothered in an overwhelming and greasy sauce, some sauteed vegetables overwhelmed by what should be a component ingredient, and a starch that takes up about 75 percent of the plate.
If the Democrat had any balls at all, they'd hire a restaurant critic with legitimate training in either cooking, front of house management, or journalism. Giving three hats plus to places like Gordo's and Reang Thai (perhaps the filthiest kitchen I've ever seen) proves that Mr. Stiff is none of the above.