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Jun 17, 2006 07:12 PM

Goin to Tampa

  • s

I'm going to Tampa on a business trip. I have had dinner in Ybor City at the - gosh what's it called- oh yeah, the Columbia House. It was fine but am interested in something really great. Ate at a Cuban place in Hyde Park that was really good but can't remember what it was called- had great martinis tho - probably why I can't remember the name. I don't care if it's a high-end place or a hole-in-the-wall. I just want the BEST!! Tampa Hounds, send me some great recs on some great places to eat!!!

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  1. Blue Samurai in Ybor or Cafe Japon in International Mall for Japanese/ Sushi.
    Side Bern's in South Tampa- heard a lot of great things and will be going there for the first time this coming Sat.
    Although they are Outback chains- I love Roy's (for everything) and Fleming's Steakhouse (for the Mac and Cheese).
    If you do go to International Mall you must get gelato at the Gelateria del Duomo.


    4 Replies
    1. re: Erica

      I second SideBerns. I try to go there every time I have to make a business trip to Tampa, and in fact, for my wedding anniversary a few weeks ago, my husband and I flew up to Tampa (from SoFla) just to have dinner there. If you go, just about every dish can be recommended; especially if you like fish and are a bit adventuresome. Make sure to start with a specialty drink (martini) and make it through to dessert. It's worth it.

      1. re: zook

        I third Side Berns, but also check out St. Barts also in SOHO, Laughing Cat or Bernini for Italian in Ybor City, for some fun and excellent Greek, check out Acropolis in Ybor City. Authentic Cuban food, head to Columbus Ave in West Tampa(La Tersita or Arcos Iris), Susgi fan get to Samarai Blue in Centro Ybor or Yokos on MacDill Ave. Byblos is a fav of mine for Middle Eastern (and belly dancers).

        1. re: Rick

          Alas, the place with the good martinis and Cuban food in Hyde Park has disappeared, replaced by Timpano's Italian Grill. You can probably get the same martinis there because the restaurant is owned by the same resaurant corporation that owned the Cuban place. (I asked one of th waiters.) Also, I think the Cuban restaurant was called the "Cuban Cafe," but I could be wrong. How quickly we forget!

          1. re: gfr0397

            Samba room, there's still one in Orlando. I don't need to go back to Timpano.


    2. I travel to Tampa pretty regularly on business and though I haven't tried SideBerns's yet, the original Bern's Steakhouse is divine. Being a NYer, I have a hard time with food in the area, but a co-worker and I were absolutely shocked with a meal that we both considered to be one of the best we've ever had.

      I went back again when my boyfriend flew down to join me after a business trip. He's extremely picky and difficult to impress (also a New Yorker) and when he said, "I'm impressed" I almost fell over.

      Steaks are divine and cooked to perfection. The truffle mac and cheese almost brought me to tears.

      Go on the tour of the kitchen and impressive wine cellar. And absolutely DO NOT miss the dessert room. We enjoyed a 1/2 oz of an 1848 cognac and then went on to an 1830. An amazing experience.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Misscox

        Just a little added detail on what you called the "impressive wine cellar" at Bern's.
        They offer some 6 or 7,000 selections plus 1,000 dessert wines. Over 500,000 bottles. Probably the largest restaurant cellar in the world at quite reasonable prices. I guess it is impressive. It is a treasure that shouldn't be missed if you enjoy great wine and great steaks.

        1. re: Misscox

          Yep - I've been to Burns and did the whole thing including Cigars!