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Palm Harbor / Clearwater help please!

I'm a newbie so please forgive me in advance and don't flame me.

I have friends who just moved out of state to Palm Harbor. As a welcome gift I would like to mail them a gift certificate to a nice restaurant there. Seafood would seem logical but if there is something better I am all ears. I am assuming that something in Clearwater would be fine too, as it seems (on a map) to be closeby. But I don't want to cause them to drive far if there is something just as good in Clearwater.

Any help out there?

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  1. Does no reply mean I posted wrong or that no one has recs?

    1 Reply
    1. re: bamabelle

      Glad Bubba Gump's love bumped this thread, in a way! I'm actually going for a short trip to Dunedin tomorrow. In past visits I've done several of the Main St restaurants, and some have been pretty good in the past - Kelly's, Black Pearl, Casa Tina (except for the sangrita with my shot of reposado, hope it's different) and Pensare were very good. Any other recs in Dunedin? Also interested in places in Palm Harbor and Tarpon Springs. Love all kinds of food, especially seafood, and I'm solo so good bar dining is appreciated.

      PS - Is Eli's BBQ in Dunedin worth it as well? Thinking about Friday lunch there.

    2. What a nice friend you are! There are several nice options in the area. A few ideas: Red Fish Blue Fish; Mystic Fish; Island Way Grill (Clearwater Beach).

      1 Reply
      1. re: laurie

        Thank you for the recs! I'll look into all of them. Is Clearwater Beach an easy drive from Palm Harbor?

      2. Clearwater - Palm Harbour. Right next to each other. You can't even tell the difference when you move between the two. Nothing in the general area is very far in distance though the traffic can be a problem at rush hour.
        Anyway -

        You should consider Cafe Ponte. It is on Ulmerton Road in Largo (just to the south of Clearwater) Very highly reguarded. Do a Google and check out the reviews. Chris Ponte has opened another spot a little further north in Clearwater. Italian - called Ponte's Tuscan Grill. I have not been there but I wouldn't hesitate. I really enjoy Vincenzo's. Located on McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. A cut above casual. Busy and a little noisy but excellent Italian fare.
        None of these places are any more than 20 minutes from Palm Harbour.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Wineman

          Thanks so much, Wineman. Obviously I am not familiar with the area, so this helps. I'll check in to all of these places.

        2. Excellent Thai and very reasonable at Ban Thai in Northwood Plaza on N. side of Enterprise Road, E of McMullen Booth.
          Also Bonefish Grill, same plaza, upscale/yuppie.
          Agree on Mystic Fish and Island Way Grill - not so much on Red Fish Blue Fish.
          Sam Selzer's in Palm Harbor, excellent alternative to Outback - often a better experience.
          Probably best in Palm Harbor area and one of best in Tampa Bay area is in same shopping center as Mystic Fish - about 3 doors down from them (NOT the one about 6 doors down from them)- name excapes me at the moment. Expensive.

          1. Hey, I just joined this site, but it it's not too late, let me give you some favorite restaurants in the area. I live in Palm Harbor and eat out at least 3 times a week.

            CATCH 23, across from the Countryside Mall Seafood, etc
            GRILLSMITH, same shopping center as CATCH 23. Seafood, etc

            VINCENZOS for Italian. In Safety Harbor, but closeby

            ISLAND WAY GRILL. EarlyBirds are great, must be there by 5 PM
            (about 30 mins away)

            KELLY'S (for just about anything), Dunedin (not far) has
            great goumet-quality eclectic food.

            GREENSPRINGS (downtown Safety Harbor, off Main St) not far.
            Very interesting gourmet-type food, live guitar music
            on weekends

            CELLO'S CHARHOUSE downtown Safety Harbor. nearby. Tiny little place, WWII decor. Limited menu, but delicious. Very reasonable. Most expensive item (filet mignon) is around $15.00. All meals come with salad, beer-cheddar soup, perogies, and the entree selection. BRING YOUR OWN WINE OR BEER. They usually have salmon, pork chops, chicken breast, filet mignon, vegetable pasta. RESERVATIONS NEEDED.

            Hope this helped.

            1 Reply
            1. re: HERPEPPINESS

              Avoid Cello's like the plague. Food/service is overall bad and not worth the money. Soup was cold, and my medium well filet mignon was so tough, that my food actually ended up flying off the plate while I was trying to cut the steak. We asked for no sauce, and they put it on the steak anyway==after trying to cut it, I saw why. My boyfriend's salmon was the same way. See my posting on this.

            2. Vincenzo's service is awful.

              For a really elegant, wonderful meal actually in Palm Harbor, try the Blue Heron on Tampa Road.
              For a really good down home seafood grille/grill, actually in Palm Harbor, try the Thirsty Marlin in "downtown" Palm Harbor.

              1. US19 and Curlew Rd. is Kwanda....
                A nice lookin' pretty good Asian Buffet extravaganza...

                Dim Sum, Sushi(eh+/-), tons of stuff... I dig it...

                2 Replies
                1. re: Mild Bill

                  I personally know the people who opened Kwanda. They are from mainland China, and have tried to create a place with very authentic Chinese food; they even have/had a second menu with some very traditional Chinese fare which we never see here, to wit: "Chicken feet", etc. I think they had to discontinue a few things because the American palette for Chinese food is pretty limited and standard. But they difinitely wanted the place to be way beyond just another stock Chinese buffet restautant. It is very beautiful inside.

                  1. re: wishbugger

                    I agree that it is a nice-looking buffet, and it is beautiful inside. But even this beaut can't escape the fate of most Chinese buffets: The taste of most dishes was fair to poor. I would not return. (But, to Laurie, yes, they have a lunch and a dinner buffet.)

                2. I typically shy away from Chinese buffet, but these posts intrigue me. Do they serve lunch and dinner? Do you know if they use MSG?

                  1. You will NEVER GO WRONG with buying a gift certificate to the Island Grill's Sunday Brunch ($19 at the time of this posting)..A Beautiful restaurant on Clearwater Beach. FOOD IS FAB!! All you can eat of fruit/cheese table (try the baked cranberry brie!)...fresh poached or smoked salmon...seafood table filled with shrimp, crawfish, oysters...sushi bar...create your own omlette bar (chefs waiting to cook it up for you)...Stuffed French Toast, blintzes, eggs benedict, bacon, sausage...dishes like chicken, pork, pasta & a venetian dessert table & unlimited cappuchino (spell?)...and don't miss picking up a fresh waffle bowl filled with ice cream & cherries jubilee or banana foster!! Great Place & GREAT CHRISTMAS GIFT for anyone who lives here!! I RATE THIS PLACE 5 *****

                    1. Bamabelle...thank you for letting me post again...this is more or less for those of us who live locally, but your subject line is an eyecatcher for my post here.

                      Anyone looking for a GREAT quick meal, visit The Happy Greek at the Boot Ranch Shopping Center. FOOD IS DELICIOUS!! Average meal about $7.00 ~~~~~~~~ it's on our weekly dining out list - beats cooking for the price!! Healthy too! Janis

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: janisnic

                        NOOOOO! Not the "Crappy Greek". It is neither owned by or run by Greeks. The salad dressing tastes like Italian. Go next door to Amarit Thai Restaurant. They have great food and great service for areasonable price.

                      2. Bubba Gumps Seafood , CANT BEAT IT & THE VIEW IS FAB !!!

                        1. Hey Bmh61, do you work there?
                          There are so many better places to go than a chain like Bubba Gumps

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: scubadoo97

                            -THIS IS FOR SCUBA DOO !
                            I bet ur mother use to tell you - my lil boy(Life is like a box of chocolates)...

                            NOW BACK TO THE TOPIC!- GREAT SEAFOOD !
                            I've been to many "exquisite" Restuarants of variety depending what my palet desires.
                            Gumps is Casual BUY ALWAYS GREAT @ fresh, FRIENDLY ATMOSPHERE !
                            I can wear a sundress & no need for a formal dress, but never a complaint when I go there... I can pay 75$ for Dinner& Drinks & Lv happy & Full..... Rather than a dark, Unattentive place "& food wasn't worth a Dime } which there are several in the area"!!
                            Different strokes for different folks Scuby doo~ Enjoy your Burger w/o a bun tonight, I bet your signification other wld. Be pleased ! Woof, burp.ppsss"- EXCUSE YOU !!!! WOW <3 Always, now my Love & I off to BUBBA GUMPS we Go !!
                            Cheerio Mate .......