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Looking for a good non-chain place North Tampa/New Tampa Lutz

Can anyone recommend a good place between Tampa Palms and Cheval? I'm looking for a place with a reasonably nice atmosphere in the moderate to higher end price range. Any recommendations out there?

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  1. Thai Ruby is good. off BB Downs. Otherwise, I don't get up that way much.

    1. Beneditto's is very good off of 52 and 41 (in the Wal-mart plaza). Right outside Cheval (off Dale Mabry/Van Dyke) is Splash, continuously rated as one of the best seafood restaurants in Tampa.

      1. I'd go with Benedetto's - it's one of my favorites in the Tampa area. The Italian favorites (ziti, lasagna, etc) there are decent, but they really shine with their appetizers and their chef's specialties.

        http://tampabayeats.com/blog/2006/07/...

        I've only been to Splash! once, but I was pretty unimpressed. Boring menu of "fresh fish" and the usual tired potato and veggie side items. The bar area looked cool, but the meal definitely wasn't good enough to warrant an almost $100 price tag for dinner for two.

        http://tampabayeats.com/blog/2006/07/...

        -Kevin

        1. I didn't think Benedetto's warranted a second visit. It's standard American cuisine with an 'Italian' label. Nothing distinctive or exciting there. Sushi Alive on N. Dale Mabry was pretty good- very modern decor. Thai Basil on Northdale Blvd. had good food and I would describe it as 'upscale' Thai. Bella Gente is a decent Italian place next to Sushi Alive with food that comes much closer to authentic Italian than Benedetto's.

          1 Reply
          1. re: rikkikm

            The question asked for a good non-chain place in North Tampa, but didn't mention anything about "authentic Italian. Not sure what you ordered at Benedetto's, but my several visits there have been phenomenal. Again, the Italian favorites are just OK, but they have surprisingly fresh seafood and some great chef's specials. I can understand if you didn't enjoy it and wouldn't return, but it is only fair that you tell why.

            -Kevin

          2. Gus' Cafe in Carrollwood is kind of dumpy but the food is great. Benedettos is an average Italian joint. Gino's in Tampa has good food, decent atmospher and not too pricey. Donatello is the best if you want to spend a few bucks.