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Need 30th Birthday Dinner Suggestions - Budget Friendly In Tampa

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My boyfriend's 30th birthday is rapidly approaching and since his present is going to cost me a pretty penny his birthday dinner cannot...this means no Berns. Any suggestions for a reasonably priced, but good place to take my man for his special day? He likes all types of food.

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  1. Well, there is a Tampa thread with a lot of websites listed. What is your budget? That will help a lot.

    1. We've eaten at a LOT of the restaurants listed in the thread....that's part of the reason I posted this thread hoping to see if there was another place we could go that he might not be expecting. I'd like to keep dinner below $100, but I can go up to $120 if I had to, but would REALLY like not to as his gift is $$$

      1. Have you been to restaurant BT? If you don't order an expensive bottle of wine, you could definitely keep it that. It's in Old Hyde Park Village.

        Byblos Cafe' is really good if you like Mediterranean and I also think you could get out of there for under $100 if you keep alcohol to a minimum. - it's on Macdill, before you hit Bay to Bay.

        Another restaurant that I think is cute is the Wine Exchange also in Old Hyde Park Village. The thing is, it may not be the kind of place you are looking for. It's pretty casual and small.

        One way you can save some money-if you want to drink a bottle of wine-is to bring your own and pay the corkage fee. Usually it's only $10 to $12.

        I'll think on it some more. I know there have got to be some great places to choose from!

        1. You know, there is a newer place downtown called The Fly. I've been there twice, once for lunch and once for dinner. I will admit my lunch experience was better than the dinner, but they had just opened. I believe they also have music some nights (maybe all?) of the week. It's not the fanciest place in the world, but it's hip and trendy. The address is 1202 N. Franklin Street.

          There website doesn't seem to up and running, but it has their address and phone number on it:

          1. I just had some out of towners over and had a great experience at China Yuan. It ain't fancy or especially pretty, but the food is dynamite ()$8-$15 an entree) and you can BYOB--- no corkage fee. So I took my company to the liquor store to pick out a couple nice wines and we ate like royalty. Always ask for the fresh vegetables--- "snow pea tips" are my faves, which are like super delicious spinach leaves. Then go to a fancy place for dessert--- we went to the Columbia, but Bern's and other places would be nice too. Ended at my place for a night cap of good bourbon. The whole evening cost less than $100, if you leave out the good whiskey, anyway.

            1. Okay, one more place LOL...

              The Grape. It is on Bay Street in International Plaza and fairly new. Both times I've been there the food was actually really good. I wouldn't say it's "fine dining" and definitely not the fanciest place in the world, but it's kind of fun and hip. They have a lot of choices too. Tonight we had bruschetta, soup, hummus, crab cakes, cheese, a steak sandwich and for desserts we had berries with whipped cream and the chocolate brownie cheesecake. All very good. We also ordered a lot of wine and our bill was right around your budget. So if you kept the wine to a minimum (or brought your own or didn't drink) you could definitely keep it at around $100-$120. Plus we ordered a lot of food b/c we just felt like trying a bunch of stuff. We usually don't order that much. It is a chain, but doesn't feel so much like one. It was sort of like being outside of South Tampa even thought it was in South Tampa. And also, even though you're at the mall, it didn't feel like being at the mall.

              Link: http://www.yourgrape.com

              Let us know what you decide and Happy Birthday to your boyfriend!

              1. Thank you for all the suggestions! I appreciate it! :) We've eaten at Byblos and Wine Exchange a ton of times but haven't tried the other suggestions, so I'll look into those.