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Oct 31, 2007 12:04 PM

Best Holiday Dinner in Tampa?

For a group of 10-18- prefer separate checks. Wouldn't mind steak or something upscale and nouveau- we did Melting Pot last year.

Capital Grill, Ruth's Chris, Charley's, Shula's (I'd heard they don't do separate checks), Bern's, or maybe Oystercatchers or Armani's?

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  1. Has anyone been to Armani's lately?

    1 Reply
    1. re: rikkikm

      We were there last Christmas Eve and it was wonderful. Since then though I have been to Pelagia Trattoria twice and I think I like it better.

    2. 10-18 separate checks? I think that's a bit much to ask, personally.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Miss E

        Melting Pot did it easily as have several other restaurants around the Bay area for my group and other similar groups.

        rhnault: I've been to Pelagia twice now and though it has beautiful decor, I found the food to be meh.

        1. re: rikkikm

          I like the olives, the duck, rack of lamb, the caesar fondue and the white chocolate cheesecake ; )
          If you like duck their duck is absolutely fabulous.

          1. re: rikkikm

            One idea for the separate checks need is to divide your party into groups of four, based on who is seated next to whom after you sit down. Much easier to divide a check four ways among folks on your left and right (this way you can choose whatever restaurant you like - most places will agree to this type of check division, it makes things a bit easier for the kitchen as well).

        2. Bern's is the best steak restaurant at which I have ever eaten. It is a restaurant which garners a lot of flak whenever it is mentioned on these boards, but I think that the "yeas" overwhelmingly outnumber the "nays." Don't be put off by the lobby, which looks like an 1890s brothel. The rest of the restaurant decor is more "traditional steakhouse" in nature.

          The food is superb. They butcher and dry age their own beef and serve organic vegetables from their own farm, although I understand that they now supplement this supply with food from other organic growers.

          They have their own 80,000 bottle wine cellar and you can take tours of the wine cellar and the kitchen.

          Then, upstairs, they have a dessert room with an incredible array of sweets. I think that the Bananas Foster is the equal of any version of the dessert that I ever had in New Orleans. Of course, all with all the other showmanship of the place, they cook it at your table. I'll concede that that is not exactly unusual for Bananas Foster, but it never stops being impressive.

          As to whether they would give you separate bills, they are so service-oriented that I cannot believe that they would not do so. Please check. Of course, for all that service, the custom-grown, aged, and butchered beef, plus the encyclopedia-like wine list, you pay an arm and a leg, but it's Christmas and you don't do it that often, right?