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Dec 14, 2007 05:14 PM

Fine Dining/Seafood in St. Pete, Tampa or Anywhere in Between

Hello! I am looking for a fine dining restaurant w. a focus on seafood in the aforementioend areas. This is a gift for my seafood snob, Gulf-living parents. They love Pass-a-Grille and Peck's in Ozello is a classic. I am looking for somewhere a lot less casual w. a focus on fine dining and seafood. It would be great if it was on the water, too. Do places like this exist or does everywhere in this area have the super-casual Jimmy Buffett vibe (don't get me wrong - I love this about SW Florida)?

Thanks in advance?

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  1. There is always Roy's in Tampa.


    1. There is The Columbia at the St, Petersburg Pier, Spanish/Cuban with Seafood dishes. The location at the St. Petersburg Pier overlooks the Bay, with floor to ceiling windows on the fourth level of the Pier (which is an inverted pyramid structure). Really because of the area being a tourist destination many restaurants might be upscale but many people dress very casually. There is also an upscale restaurant in the Don Cesar Hotel on St. Pete Beach.

      1. Hmm. Roy's is a chain with a a Hawaiian theme *shudder*. I checked out the Don Cesar's restuarant and the seafood offerings were meh at best. I was researching some restaurant or another in St. Pete and they were proud of the fact the offered "Hawaiian seafood flown in fresh daily". I won't even contemplate the environmental irresponsibility of that. The irony of flying in fresh seafood from Hawaii to anywhere in state that is an isthmus blows my mind. The Columbia sounds intriguing.

        I guess the moral of the story is that my parents know what they are doing when it comes to eating seafood. ;) I wanted to get them a gift certificate somewhere fancy, but it looks like Peck's in Ozello kicks all these places asses when it comes to seafood.

        1 Reply
        1. re: DarrylsMama

          I'll mention The Hurricane Restaurant at Pass-a-grille. Famous for their grouper sandwiches.

          Did a web search on Peck's and found out it is all the way up in Crystal River, a bit of a drive from the Tampa/St. Pete area.

        2. Pacific Wave on 2nd St S in downtown St Pete is the best upscale seafood restaurant I've been to. They focus on fin fish but also have a nice selection of carnivore choices. The food is consistantly excellent and creative. If you're lucky, you'll be there on a night when they do the Thai tea sorbet as a palate cleanser. Unbelievable!

          1 Reply
          1. re: stpeteguy

            She won't like Pacific Wave either, stpeteguy, as I'm pretty sure that's the place that advertises fresh Hawaiian fish.
            I'd be willing to bet that Peck's actually uses flown-in seafoods as well. (I read that they serve mussels - certainly not local, and almost certainly farmed.) That is the way it is now - the consumer wants more than the limited offerings available locally, so seafood is flown world wide daily.

            Try the Lobster Pot in Redington Shores. But this rec comes with a warning: they serve Maine lobster, Dover sole, Alaskan crab etc in addition to local lobster, oysters, and fish offerings.


          2. Darryl--
            I recently ate at the restaurant at the Don CeSar. It was amazing. The food was wonderful, especially the fish which seemed very very fresh. Also, the service was stellar. and you can't beat that view...before or after dinner take the elevator to the fourth floor and go out onto one of the terraces. They are usually rented out for weekend nights, but you may be able to sneak up. It will take your breath away.