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Birthday dinner- tomorrow night- Tampa/Carollwood

Hello to all. Bought a house in Northdale area, tomorrow is my birthday and I really would like a nice place for dinner. I know I should be more specific, but was hoping I could get Tampa CHers favorite special occasion places. Not wanting crazy upscale or very expensive. Basically like most cuisines- faves include real italian, sushi and seafood, steak, and spanish tapas, but really like most everything. Good wine list always a plus. I tend to avoid majority of chains. Appreciate all timely responses (i know its last minute- just closed last Friday!). Thanks:)

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  1. Toasted Pheasant. I have not been there but have been wanting to go for a while. Vizcaya, nice tapas and good Spanish wine. Thai Sweet Basil for the whole snapper and stuffed chicken wings.

    1. I'd suggest Gio's Italian on Waters and Dale Mabry.

      Quaint small fine dining restaurant with piano player and lots of wines. Been there a few times and was excellent every time. Reasonable prices.

      menu: http://www.menuism.com/links/show/dDE...

      review: http://tboextra.com/content/2008/oct/...

      1. Sweet Basil Thai is good, it's in Northdale Court, I disagree w Gio's, it's terrible and overpriced. My fave Carrollwood place is Terra Sur, it's right by the Sweet Bay that's on Ehrlich Rd., just passed Ben Hill. REALLY cute Peruvian place, great seafood, steak and ceviche! Good wine and sangria 2! Oh ya, their flan is DELISH!

        2 Replies
        1. re: TampaNativeThatLovesNYC

          But Gino's Italian which is not too far from Gio's is really good. I have heard bad things about Gio's as well.

          1. re: rhnault

            I've always done well at Gio's, and I find it reasonably priced. I second Vizcaya as well. Two good choices.

        2. Gio's on WAters has frozen chicken and pre made pasta

          4 Replies
            1. re: sarge

              Andy Huse gave it a not-so-good review on his blog.

              1. re: rhnault

                Did he say they use frozen chicken

                1. re: sarge

                  I don't think he had the chicken ; )

            1. Hope you had a nice birthday tonight. I was going to recommend going to Choxotica Chocolate Bar on Ehrlich Rd. after dinner for to-die-for chocolate drinks. You could still go Saturday I suppose. They're open till 9pm.

              1. I was lucky enough that my husband surprised me with a reservation at a place I had been wanting to try in Oldsmar- Restaurant Hapa. Its Hawaiian- Asian fusion and was fantastic! We split the scallop appetizer- this amazing dish with sweetness balanced with savory heat. I had the Sea Bass special with pesto and romesco sauce- well balanced, perfectly cooked- very tasty. Hubbie got the spiced rubbed Ahi- also very good. Portion sizes were very generous and we may have skipped dessert if the owner hadn' t come out and offered it complimentary for the occasion. And boy am I glad we got it! We had a sublime honey-pine nut semi freddo on a flat pine nut brittle cookie. Small intimate place (counted 11 tables total), excellent personal service. Menu is not huge, but varied and I believe there are always a few specials. Fair selection of reasonably priced wine. Total for 1 app, 2 entrees, bottle of wine was $120 +tax, but we printed up a gift cert from restaurant.com ($10 for $25 gift cert).

                1 Reply
                1. re: jme1beachbum

                  Oh how nice! I have been wanting to go as well and have been tempted further by restaurant.com lately. Happy Birthday!

                2. Try Blu Figs located behind tgi fridays, dale mabry just south of northdale. Excellent food and atmosphere, not too pricey.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: toocatt

                    I've seen the sign there, been wondering how it was, thanks!