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Oct 14, 2010 08:07 AM

Top 3 New Restaurants in Tampa?

I know the old school restaurants but can anyone definitively recommend the top 3 (or so) new restaurants in Tampa that are a must or , in full disclosure, that won't go out of biz in six months? Thanks!

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  1. I'd probably say buzz-wise probably The Refinery, Datz, and Ciro's.

    1. Quibbling, I'm not sure I'd call Datz "new", but OTOH the guy keeps redefining the place, so in it's newest, gastropub incarnation, I'll give it to ya!

      Agree that The Refinery makes the list.

      I'd add Seasons 52. It's a chain, and I personally don't like it, but it appears to be very successful and won't go out of biz any time soon.

      I'm going to lay odds now that the new Bailey's, soon to open in the old Chez Bryce location on Davis Island, will be a success. Ditto the First Watch franchise set to open in the Fresh Market plaza on Henderson Blvd.

      How about the Grass Root's new location on Manhattan? It's had some staffing issues; will it make the 6 month mark?

      6 Replies
        1. re: Miss E

          Grass Roots has a location on manhattan? whaaaaa?

          1. re: askdrtodd

            Yep, in a plaza south of the Jan Platt library, on the same side of the street. Just south of Pondscapes (which is on the other side of the street.) (I'm terrible at giving directions!)

          2. re: Miss E

            Tried Datz' new menu last night, it was good. Had a pretty sizable shredded beef ravioli (maybe 5-6" in diameter?) which was tasty, a meaty flatbread, which had a generous amount of non-vegetarian-friendly toppings, and downstairs for their street food thing they had going on got to try the spicy curry dishes (one was Phaat with toned down spice that was still quite tasty, and the other I forget the name of, it was coconut milk, spinach, and chicken).

            But the guy at the table next to me. He ordered chicken fried steak. Hot damn.

            That thing was the size of a skateboard. It made me wish I smoked pot. It barely fit on the plate, and I was impressed, he put away a commendable percentage of that thing too (he was a pretty small guy).

            Anyway it's definitely worth a try, and the beer selection was waaaay above average, per usual.

            1. re: askdrtodd

              I'll try to have lunch there next week...
              ---take that menu for a spin..

              1. re: Mild Bill

                I bought yesterday's groupon or whatever, so I have a 2 for 1 lunch box thing there, let me know!

          3. It's not open yet, but Jeannie's new concept sounds very interesting.



            1. I'll agree with The Refinery. Can I vote for The Refinery three times?

              1. I like Ella's and will add a vote for the Refinery.

                8 Replies
                1. re: queencru

                  Looks like The Refinery is IT! Thank you. What's the ambiance like? I picture a sort of modern gastropub -vibe...

                  1. re: HabaneroJane

                    Well....I wouldn't exactly expect that particular vibe if I were you. To be fair, though...I don't share The Refinery love that many do. I'll be interested to read your feedback. I hope it's positive.

                    1. re: sweet_polly

                      hi again, what kind of vibe is it then?

                      1. re: HabaneroJane

                        It's a craftstman-style home that has been converted into a small, casual restaurant with wood floors, tables, and fairly minimalist decor. The kitchen takes up a good portion of the first floor. I like the food, but the ambiance isn't that great. Ella's (close by) has a lot of really interesting artwork and a more interesting setup. I'd recommend that instead if you are looking for some sort of ambiance, but it can be really loud.

                        1. re: queencru

                          while ella's has a great funky vibe, i don't think the food can compare. i've been there twice, and both times neither one of us liked anything we had. some interesting things on the menu, but unfortunately they were "out of" about 5 things i wanted to try.

                          1. re: queencru

                            I added to the art last night at the Refinery. I love the upstairs bathroom chalk board walls ;-)

                          2. re: HabaneroJane

                            It felt a little bit like "Grandma's house" to me (after she's gone and all of her stuff is taken out)...and even smelled a little like it. It wasn't "bad" but I don't think it's going to provide the "vibe" you seem to be somewhat anticipating. It's more historical-feeling than anything, IMO.

                            1. re: sweet_polly

                              Went there once and I wasn't in love with it, but I may have ordered wrong. The moules frites were kind of blah and the swordfish was dry. I'll definitely give it another try because most of their food is local, they have a great beer selection, the menu is rediculously inventive and the upstairs is cool. I've heard nothing but great things otherwise.

                              However, I've been to Ella's on 3 occasions and I've loved everything I had.