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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, polly...so 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.

                    2. Haven't been myself, but Jim Webster loved Ciro's, and so did Creative Loafing's Brian Ries:


                      11 Replies
                      1. re: Tom Scherberger

                        The artisanal cocktail trend has been slow arriving in Tampa Bay, that's for sure. I can't wait to try this place, but the reservation requirement is a bother.

                        1. re: Miss E

                          The lack of a proper table seems like it would be a bother as well

                          1. re: rhnault

                            Is The Refinery a good place for lunch as well??

                            We are arriving in Tampa airport in the morning by the time we get rental car it will be lunch time.. We are travelling to St Pete Beach. We have a list of restaurants there and pass a grille.. We do like DDD visits is there any from the airport on the way to St Pete ? if not is The Refinery on our route?? We will have children in t ow so not looking for romantic but fun non fast food adventure places..

                            1. re: palmtree38

                              I believe Keegan's Seafood Grill on Indian Rocks Beach was actually featured on DDD at some point. You could hit that for lunch if you take 275 south from the airport and hit 688 west toward the Pinellas Beaches. When you reach Gulf Blvd., turn north (right) about a mile to find Keegans. I've been there many times, and while they can be sometimes be inconsistent, the food is generally quite good (their Oysters Rockafeller are the best I've ever had). After lunch, you can take a leisurely, scenic drive down the beach to St. Pete Beach.


                              1. re: sweet_polly

                                thankyou.. so is this really off our route? Not staying a long time and want to take advantage if any hot days at the ocean.

                                1. re: palmtree38

                                  It might not be the fastest way to get to St. Pete Beach, but it's also not out of your way. I found the DDD segment on Youtube:


                                  1. re: sweet_polly

                                    Sweet Polly. Thanks so much for the link. Octupus. Hubby wants up try this!! How far would it be from airport? I believe to st beach us 30-40 min? So hoping half that time for hungry chowers .

                                    1. re: palmtree38

                                      Just about anywhere on the Pinellas beaches is a 40 minute drive from the airport...so it would take about that long for you to get to Indian Rocks Beach. Then you would have about a 10-12 mile drive south down the beach to get to St. Pete Beach.

                                      1. re: sweet_polly

                                        Ok. Will think about it as looks great. . I was ideally looking for something around the airport since not spending time this area or a place 1/2 way to st Petes since we will have hungry kids . If driving to Indian rocks 40 min might as well eat in st Petes then.

                              2. re: palmtree38

                                The Refinery is not open for lunch but they do have Sunday brunch.

                        2. BERNS Steakhouse has incredible steak. Better than Peter Luger.


                          3 Replies
                          1. re: tldmatrix

                            Great menu at refinery. Is this close to Tampa airport? Or hickey stadium (tb lightnings) play

                            1. re: palmtree38

                              Maybe 10-30 mins depending on the time of day and if there is an event.

                              1. re: rhnault

                                How many other fans of Keegans????

                                Looking at map and this is duable.