|Address||108 Park Ave. S.|
Bosphorus is a delightful restaurant with stylized Turkish classics.
My favorite from the list of entrees was the hunkar begendi, or sultan’s delight, a classic Ottoman dish. It featured hunks of seasoned beef sauteed with onions and tomatoes in the center of the plate surrounded by a moat of creamy-textured puree of smoked eggplant.
The etli guvec was good too. It was a meat casserole with cubes of lamb mixed with green beans, eggplant,zucchini, potatoes, okra, carrots, bell peppers and tomatoes. It all blended into a wonderful, richly seasoned stew that was served over rice.
The desserts are worth sampling. Winner of the 2007 Foodie Award for Best Middle Eastern.... Read more
|Address||526 Park Ave. S.|
Cafe de France is one of the long mainstays of Park Avenue, lasting through its slump in the '90s and into the avenue's current revival as one of the area's premier dining destinations. Locals love the quintness of its small dining room and the charm of its hostess and owner, Dominique Gutierrez
A renovation a few years ago converted the spot into a sophisticated bistro. The menu is less traditional French, but has some good points. Osso buco (hello? Italian!) was good, but the chef did a better job with the fish of the day. Calamari with fried potatoes was the best starter, and clafoutis a sweet end.... Read more
|Address||151 Welbourne Ave. E.|
|Address||649 Front St.|
Columbia is the oldest restaurant in Florida, but not this location. The original in Tampa's Ybor City has been around since 1903 (although, until recently, it was thought it was established in 1905). The Celebration restaurant has had its high and low moments in the past 15 years; lately it has been doing better. The menu is not as authentically Spanish as they would like you to believe. It's not even all that Cuban. But the creative stylings at least get the spicing right. Try the red snapper Alicante or the scallops Casimiro. Desserts are less satisfying.... Read more
|Address||808 E. Washington St.|
There are three distinct Dexter’s but all offer the same basic menu, which is unambitious but functional. Much more emphasis is placed on producing a lively atmosphere, which often includes live music. (Check Web site for details.)
For food, the pressed duck sandwich is a classic. And the chicken tortilla pie, a tall, layered affair, is one of those things you feel guilty for liking but keep ordering each time you go.... Read more
|Address||700 E. Washington St.|
... Read more
|Address||1600 N. Orange Ave.|
It’s Greek, and it’s on the corner; you can’t get more succinct that that. But no corners are cut on the quality. All your Greek favorites are here, served in a small, unassuming space.
I supped on the melitzanosalat, a dip made with roasted eggplant, and followed with a bowl of tangy avgolemeno, the chicken soup thickened with a lemony egg sauce. For my main course I had the moussaka, a big brick of seasoned beef, eggplant and potatoes topped with a fluffy bechamel. Substantial and delicious.
If it’s a warm day – it’s Florida, the odds are in your favor – sit on the patio, across the street from Lake Ivanhoe.... Read more
|Address||1710 Edgewater Drive|
The fried green tomatoes were wonderful, and a towering presentation of three tomatoes layered with crab and corn salad. The tomatoes were thick and firm and breaded just right. The barbecue shrimp were good, too, although there were only three in the dish and four of us at the table so we had to fight over them. The chicken livers were, well, chicken livers.
For our main course we each decided independently to order the porcini dusted filet mignon. I had mentioned to my companions that it has always been one of my Fonzo favorites. It still is. The meat was thick and as tender as it could be, and cooked to the requested temperature. The bit of truffle oil was just right -- enough to give it distinction but not so much as to overpower.
The filet mignon is still a... Read more