Dining and Drinks
Busch Gardens is known for its thrill rides and exotic animals. Now add food and spirits to that list.
The park’s inaugural Food & Wine Festival starts March 7 and runs noon-9 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays through April 26. It features a variety of sample-size cuisine tastings at nine “food cabins” throughout Gwazi Park, more than 65 wines and 50 craft beers, and featured cocktails.
Busch Gardens’ own Executive Chef Ron DeBonis and acclaimed Chef Norman Van Aken, founder of NORMAN’S at The Ritz-Carlton in Orlando, helped inspire the culinary selections that you’ll find at the food cabins, which include:
The popular Cuban Sandwich Festival will stretch over three days for the first time when it returns to Ybor City on March 20 to 22.
Along with the extra day, the fest is reigniting the Tampa-Miami rivalry over who makes the best Cuban in the “City2City Smackdown” on March 22.
A qualifier is being held this Saturday at the Magic City Casino in Miami where several South Florida sandwich makers will face off for the right to compete in the Smackdown against Tampa restaurants for the title of “Best in the World” in traditional and non-traditional categories.
By Olivia Stacey
Sea Salt, an upscale seafood-oriented restaurant, is the latest addition to downtown St. Petersburg’s Sundial.
The 12,000-square-foot restaurant is the creation of Chef Fabrizio Aielli. Aielli is no stranger to the restaurant industry. This is the second location of his award-winning restaurant in Naples.
Sea Salt already seems to be a natural fit for Tampa Bay. Since opening at the beginning of February, they’ve been booked with reservations. Chef Aielli suggests to make a weekend reservation two weeks in advance.
By Ashley Reams Mistretta
Move over, dinner reservations.
If you’re on a budget and can’t go out for an expensive feast, or if your and your special someone just appreciate saving money, this list is for you.
Here are five meal deals that you can take advantage of on Valentine’s Day.
TBO Seen Staff
Locale Market’s FarmTable Kitchen is now accepting online-only reservations.
Locale Market, which opened in Sundial this December, is the collaboration of chefs Michael Mina and Don Pintabona. The two-story 20,000 square foot building has 11 kitchens, wine bar and bake shop that combine to create a culinary immersion.
FarmTable kitchen is the final portion of the upscale market. The concept is an intimate dining experience, with eight people seated in a private dining room. The eight-course tasting menu will change on a weekly basis to incorporate the market’s freshest ingredients, such as seasonal produce and items from the butcher station. Each course is paired with wine, sake, cocktails or locally brewed beers.
James L. RosicaTribune/Scripps Capital Bureau
If you can’t beat ‘em, buy ‘em.
Despite its snarky Budweiser ad during the Super Bowl poking fun at craft beer, Anheuser-Busch has been steadily buying craft breweries around the country.
Could Tampa’s own Cigar City Brewing be next?
By Ashley Reams Mistretta
Steven Ashworth, owner of Ashworth Artisan Chocolate, is gearing up to make lots of goodies before Feb. 14.
“Our busiest week of the year is the week before Valentine’s Day,” Ashworth said. “It’s really non-stop paced.”
He’ll sell about 1,000 chocolate-dipped Plant City strawberries during the week. And he isn’t skipping a beat, even though he recently moved the store to downtown Tampa.
TBO Seen Staff
Kahwa Coffee Roasters announced plans on Wednesday to open its newest location at the Altis at Highland Park in Westchase. This will be the seventh location for the locally-owned coffee roasters and the first Kahwa outside of Tampa and St. Petersburg.
“Our seventh café will be in a new residential building in a fast-growing area of Westchase,” said owner Raphael Perrier. “We’re excited to join the neighborhood and provide good coffee to even more residents of Tampa Bay.”
Located at 11588 Fountainhead Drive, Tampa, FL 33626, the cafe will be 1100 square feet with indoor and outdoor seating.
Two Tampa Bay area craft breweries have landed on ratebeer.com’s annual list of the top brewers in the world.
Tampa’s craft beer stalwart Cigar City, and relative newcomer Cycle Brewing in St. Petersburg are on the list of 100 brewers from around the globe. The list is based on reviews on the website from 2014.
Ratebeer has been around since 2000 and features professional and user submitted reviews of more than 200,000 beers from more than 19,000 brewers.
The fresh fish experts at Bonefish Grill are launching a new menu, featuring creative small plates at an affordable price. Bites on the new IN + ON Bar menu start at $4.
The new selections are part of the restaurant’s ‘Incredible Served Daily’ campaign.
“Incredible Served Daily highlights how Bonefish Grill is striving to be incredible every moment we have with our guests,” said Stephen Judge, president of Bonefish Grill. “We are excited to unveil the first piece of our new initiative – the IN + ON Bar Bites Menu — that is creating a whole new bar experience for diners.” said Stephen Judge, president of Bonefish Grill.