When thinking of eating in Florida, the first thing that comes to mind is Cuban food. So, I was definitively looking forward to having Cuban food while I was at St. Pete Beach. Just a few blocks down from the hotel was Bella Habana, a little gem of a place on Gulf Blvd. This neat place had a menu filled with Cuban classics, from seafood to roasted pork, with various mojos (sauces). Sides include black beans, tostones (a mashed up plantain pan-fried to crispiness), sweet plantains, roasted vegetables, rice, and more. You can make up your own combination dinner, or stick to a traditional Cuban sandwich, or even chose from the tapas menu, made up of smaller portions of the main entrees.
The service was a little erratic, the waiter very friendly but seeming forgetful, leaving us alone for perhaps too long. But the atmosphere was pleasant, with colorful decor and Cuban jazz flowing through the speakers (some nights they have live Salsa music).
Salt Rock Grill
(I swiped this pic from their web site)
Favorite Dish: Everything I had, appetizers, steak, salad was good, but what was truly outstanding was the Creme Brulee that I almost didn't have for desert. They also have an amazing wine list.
Patrick's is a very small restaurant on Gulf Blvd. It only has about 15 tables and a bar. The food is wonderful! We ordered steak bruschetta for an appetizer and it was great. The steak just melted in our mouths and the garlic and fresh tomato were awesome. The service was wonderful, and the ambience is quiet and cozy.
the food at Durango,s is fantastic you can watch the chef cook your steak over the oak fired grill and the ribs are to die for the are so tasty
Favorite Dish: the full rack of baby ribs are delicious the meat just falls off the bones and they do a great salad bowl with your complimentary bread for a starter
Being from California, I spend a lot of time criticizing Latin American food as I travel and move across the country. It is ingrained in me, I can't help it. So when I find a place that achieves a good balance of authenticity, price, and taste, I celebrate. And such is Agave. On Gulf Blvd this small place sits at a corner, fairly obscure. Venturing inside, there are only a few tables, which necessitates waiting times for large parties during a dinner rush (no reservations accepted). It's worth it.
The menu is stacked, with a selection of appetizers, enciladas, tortas, burritos, and platos especiales. We went twice. The first time I had gorditas, which is nothing like what you read about at TacoHell. These were hand-made corn shells, stuffed with pork in green sauce, shredded beef, or chicken and tomatoes and lettuce. Dense, and delicious. Second time out I had a burrito, with a shredded chicken filling with a corn, roasted pepper, and cream sauce. You can get chips, with fresh pico de gallo, and 3 smaller dishes of salsas: one a tomatillo-green chile, a second a habanero, and the third was unidentified by us. Add a side of guacamole!
The place had a good drink selection. Their sangria was fresh, with a citrus punch to it. Margaritas were served large and strong, and the horchata was super-cinnamony. Just the way I like it.
Overall, a good family establishment, with great food and a nice evening. Definitely on the to-see list.
Habana Cafe has been voted the best Cuban restaurant in the Tampa Bay area for the past 5 years. That should say something. The food is great! I loved the plaintains and sangria. In fact, I bought the cookbook published by the owner and the hot sauce. It is a place you cannot miss. Great service too.
Favorite Dish: Plaintain encrusted grouper!
Another cannot miss. It is a 4 star restaurant inside the Don Cesar Hotel. While it is fine dining and thus expensive, it is less expensive than I expected because of its location and ambience. Eating in comfy booths with pillows next to a tank filled with lionfish was neat. We had a great bottle of gewurtraminer and the entree sauce were exquisite. Don't forget to have dessert and coffee! We had chocolate mousse with Godiva white chocolate liquor and the coffee is in a french press--quite fancy.
First impression--the stained glass on the front doors is beautiful. The inside is very classy looking but it was nice to sit outside in the warm air. The menu was reasonably priced and the food was excellent. Good service too. There was a wait when we were there so make a reservation ahead of time.
Favorite Dish: Grouper