Dining advice in Tampa

Old Sep 20th, 2003, 06:00 PM
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Dining advice in Tampa

I am going to be in Tampa for a long weekend and am going out to dinner two nights. I did a little research and thought of going to Mise en Place (I wasn't sure if I should go to the restaurant or bistro) and then either Bernini of Ybor or Columbia (because I wanted to check out Ybor City one night). Does anyone have any advice or comments?

Thanks so much!
cca70 is offline  
Old Sep 21st, 2003, 12:36 PM
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I don't get to Tampa as much as I used to, but to me the Columbia is a lunch place-- go to see it and have the great salad and cuban bread, plus whatever else you want -- but a "great meal, it ain't".

Haven't been to Mise en Place in several years, but it was one of the best meals I've had in Tampa. The restuarant, that is.

I usually avoid hotels for dining, but it is hard to beat Armani's on top of the Hyatt facing the sunsets on the bay. Many will recommend Bern's, kind of an experience, mainly to see the phone book wine lists and enjoy really good steaks.
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Old Sep 21st, 2003, 12:58 PM
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Of all the dinners during a week in the Tampa area, Armani's was at the top of the list. It is among the finest dining experiences I have had. I did not enjoy Bern's.
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Old Sep 21st, 2003, 02:06 PM
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Another vote for Armanis but bring the credit card with a higher limit. It's not a cheap place but great food, service, and amazing views.

If you do Columbia for dinner, see if they are having the dancers perform when you want to go. That might make it worth it at night. Otherwise, I agree that Columbia is a good lunch place. Bernini's is good too - more intimate I think.

I have only been to Mise en Place once and found it just ok. I know others like it but that's just my opinion.

I do like Bern's but it DOES look like a brothel on the inside but we have been going there for 20 yrs and enjoy it. People tend to complain about the decor when discussing Berns.

I hope you enjoy your stay in Tampa.
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Old Sep 21st, 2003, 02:53 PM
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Patrick recommends Armanis and I'll recommend Oystercatchers which is on the same Hyatt property but down on the water. You eat your fresh caught fish and watch the herons, pelicans and egrets catch theirs while watching a lovely sunset. Oystercatchers offers excellent fish and a spectacular view in a more casual setting which is more "Florida" to me.

I love Columbia but for lunch. Sangria, 1905 salad and soup maybe. Berns is excellent but really an experience for people who value the wine above all. If you are not "into" superb and unusual wines you might spend your money elsewhere. I love their wine list but do not subject others to the dated atmosphere unless they are really red wine afficionados. LMF
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Old Sep 21st, 2003, 03:30 PM
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I'd say Berns (or is it spelled Byrne's?) is a fabulous place to eat! It is just south of downtown Tampa.
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Old Sep 21st, 2003, 05:26 PM
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Patrick, BuzzyJ, Coldwar27 and LilMsFoodie--what a pleasant surprise to come online and read your comments. I read them aloud over our loft railing to my H down below, trying to concentrate on the current game. He even turned the sound down to listen--a very major accomplishment on a Sunday afternoon! Thanks you all...they do work hard to provide a terrific experience and it's very, very nice to receive the occasional pat on the back!

Old Sep 21st, 2003, 06:24 PM
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It's Bern's, and while I've recommended it here before, I agree with all of the above caveats. The food, while good, is kind of a throwback, as is the decor and the terribly elaborate service. But the wine list is vast, indeed; they give a hoot of a restaurant tour; and repairing to a dessert booth after dinner is a lot of fun. It's not remotely hip or modern, but it's cool in its own way!
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