The Real Estate Sizzle

Tampa Real Estate Sizzle…Your Best Source for Tampa Real Estate, Tampa Neighborhoods, South Tampa Real Estate, Florida Condominiums and The Latest News on The International Real Estate Market

Jackie Colson-Miller

Jackie Colson-Miller, CIPS
Direct - (813)629-5757
Homeward Real Estate
3401 Henderson Blvd
Tampa, FL 33609
My Profile
Email Me
Contact me to Buy or Sell Your Home
My Opinion

Follow me on:


My Zimbio
KudoSurf Me!

View Jackie Colson-Miller's profile on LinkedIn

fiabci logo

Real Estate Sizzle Tampa Bay restaurants
Tampa Restaurant Reviews








Poshd

Creative Commons License
work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 License

My Favorite Places to Eat in Tampa…Tampa Real Estate And MORE!

“Where are the Best Places to Eat in Tampa??”…That is the question MOST of my Real Estate clients ask when they are moving to Tampa! It’s a natural question. It follows…Where are the Best Neighborhoods in Tampa…The Best Schools in Tampa…and the “Best” of Everything in Tampa…

I have written, many times, about my “favorite” places to Eat in Tampa, so this is the latest in my list of Favorite Tampa Restaurants:

Eddie V’s

New to the Tampa Restaurant scene, I enjoyed the original Eddie V’s some years ago in Austin, Texas. In a word, Eddie V’s is FABULOUS! From the decor, to the professional wait staff (thieved from many of the best restaurants in town) to the flawless execution in the kitchen, Eddie V’s does EVERYTHING right! I enjoyed three dining experiences within two weeks! I love the tuna tartare with avocado, mango and citrus…perfectly “spiced”, along with the crab cake to start! We have sampled most of the menu! The Fuji Salad and Mushroom salads are amazing. I have ordered the Sole, Sea Bass and Scallops…all perfectly done.eddiev  The steaks and daily specials are equally amazing! Not to be missed, despite how “full” you may be, you MUST order the Flaming Bananas Foster…it is to die for!! Just when you think a restaurant can’t get any better, they “personalize” your dining experience…When the Fuji salad arrived with “sugared cherries”, one of my allergies, the management noted that allergy on my “profile”, so on my next visit they confirmed “no cherries” in any of the dishes I ordered. WOW…that is a first! What service! Eddie V’s is sooo good, they are definitely the “force to be reckoned with” on the upscale dining scene in Tampa. They are “pricey” and they are worth EVERY penny! And, it’s one of the best “bar scenes” in Tampa… Just go…as often possible! Trust me!
Eddie V's Prime Seafood on Urbanspoon

Grille 116

The sleek, contemporary and dimly lit interior of Grille 116 makes for a great dining experience, especially if you can snag the right spot in the restaurant. The padded booths along the wall are my favorite…very comfy and private! The is a a private room at the front for large parties and a “cell phone” room…so please use it and don’t disturb diners with your cell phone calls! Great idea! I love the seafood at Grille 116, especially the Sea Bass and Scallops! I can NEVER get enough of their Beet Salad and you MUST have their “Doughnuts” with Caramel, Raspberry and Chocolate Sauces for dessert…yes, you must!

Happy hour at the bar has some great drink and appetizer choices…Tuna Tar Tar, Fried Calamari and  amazing sushi. I think the location is often overlooked on that busy stretch of Dale Mabry, but it is worth seeking out for a special night out. Also open for LUNCH!
Grille One Sixteen on Urbanspoon

Carmel Cafe

One of my South Tampa neighborhood “favorites”, they have been “tweaking” their menu since opening last year, so I am going to “opine” about that. Before I start, know that I eat here VERY often.  First, I like the varied menu, the majority of which is “small plates”. It is easy to please every palate, from vegetarians to carnivores, there is a little something for everyone. I especially like the Braised Short Ribs with polenta, Steak Frites, and Spinach Gnocchi. You can “switch” the sides and they are very accomodating.  On Sundays and Mondays they offer a Prix Fixe dinner for $12.99 with the house appetizer, a soup or salad and choice of 4 entrees. This is a change from the previous Prix-Fixe dinner offering…2 for $25 with some shared courses, but many more choices. My issue is not the price, but the “choices” on the newer menu. I’d rather see more options, even if they come at an upcharge. That’s my opinion.  Second, We tend to eat here on weekdays as weekends are pretty crowded and then, we get to my “big peeve”, about this restaurant…small, noisy children! Look, I am a mother of three, so I have been dining out with children for many, many years. But, Carmel Cafe is a WINE BAR and restaurant. It is NOT for children. They do not have a “kid’s menu” on the menu. So, in my opinion, this restaurant “attracts” families with children because they use  Ipads for menues. I have seen parents give the I pads to the children to keep them “busy”. Guess what? It doesn’t work. They still scream. They run around. They disrupt the surrounding tables.  Let me repeat…this is not a restaurant for children and the adult diners do not enjoy listening to your children scream while you ignore them. When my children cried in a restaurant, we took them outside, or packed our food to go. This generation of parents seems to “ignore” the disruptive behavior to the detriment of other diners.  I applaud the restaurant in Houston who banned children under 8 after a certain hour because they disturb the other diners. It’s not politically incorrect, it’s just a fact. Small children do cry and diners have a right to enjoy their dinner in an “adult-oriented” restaurant without listening to screaming, disruptive children, or the parents who ignore it.  When restaurant managers accept the fact that “crying children” HURT their business, they will GET more business. Enough said.  I do enjoy Carmel Cafe, but prefer to see the entire menu at once vs. scrolling through the Ipad. The menu changes seasonally, so I like to see the changes all on one page.  The staff is solicitous and consistent and the manager is always in the dining room checking on things. Carmel Cafe has the makings of a great place, it just needs to decide what it wants to be…is this a Wine Bar/Restaurant or is it just another restaurant? …Lots of my opinion, for what it’s worth!
Carmel Café & Wine Bar on Urbanspoon

AQUA

I have been a big fan of Aqua since I sampled their food at the opening event of Restaurant Week last year. That goes to show just how “critical” it is, in the Tampa Restaurant World, to “promote” your restaurant at these events. I met the GM, Marshall Hamilton, and head chef, Matthew Mangone at that event. They “wowed” me with their food and I have been a loyal fan ever since! Dinner at Aqua is always amazing. They serve the BEST Beef Carpaccio in town (sorry, Bern’s), along with the freshest fish. From the Lobster Bisque, to the Osso Buco, to the Crab Stuffed Flounder…who can decide? It is all incredible, as is the service. I have a “special table” that I always reserve and I can’t say enough about how much I LOVE it! Aqua Bar and Grille is located in the Westin Hotel on the Courtney Campbell Causeway. It’s definitely a “hidden Gem” and worth seeking out for a fabulous dining experience.

Aqua Bar & Grille on Urbanspoon

BOCA

It’s small. It’s crowded. It’s noisy.  It’s amazing! I am feasting at Boca several times a month! The innovative menu changes seasonally and features locally grown and produced ingredients turned into fabulous meals with a twist. The staff is consistent and one of the “best bets” is the everchanging “staff meal”. Just order it! I could go on, and on, about Boca because it is just THAT good. Chef Chad always checks on my table…the sign of a “kitchen who cares”. And, they have just hired Wilco from the St. Pete Brasserie…love to see that familiar face in South Tampa! Great move. I will be enjoying Boca for as long as I live…or as long as they do…which should be a VERY long time!

Boca Kitchen Bar Market on Urbanspoon

More to come on my “favorite restaurants in Tampa” so keep checking in….

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Uncategorized




It’s “Restaurant Week” in Tampa!

One of the first things my Real Estate clients ask me about when they are moving to Tampa is…”Where are the best restaurants in Tampa?”…I happily give them a list of my “favorite” places to eat in Tampa, and when “Tampa Restaurant Week” rolls around, I send them a link to the list of restaurants offering “prix fixe” menus. This year, over 90 local restaurants are participating in the Dine Tampa Bay Restaurant weeks, which run from August 16-30!  I will be attending the opening festivities tomorrow night, featuring a celebrity chef “cook off” and samples from a number of the featured restaurants. It is ALWAYS a fun event! Check out some of the Restaurants and their menus and watch for my “picks” for the best place to eat during Tampa Restaurant Weeks…I already have 8 reservations..with more to come!

Considering a move to Tampa? Contact me! You can expect to find a home in Tampa, in desirable school district,  from 300K to several million.  There is  a neighborhood for every budget! Read some of my previous articles on Relocation to Tampa, or Tampa Neighborhoods:

Davis Island,

Cheval

Moving to Tampa? Check the School District!

Looking for real estate in Tampa? If you are buying a house in Tampa, or Selling a house in Tampa, I can help with any Tampa neighborhood, including: South Tampa, Davis Islands, Beach Park, Sunset Park, Hyde Park, Culbreath Isles, Palma Ceia, Westchase, Waterchase, Odessa, Cheval, Avila, Brandon, Riverview, FishHawk, New Tampa, Tampa Palms, Hunter’s Green, Arbor Greene, Apollo Beach, South Shore, MiraBay, Golf Communities, Waterfront Homes, Luxury Homes in Tampa, Clearwater Beach, St. Pete Beach, Condos in Tampa and International Real Estate…contact me! Just give me specifics of what you are looking for and you will receive the newest listings on the market!

You can search my site, on the right sidebar, for any article related to Tampa Real Estate, Neighborhoods, or Restaurants.  Just type in a search word in the search box!

You can read my restaurant reviews on Urban Spoon, too!

Categories: Uncategorized




Prices Are UP in the Tampa Real Estate Market

The Latest News on Tampa Real Estate, Buying a Home in Tampa, The Best Tampa Neighborhoods…and More…

Tampa Real Estate Prices reached a 5-year high last month!  Recent sales have shown the highest prices and lowest inventory in many years. What does that mean for the homebuyer in Tampa? We are seeing multiple offers on properties again! Buyers need to make quick buying decisions as soon as a property comes onto the market.

If you are buying real estate in Tampa, which has a very limited inventory of homes in many desirable neighborhoods, what can you do to get a “jump” on the market? Here are some things to consider when you are looking for a home in Tampa:

1. Don’t “go it alone”…use an agent.  Realtors have their “pulse” on the market. We know many properties are for sale before the general public does. If you are simply trying to find a house by driving around, or using the internet, you will be behind the buyers who have an agent already on the “hunt” for them.

2. Be flexible. Sometimes adding an addition, remodeling, or building a new home are options to consider that will give you exactly what you are looking for. Many sellers have done some remodeling and expect the sales price to reflect the “upgrades” they have done.  But, “poor” color choices, or flooring choice,s can actually “hurt” the sales price, as buyers will want to “remodel” the “remodel”.  If the house has a good floor plan, in a nice neighborhood, sometimes a “remodel” is the best thing to do.  Depending on the scope of the remodel, you may be able to wrap it into your mortgage with a 203K loan.  I have done two major “additions” on my own homes, so I know how nice it is to build “exactly” what you want!

3. Get pre-approved with a reputable lender! This is a critical step in the current home buying environment.  Sellers expect a letter of pre-approval with any offer! It will take several weeks to gather all of the paperwork necessary to get a pre-approval, so the time to do that is BEFORE you start looking for a house.

4. Once you are pre-approved, DO NOT buy anything that might alter your credit score, or loan status, without discussing it with your lender. Any change to your credit score, or your debt to income ratios, can affect your mortgage approval. Don’t buy new cars, or make large purchases on credit, while you are getting a mortgage.

Any other questions about buying a house in Tampa, or the Best Tampa neighborhoods? Just send me an email, or give me a call!

In addition to helping with finding the perfect house, I love to chat about Living in Tampa and all of the great things to do.

If you enjoy unique restaurants and great food, you can check out my “other” passion, which is writing about all of the interesting restaurants in the area. Check out my page on Urban Spoon and read all of my restaurant reviews!

I can help with your move to any Tampa neighborhood, including: South Tampa, Channelside, Harbour Island,  Davis Islands, Beach Park, Sunset Park, Hyde Park, Culbreath Isles, Palma Ceia, Westchase, Waterchase, Odessa, Cheval, Avila, Brandon, Riverview, FishHawk, New Tampa, Tampa Palms, Hunters Green, Arbor Greene, Apollo Beach, South Shore, MiraBay, Golf Communities, Clearwater Beach, Waterfront Homes, Luxury Homes in Tampa, Condos in Tampa and International Real Estate contact me today!

For assistance in finding a house in Tampa, or any of the surrounding suburbs, or any questions about the Tampa Real Estate market, please contact me. PCS to MacDill AFB or Moving to Tampa?

Categories: Uncategorized




Finding the “Best Schools” in Tampa and The Best Neighborhoods in Tampa? You Will Need Some Expert Help!

The Latest News on the Tampa Real Estate Market, Living in Tampa and Assistance with Relocation to Tampa, every day!

When a family with children is relocating to Tampa, or PCS to MacDill Air Force Base, their concerns are all the same….Good Schools, Safe Neighborhoods that are family-friendly and a reasonable commute to their job location.

Tampa, the largest city in Hillsborough County, is a very large Metropolitan Area.   Depending on where you choose to live,  your commute can vary from ten minutes, to over an hour.  MY role, in helping families to narrow their options for neighborhoods and school, is to gather information about THEIR family, THEIR children’s academic interests, social activities, etc.  I recently had a request from a family who MUST have a specific Latin course available for their High School aged-child.  Since Latin is not a standard offering at every high school, I needed to do some research.  Ironically, the person who heads the ‘foreign language’ department at the County School level gave me “incorrect” information, so I did my own research and found two high schools which offer the “must have” Latin courses, in one of the neighborhoods which I had already “targeted” for their needs,  and their price point.  While they are in town this month, they will visit those schools, so we can further narrow their neighborhood options.

The internet is a great place to “search” for houses.  The right Real Estate agent searches for YOUR home, based on YOUR needs.  I have been relocating families to the Tampa area for 17 years. I have three children who have been through the Private and Public AND Magnet school systems in Hillsborough County. My youngest is still in High School. I know the “family friendly” neighborhoods…I don’t have to search for them!  I treat every family, as if it were my own! If you are moving to Tampa, or PCS to MacDill Air Force Base, and are looking for experience that goes beyond “internet searches”…contact me today! After chatting with me for five minutes, you will sense that I, absolutely, love what I do!

In addition to helping with finding the perfect house, I love to chat about Living in Tampa and all of the great things to do.

If you enjoy unique restaurants and great food, you can check out my “other” passion, which is writing about all of the interesting restaurants in the area. Check out my page on Urban Spoon and read all of my restaurant reviews!

I can help with your move to any Tampa neighborhood, including: South Tampa, Channelside, Harbour Island,  Davis Islands, Beach Park, Sunset Park, Hyde Park, Culbreath Isles, Palma Ceia, Westchase, Waterchase, Odessa, Cheval, Avila, Brandon, Riverview, FishHawk, New Tampa, Tampa Palms, Hunters Green, Arbor Greene, Apollo Beach, South Shore, MiraBay, Golf Communities, Clearwater Beach, Waterfront Homes, Luxury Homes in Tampa, Condos in Tampa and International Real Estate contact me today!

For assistance in finding a house in Tampa, or any of the surrounding suburbs, or any questions about the Tampa Real Estate market, please contact me. PCS to MacDill AFB or Moving to Tampa?

I can help you find the perfect home, AND recommend a great restaurant.  Read my restaurant reviews on Urban Spoon…just click on the link below!

RealEstateSizzle.com Tampa Bay restaurants

Categories: Best Places in Tampa, Best Tampa Neighborhoods, Celebrity Homes inTampa, Cheval Homes, Davis Islands Real Estate, Gorrie Elementary, Harbour Island, Hunter\'s Green Homes, Hyde Park Real Estate, Luxury Homes in Tampa, MacDill AFB, Mitchell Elementary, MLS Listings in Tampa, MLS Search, New Tampa, Newsome High School, Places to Live, Plant High School, Restaurants in Tampa, Schools in Tampa, Steinbrenner High School, Tampa Real Estate Market, Tampa Schools, Waterfront Homes in Tampa, Westchase, Westshore Yacht Club




Moving to Tampa? Looking for the Best Tampa Neighborhoods? The Best Schools in Tampa?

It is “Relocation Season” in Tampa…that time of year when families with children are making plans to move to Tampa and the end of the current school year. The “Tampa” area is very large and most families are concerned about the same things: quality schools, nice neighborhoods and a nice home. Schools are generally the number one priority! Hillsborough County has many top quality school options, so when you contact me about “the best neighborhood in Tampa”, or the “best school district” in Tampa, I will ask a lot of questions about your lifestyle, your children’s needs, your workplace location and THEN I will show you the BEST places to live in Tampa, based on your criteria. With such a large geographic area, my goal in finding a home for you is to make your life as simple, and enjoyable, as possible. If you are used to a long commute, you can generally find commuting in Tampa is much easier than any large city in the us. There are wonderful neighborhoods and highly rated school districts throughout the county, so contact me
for help with your move to Tampa!

In the past few months, we have seen the resurgence of “multiple offers”, which is an indication that the “Buyer’s market” in Tampa is coming to an end. Homes that are well-priced, in good school districts, are getting multiple offers as soon as they come on the market, or as soon as they get a price reduction, which reflects current pricing in the neighborhood. Most Builders, who had plenty of “inventory” of new homes, either completed, or under construction, are OUT of inventory. I spoke to one builder recently, who has sold over 50 new homes in a 5 mile radius this year and can’t keep up with the demand! If you are looking for a new home, please let me know. Pricing varies from the 200′s to over 1 million! Most of the new construction is not listed, so unless you are working with an agent, it is difficult to find. Just send me an email, and I am happy to help. With 19 years of experience relocating corporate executives, military PCS and their families, and 3 children who attended several top-rated schools, I know what is critical when you are moving to Tampa!

I can help with your move to any Tampa neighborhood, including: South Tampa, Channelside, Harbour Island, Davis Islands, Beach Park, Sunset Park, Hyde Park, Culbreath Isles, Palma Ceia, Westchase, Waterchase, Odessa, Cheval, Avila, Brandon, Riverview, FishHawk, New Tampa, Tampa Palms, Hunters Green, Arbor Greene, Apollo Beach, South Shore, MiraBay, Golf Communities, Clearwater Beach, Waterfront Homes, Luxury Homes in Tampa, Condos in Tampa and International Real Estate .

For assistance in finding a house in Tampa, or any of the surrounding suburbs, the Plant High School District, which is #38 in the US, or any questions about the Tampa Real Estate market, please contact me. PCS to MacDill AFB or Moving to Tampa?

Like what you are reading? Share it on Facebook, or Twitter!

I also LOVE Great Food, so check out my Restaurant Reviews on the Urban Spoon….!

Categories: Uncategorized




What Are The Best Neighborhoods in Tampa? The Best School Districts in Tampa? Consider Harbour Island for the Plant High School District

If you are moving to Tampa and looking for a home, and a neighborhood, that offers a “low maintenance” lifestyle in the heart of the city, Harbour Island may be for you! Located in the Plant High School District, it is the MOST desirable school district in the County. Rated in the “Top 100 High Schools in the U.S.”, families with children and busy professionals enjoy the lifestyle and the resale value of the Plant High District and  Harbour Island.

I have two homes under contract on Harbour Island, for two families with children of all ages,  who were looking for GREAT Schools, a safe neighborhood, and being close to all of the wonderful things to do in Tampa, especially close to Downtown Tampa and Hyde Hyde Park. When families, with children, are looking for the combination of “family friendly” neighborhoods and “good schools”, they must make a choice between South Tampa and it’s many neighborhoods, including Harbour Island, or one of the many suburbs outside of the City of Tampa.  It is confusing at best! If you are moving to Tampa and need help…just make the search easier for yourself and email me!

Here’s the scoop on Harbour Island….just south of Downtown Tampa, it is in the Gorrie Elementary, Wilson Middle and Plant High School District…

On the waterfront, just blocks from downtown Tampa, Harbour Island offers the combination of prestige, convenience, 24 -hour Harbour baysecurity in a gated environment, and a comfortable lifestyle, in a variety of neighborhoods. You can walk to Jackson’s Bistro for dining on the Terrace, or over to the Channelside area for dining, movies or shopping. The Harbour Island Athletic Club has a pool, tennis, spa and the ultimate workout facilities. The St. Pete Times Forum, home to The Tampa Bay Lightning, is just a short walk from home. Harbour Court and Seddon Cove feature condominiums with city, or waterviews, with prices startinPort royalg in the 200’s . Townhomes are available in several neighborhoods, ranging from the 300’s to the 600’s in Harbour Bay. The Keys is a “Key West” style neighborhood with single family home prices  from the 500’s. Villas dominate Port Royal and St. Tropez, with non-waterfront starting in the 700’s and waterfront prices over 1 million. Single Family Homes  are available from 800K and up! The quiet streets are filled with kids (and parents) biking through the neighborhoods.

Considering a move to Tampa? Contact me! You can expect to find a home in Tampa, in desirable school district,  from 300K to several million.  There is  a neighborhood for every budget! Read some of my previous articles on Relocation to Tampa, or Tampa Neighborhoods:

Davis Island,

Cheval

Moving to Tampa? Check the School District!

Looking for real estate in Tampa? If you are buying a house in Tampa, or Selling a house in Tampa, I can help with any Tampa neighborhood, including: South Tampa, Davis Islands, Beach Park, Sunset Park, Hyde Park, Culbreath Isles, Palma Ceia, Westchase, Waterchase, Odessa, Cheval, Avila, Brandon, Riverview, FishHawk, New Tampa, Tampa Palms, Hunter’s Green, Arbor Greene, Apollo Beach, South Shore, MiraBay, Golf Communities, Waterfront Homes, Luxury Homes in Tampa, Clearwater Beach, St. Pete Beach, Condos in Tampa and International Real Estate…contact me! Just give me specifics of what you are looking for and you will receive the newest listings on the market!

You can search my site, on the right sidebar, for any article related to Tampa Real Estate, Neighborhoods, or Restaurants.  Just type in a search word in the search box!

You can read my restaurant reviews on Urban Spoon, too!

Categories: Best Areas to Live in Tampa, Best Places, Best Places in Tampa, Best Places to Live in Tampa, Best Tampa Neighborhoods, Buying a House in Tampa, CDD in Tampa, Channelside Tampa, Cheval Homes, Davis Islands Real Estate, Flood Zones in Tampa, Gated Communities in Tampa, Gorrie Elementary, Harbour Island, Hyde Park Real Estate, International Real Estate, Luxury Homes in Tampa, MacDill AFB, MLS Listings in Tampa, MLS Search, Moving to Tampa, New Tampa, Newsome High School, Places to Live, Plant High School, Schools in Tampa, South Tampa, Tampa Neighborhoods, Tampa Real Estate, Tampa Real Estate Agent, Tampa Real Estate Market, Waterfront Homes in Tampa, Westchase, Westshore Yacht Club




Mise En Place Never Fails to Please…Best Tampa Restaurants

After more than 25 years on the Tampa Restaurant Scene, dining at Mise En Place never gets “old”. When I moved to Tampa in 1989, it was one of the few “great” places to eat and became one of my favorites. When entertaining “out of town” guests, it is always at the top of my list. Last night, with a table of eight, my companions from all around the US shared, and feasted, on several appetizers: Pork Belly with Macarpone Corn Cakes with a Fig Compote, Beef Carpaccio and Grilled Shrimp. Most of the crowd enjoyed Marty’s version of a Caesar Salad…Hearts of Romaine with a Parmesan Tuile and Foccacia Crositini. Entrees included the Beef Tenderloin with Poblano Tasso Cheddar Grits, the Mustard Crusted Lamb Chops and Seared Duck Breast in Calvados. Had we not had some “nibbles” at an earlier function, I would have enjoyed the “Get Blitzed Menu”, offering four courses, including an amuse and dessert for $49.25. They did, graciously, allow me to get “A Little Blitzed”, and I ordered the Duck Confit Foie Gras, Fingerling Potato Poutine off the “Get Blitzed” menu…absolutely delicious and I DID NOT offer to share!
A nice Mauritson Zinfandel from Sonoma paired perfectly with all of the entrees. We were seated in a quiet corner at the front of the restaurant. The atmosphere was dimly lit and lovely, but made the menus just a little difficult to see…we all downloaded the “flashlight” app on our Iphones and beat the waiter to the punch, when he offered us a mini reading light!! LOL…it was a fabulous dining experience, once again
Mise En Place on Urbanspoon

While I love great food, especially on the “adventurous” side, my REAL job is Real Estate, so if you are moving to Tampa, or any of the Tampa neighborhoods, I can help with your move to any Tampa neighborhood, including: South Tampa, Channelside, Harbour Island, Davis Islands, Beach Park, Sunset Park, Hyde Park, Culbreath Isles, Palma Ceia, Westchase, Waterchase, Odessa, Cheval, Avila, Brandon, Riverview, FishHawk, New Tampa, Tampa Palms, Hunters Green, Arbor Greene, Apollo Beach, South Shore, MiraBay, Golf Communities, Clearwater Beach, Waterfront Homes, Luxury Homes in Tampa, Condos in Tampa and International Real Estate .

For assistance in finding a house in Tampa, or any of the surrounding suburbs, the Plant High School District, which is #38 in the US, or any questions about the Tampa Real Estate market, please contact me.

Like what you are reading? Share it on Facebook, or Twitter!

Categories: Uncategorized




“Restaurant Week” Launch Party Offers a Hint of the Great Restaurant Choices in Tampa!

Last night was the Launch Party for Dine Tampa Bay’s Restaurant Week, which takes place from August 3 through August 17.  More than twice as many Tampa Bay Area restaurants will be offering prix-fixe menus compared to last year’s event, so I was really pleased to see more restaurants involved, and it was a great venue at the A La Carte Pavilion !

This was a chef’s opportunity to “whet your palate” and entice the “foodie crowd” to make “their restaurant” stand out , offering  “samples” from their menu, or unique items NOT on the menu.    I would have liked EVERY sample to come from the Restaurant Week menus, because they might have swayed me to add a few more restaurants to my “already reserved” list.  Restaurant Week is a great opportunity for chefs to “step outside the box” and create a unique menu, not just selections from the regular menu. That’s MY opinion, for what it’s worth.

To be “fair”, I focused on the Restaurants who were offering “entrees”, not “desserts”, because I think that should be the focus of any restaurant, so my “hits” and “misses” are about the “food” not the “finale”, because if the food isn’t great, I won’t stay for the finale!

Here are my “winners” and “losers” from what I sampled last night:

Roy’s …The “Korean Short Ribs” over white polenta “knocked it out of the park”! Not on their regular menu, the smoked and slowly braised tidbits, in beef stock, with mirepoix were topped with a Ginger Scallion Sauce, along with a Spicy Red “Kochu Jong”. Fabulous! The chef has promised me a “special meal” to blog about, so I am holding him to that! Last year, Roy’s was one of my “misses”, so they stepped up to the plate this year!
Roy's on Urbanspoon

Chart House…On my “hit” list for the second year, the Chart House served up a spicy Tuna Tartare with Plantain Chips. It was perfect!    I know the Chart House from my college years in Rhode Island. The Tampa Chart House combines great food, with a great view.

Chart House on Urbanspoon

Aqua…I love Aqua…from the “cool” decor to the water view and unique food, it is always a great dining experience. ! They made the “hit list” with an amazing Braised Lamb over Faro with Sweet Potato! Very interesting melange of flavors! It was superb!
Aqua Bar & Grille on Urbanspoon

 

Terra Sur…New to me, but no longer, this South American restaurant in Carrolwood turned out one of the tastiest dishes of the evening.  It was my last stop on the “foodie trail”, before dessert, and I got the last of the “Corvedito Andino” with Aji Panca sauce, roughly translated into slow-cooked lamb with a spicy sauce. If you like spicy, and unique, this is the restaurant for you! Loved it!
Terra Sur Cafe on Urbanspoon

Bon Appetit…This little gem was serving up Ahi  Tuna on Cucumber Slices with a Wasabe sauce along, with a “mini” Bloody Mary with  Shrimp and just enough “zing”…great presentation and absolutely delicious!
Bon Appetit on Urbanspoon

Seasons 52… One of my favorites, they were serving four of their signature desserts: Blueberry Cheesecake, German Chocolate Cake, Key Lime Pie and Pecan Pie. I am putting them on the “hit” list, not so much for their signature desserts, but their “Restaurant Week” menu is the same as last year, and it is a “killer” menu, so put be sure to make it one of your stops during Restaurant Week. And, yes, for the staff at Season’s 52 who worked the party last night, I’m the blonde who scooped up the tray of ALL four desserts for our table to sample…great move on my part!

Seasons 52 on Urbanspoon

 

Flemings…My Award for “The Biggest Loser” of the evening goes to….ta da…Flemings! Known for their Steaks, they were serving Bruschetta! Are you kidding me? A “Prime” Steakhouse who considers itself “upscale dining” is serving chopped tomatoes on crostini to “wow the crowd”??? Bad move.  Why bother? The lousy bruschetta, combined with my last bad dining experience at Fleming’s takes it “off” my Restaurant list for a very long time.

Fleming's Prime Steakhouse on Urbanspoon

 

Grillsmith…Serving up the same dish as last year, where it was a “winnner”,  their Lemon Feta Chicken arrived this year tasting like school cafeteria food! Yuck.  Flavorless, with no sign of feta, lemon, or any salt, or flavor…it was a “loser”.
Grillsmith on Urbanspoon

Be sure to make reservations for Restaurant Week!  I already have four reservations and am working on a few more!  Check out the menus and make your plans early. I guarantee the best places will be booked very soon! The “prix fixe” menus are $25, $35 or $45 per person for 3, or more, courses!

If you “spot me” in any of the Featured Restaurants during Restaurant Week, please stop by my table and say “hi”. I’ll be blogging on my all of my dining experiences all along the way!

Like this??? Please share it, or “tweet” it with your friends….

Categories: Uncategorized




Ybor City’s New Carne Chophouse is a Winner on the Tampa Restaurant Scene

Seafood Stuffed Snapper

Carne, which of course, translates to “meat”, is not just for carnivores! Occupying the space vacated by Metropolitan, on the front of Centro Ybor, the atmosphere is open, the bar side is cozy, and the food is fabulous! After several visits for lunch, and dinner, I can say the service and management are very attentive and the only “hiccup” in many visits was a Prime Rib that was not rare. Every night there are several specials, in addition to the regular menu. One night, I had the Rack of Lamb special, which was likely the best I have ever had! PLEASE add it to the regular menu! One of the few places in Tampa who serve Escargots, that is often one of my “starters”. My favorite salad is the Spinach with Oven Roasted Pears, Havarti, Candied Walnuts, Crispy Pancetta and a Warm Balsamic Vinaigrette. While I AM a carnivore, I LOVE the Seafood Stuffed Snapper in a Shrimp Newburg Sauce, along with the Trout Almondine and, of course, the Cowboy Ribeye.
The lunch menu features smaller portions of the dinner menu and also some great sandwiches and soups.
On Thursday evenings, you can enjoy Frank Sinatra music and $5.00 glasses of Veuve Cliquot!
Carne is one of my new favorites, so be sure to tell Mike that I sent you!

Carne ChopHouse on Urbanspoon

In my “real” life, I have been relocating families to Tampa for 18 years! I can help with your move to any Tampa neighborhood, including: South Tampa, Channelside, Harbour Island, Davis Islands, Beach Park, Sunset Park, Hyde Park, Culbreath Isles, Palma Ceia, Westchase, Waterchase, Odessa, Cheval, Avila, Brandon, Riverview, FishHawk, New Tampa, Tampa Palms, Hunters Green, Arbor Greene, Apollo Beach, South Shore, MiraBay, Golf Communities, Clearwater Beach, Waterfront Homes, Luxury Homes in Tampa, Condos in Tampa and International Real Estate .

For assistance in finding a house in Tampa, or any of the surrounding suburbs, or any questions about the Tampa Real Estate market, please contact me. PCS to MacDill AFB or Moving to Tampa?

Like what you are reading? Share it on Facebook, or Twitter!

Categories: Uncategorized




Plant High School Rowing Team Takes “The Best” from The State… to National Regatta Finals

Plant High Rowing AssociationH.B. Plant High School ranks 38th in the “Top 100 High Schools in the US”. Known for it’s Academic Achievers, and consistently rated on the “Best Schools” list, this year the Plant High Rowing Association has plenty to brag about, as well.

In the Florida Scholastic Rowing Association Sweeps, Plant High Rowing Association had it’s best showing in history, placing Third in Overall Points Statewide…Six Boats, and 58 members of the Plant High Rowing Assocation, qualified for the SRAA National Championships Regatta in Camden, New Jersey, to be held May 25 and May 26. This is a well-deserved honor for these athletes who train six days each week, on the water, rain or shine! You can watch the “Live Stream” of the SRAA National Regatta from the Camden Boathouse, on Friday, May 25!

You can find all Plant High School entries, the entire racing Schedule, and can sort the races by the athlete’s names on the Regatta Central Website.

Plant High School Rowing Association offers “Learn to Row” summer camps, for middle school and high school students, who attend any school! For more information about Plant High School Rowing, or to help support the athletes, visit their website, or contact the club!

If you are traveling Memorial Day weekend and spot a large “sea” of “Yellow and Black” at Tampa International Airport, congratulate the Plant High Rowing Team for a fantastic year!

Like this? Share it on Twitter, or Facebook!

Categories: Uncategorized




« Previous Entries

Categories: Uncategorized