Saturday, November 3, 2012

P.J.'s Oyster Bar and Seafood Restaurant

It's that time of year for the best crab feast ever!  Well, besides the Maryland steamed Blue Crabs, crab cakes, and crab soup, there's nothing sweeter than Stone Crabs at PJ's.

We usually go there for their "Steve's Fantasy Pick Combos - scallops and oysters lightly breaded and fried!!! But, from October 15 through April, the stone crabs are in! People here want to eat seafood from the area, and they want stone crabs for the simple fact that they’re better than lobster. They are called the golden nectar of the sea. They’re the best-tasting crab there is especially when dipped in PJ's honey mustard dip.

This is the place we take all our out-of-state guests and family; the food is consistantly good and always cooked to perfection.

500 1st Street
Indian Rocks Beach
Florida, 33785

Saturday, October 27, 2012


I think about once a week, I just get a hankering for some sashimi.  Well, the last couple of times, Ed and I have been eating at a place called Sake House.  It’s a bit confusing because it’s also called CDB’S Italian Restaurant.  Who would’ve thought to blend an Italian restaurant with Japanese cuisine, but that’s just what they’ve done.  The combo works great for us because sometimes Ed doesn’t want sashimi or sushi rolls; he often orders the steak and chicken hibachi cooked dinner.
We happened upon this place when we were going to our favorite (5 stars!) occasion restaurant, CaféPonte.  They are both in the Icot center just off Ulmerton on Icot Boulevard.
The dish pictured is Sashimi Deluxe, and everytime I order it, the chef changes the color (of the lighted ornament) and arrangement. The staff is friendly, attentive, and the tables and boothes are comfortable. They have a well stocked bar and flat screen TVs, so it can be a great place to watch some of your favorite sports games.

Try them out...Italian, Japanese, or Pizza!  It really is worth a visit.

13505 Icot Blvd. #207
Clearwater, FL 33760

Sashimi Deluxe, my favorite.
On a more recent visit, we were delighted to see an eclectic crowd enjoying their Grand Opening.  The singer out in the courtyard was a pleasure to listen to and the bar was hopping.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Grille One Sixteen

Steak, or not to steak?  That is the question. Personally, I love a good steak, but I have a vegan athlete (cyclist) son who would beg to differ. Since I respect his views, I was tickled to find that at Grille 116, they have a wonderful selection of Angus steaks that are hormone and antibiotic free, “Certified Humane”, and are raised on a strictly vegetarian diet. I like happy cows! Check out the Myer’s story: 

I really enjoyed Grille One Sixteen. 

Both visits to this relatively new restaurant were delightful…the ambiance is warm and romantic and the service is excellent. As you walk in through the wall-esc door, the dimly lit but well adorned dining area is quite modern and cozy. I loved the privacy of the booth and their back-lit menus; I didn’t need my readers!  Ask for Steve or Heather; they are quite knowledgeable about the menu selections and wine parings. The wine selection is limited, so I hope to see a more extensive list in the coming months.

Grille One Sixteen had me at their crab cake appetizer! No kidding, if you’ve ever been to or lived in Maryland, you know a good crab cake when you get one. As explained by the manager, Casey, getting the consistency of lump crabmeat and crumbs (just enough to hold the crab pieces together) is no easy task…they found the right combo! We tried their Meyer’s steaks – Ed had the bone-in Ribeye, and I had the 116 Signature Steak Bites (basically a smaller portion of their filet). I’d definitely order the tender, flavorful Ribeye next time…did I say I like happy cows? 

On a previous visit, I ordered the fresh Mixed Grill with Wild caught Salmon, Jumbo Shrimp, and Steamed Vegetables.  This dish was a winner, too.  The fish was correctly cooked and the plating was beautiful. Ed found the Crispy Chicken Tenders as good as “comfort food” gets.  And those salads… the best thing to do is choose one the first time and go for the other on another visit. The mixed greens salad is earthy and delicious, and the Caesar is served as a wedge of romaine with shaved medallions of Parmesan cheese. It’s a mood thing.  Like many restaurants lately, there is no bread being served; I do miss a piece with my salad and wine.

Now for the fun part of the meal – dessert! There are two I highly recommend with a good Cappuccino. Grille One Sixteen has donuts! Although it sounds silly, the freshly cooked donuts are warm and lightly sprinkled with sugar, but I was delighted most with the dipping sauces (dark chocolate, fresh fruit, white chocolate, and caramel). I consider them a must have, although the decadent peanut butter s’mores is a real treat as well. We decided to share both, and we’ll probably do so again!
Judging by the other dinners being served, the aroma of entrées in passing, and a great experience, we will be back!
Check out their menu:

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Ocean Prime

Berries & Bubbles
Belvedere Citrus Vodka, Marinated
Berries, House Made Sour,
Domaine Chandon Brut Champagne
Have you ever wanted to go to a restaurant just for their specialty drink?  We did just that when company came to town, and we had a birthday to celebrate! The waiter was wonderful, and Jerry made my mother's day. It was nice to see the proprietor, Jorge Diaz (, who I find amazingly caring and professional, there that night. He checked on us a few times to make sure my mother's birthday was special.
The menu items,, are spectacular and have never disappointed our desire for variety or tastes. The Lemon Chicken to the Prime Steaks, salads, and desserts keep us coming back; it's the kind of place that impresses and satisfies any friends and family we've taken there.


If you're in the Tampa area, make this one of your dining experiences.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Vizcaya Restaurant and Tapas Bar

Have you ever wanted to order just samples off the menu items? Well, I've found the place for you!
(See link below)

With a couple of our good friends, we drove to Tampa for a special dinner of Tapas; some we had chosen and a couple choices were left to the discretion of our waiter. It was really hard to decide with so many wonderful sounding dishes. What I liked the most was the intreguing variety meats... wild rabbit, oxtail, and veal sweetbreads. Having small portions plated for the four of us (or depending on the number of guests at your table) so elegantly made the whole experience a taste extravaganza.

Scallops (this portion for two)
Tapas, for those of you who have not yet tried them, are small portions or finger foods (canapes) originating from Spain.
It is told that King Alfonso X, el Sabio (or “the Wise One”)  made sure that Castilian taverns served wine accompanied by something to eat, so that the wine would not go straight to the clients' heads. Each tavern/restaurant served their specialty, and these tapas would vary from town to town.

Our waiter at Vizcaya suggested a bottle of wine and a plate of their most requested tapas: a sampling of dates (stuffed with Manchego cheese and Serrano ham then wrapped in bacon and fried - served with honey aioli!).  I also enjoyed their mushroom soup and sampled the arugala salad (so good!) for starters; both were excellent.  We were all excited to order our two favorites, so the plates were paced to give us time to enjoy our company and wine.

First to be presented were the cold tapas of shrimp salad and avacado, sushi grade tuna tartar, and of course those delicious figs. Next was a smorgasboard of hot tapas: scallops, fried calamari, large prawns stuffed with bechamel (wrapped in pork belly then pan fried), and wild rabbit. We had the best time here and capped the night off with a dessert wine then Cappuccinos, flan, and orange key lime pie which we all shared...had to! Whatever the true origin of tapas, order one or several, then enjoy them like the Spanish do – with a glass of wine and a relaxed attitude. Now I have a great reason to visit Spain as well!

Spain...and Tapas!

Vizcaya Restaurant