By CHRIS SHERMAN
© St. Petersburg Times, published April 26, 2001
New in town
Openings painted Tampa tangerine -- and cool blue last week.
The former Boca warmed up and came to life as Rita Carlino's on Seventh Avenue in Ybor (1930 E Seventh Ave., Tampa; (813) 241-4646) with Jon Eric Kern back in his former kitchen. Lunches $7.95 to $8.95; dinner entrees $14.95 to $25.95.
Yung Kim and Jeff Strane gave Centro Ybor Samurai Blue (1600 E Eighth Ave., Tampa; (813) 242-6688), with sushi, fusion entrees and sakes cold and hot under a 40-foot ceiling. It serves lunch and dinner; prices average $20-$25.
Samba Room, sixth in the nuevo Latino chain from T.G.I. Friday's, brought Old Hyde Park (1610 W Swann Ave. Tampa; (813) 254-5870) a helping of new nightlife with ropa vieja, whole snapper, mambo cocktails, cigars and a conga beat. Prices: $8-$19.
Greek chow mein gets a new home next month. Mr. Souvlaki (510 Dodecanese Blvd., Tarpon Springs; (727) 937-2795), which cooked up souvlaki feta, peppers and onions over rice (trademarked in 1993), will move a few blocks to Alt. U.S. 19. George Tsentsenis' untraditional dish is a Tarpon staple and filling take-home fave: The single serving for $10.50 actually feeds two. The new building has 100 seats, wheelchair access and better parking.
I'LL HAVE ANOTHER
... ice cold mojito. The old tropical twist on a julep is finally big here. It's a simple form of strong spirits: white rum, club soda, sugar, lime and fresh mint (ideally, yerba buena). Trick's in the muddling: Learn to muddle mint and sugar water just right and you can give a Cuban accent to Derby parties on May 5.
-- CHRIS SHERMAN, Times food critic
Back to Weekend
© 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
490 First Avenue South St. Petersburg, FL 33701 727-893-8111