By CHRIS SHERMAN
© St. Petersburg Times, published May 17, 2001
Menu out front. Posting a menu under glass outside is an old custom where many diners are on foot, but it also makes sense in a car culture and especially in malls or entertainment districts. Nothing fancy; just a menu in the window or a stack of take-out menus is cheap, easy advertising. It lures many and spares others sticker shock.
NEW IN TOWN
Longtime fave Anna's Ravioli & Pasta Co. spins off downtown lunch at Urban Ciao (536 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg; (727) 896-9656) in the former Courthouse Grill. Menu includes salads, pizza (with Anna's dough) and sandwiches, from roast turkey and dressing to uptown roast beef and brie on baguettes. Sandwiches run $5.50 to $7.50. For pasta and breadsticks, you still must go to the original Anna's (5625 Fourth St. N, St. Petersburg; (727) 522-6627), now also open for lunch.
Blue Diamond Restaurant and Bar (5004 Tangerine Ave. S, Gulfport; (727) 323-5350) replaces the old Wheelhouse restaurant. New owners Betty McCaul and Karen Reed from Akron, Ohio, have a menu running from homestyle meatloaf and kielbasa with sauerkraut to filet mignon and shrimp scampi, with most dinners at $5.99 to $6.99, topping out at $10.99.
Look for more buzz touting SoHo, the restaurant row on Tampa's S Howard Avenue. (Le Bordeaux's Gordon Davis now counts 28 from Kennedy south.) The restaurants will chip in with winemaker Michael Mondavi in a joint promotion of his family's wine as a reminder that Ybor City, West Shore and Boy Scout Boulevard aren't the only places to eat in Tampa.