(Take a look at Wesley Chapel these days.) Great food cities like New York depend upon demographic diversity, partly because it means a single table can be turned multiple times per evening (early birds and tourists, then regular folk, then those crazy Europeans who eat around the time I’m donning pajamas).
In March, I will have been the food critic at the for 10 years, and each year I’ve done some version of a top restaurants story.
), but at Reading Room the poulet rouge, probably from Joyce Farms, is a marvel with a changing array of accoutrements.
And right now they have a nice list of low-alcohol shims worth checking out. When Freefall Theatre co-founder Kevin Lane, his husband Kevin Damphouse and partners Jessika Palombo and Lauren Macellaro opened the Reading Room last spring, they knew they were banking on the pretheater traffic from Freefall to make up for whatever they would lose by being off the teeming streets of downtown St. Plus, no way could they have their ginormous kitchen garden downtown. You cannot not get the house-made crusty bread with its house-made butter, also offered with a daily changing spread.(They’re buds, and I said it was a reverie.) But occasionally when I talk to him by phone for a story about Locale Market, I hang up and realize he has given me nothing I can use.When I heard that Locale’s upstairs restaurant would reconcept in 2017, I asked him what had failed; no one changes something that ain’t broke. So when I went to check out the new squarely Italian Farm Table Cucina, still helmed by the ebullient Jeffrey Hileman, I was skeptical.publishes a list of the country’s best food destinations, Tampa Bay will be there. C.; Seattle; Denver; and Richmond, Va., have had their day in the sun, and for good reason, but the stars have aligned for us and we are ready for our closeup. It’s food at every price point that is fearless and fresh — street food, mom-and-pop ethnic spots, fine dining and at every level in between; it’s dishes that reveal a new, even defiant take, without ever losing sight of the national dialogue about what’s current.It’s a place that showcases its indigenous dishes and culinary history, celebrates its farms and seasonal ingredients, and yet is not mired in “this is the way we do it because this is the way it has always been done.” It’s food that honors tradition but values creativity more. Craft beer arrived, which is often galvanizing, igniting consumer interests but also begetting other forward-thinking and “artisanal” food and drink businesses.And through it all, they’ve been sending out some of the most consistently exciting, sometimes audacious food in the area. There was no talking down, there was no chicken nugget ghetto. The food is the best kind of farm-to-fork New American, Macellaro sending out plates that are ravishing, with great use of vegetables.