Konstadino "Gus" Tsilionis started his first tavern in his native Greece. When he founded his second restaurant, this time in the United States, he picked a similarly coastal location: the Tampa Bay Area. Now owned and managed by son Tom Tsilionis, The Blue Dolphin Restaurant features an indoor pond outfitted with a footbridge and a leaping dolphin. Although not quite on the same scale of the Aegean Sea or the Gulf of Mexico, it's perfect for throwing coins into while wishing they would bounce back out as larger coins.
The coastal theme extends to the kitchen's offerings, too. The culinary team whips up plenty of fresh seafood, from crab-stuffed tilapia fillets to Maine lobster saut?ed in cognac. Classic Italian and American dishes, like chicken pesto fettuccine, dijon-mustard-rubbed prime rib, and tender barbecue ribs, round out the menu, as does a soup and salad bar stocked with over 30 types of fixings. To wash it all down, diners can sip premium cocktails like the house long island iced tea?which, thanks to a splash of Blue Cura?ao, is ocean-blue.
Pint glasses of Guinness clink as patrons watch touchdowns, goals, and nail-biting shuffleboard tournaments on 18 televisions and dig into shepherd's pie, fish 'n' chips, and half-pound Angus burgers. Wood-paneled walls adorned with photos of Ireland surround families sharing Irish potato boat appetizers with bacon, cheddar, and sour cream or competing in the hot-wing challenge to determine which child deserves the biggest allowance. Guests can also take part in pub trivia, weekly karaoke nights, and special events including the annual St. Patrick's Day party.
The Show Palace Dinner Theatre piles plates high with cuisine from an endless buffet and salad bar while also sating cravings for entertainment. Their productions range from musical revues such as Swing! and New York Nights to more traditional musicals like The Sound of Music. Prior to the show, audiences mingle at a brief cocktail reception before taking their seats at linen-draped tables. A spread of comfort food fills stomachs with the fuel necessary to give a standing ovation, shout for encores, and scream at pet falcons to get down from the rafters.
Chefs at Garden of Eden stack deli meat from Boar's Head on hot and cold Italian subs, bake pans of lasagna, and pluck freshly sprouted falafel to pack in warm wraps. Combining favorites from Lebanon and Italy on their Mediterranean-inspired menu, the cooks bake stromboli alongside soft pitas and craft a full diabetic menu of low-sugar options that draw from the two cultures. To celebrate the restaurant's Lebanese background, belly dancers recite interesting facts from the country's almanac on the first Friday of select months.