At Mangroves, ordering a drink is almost as much of an experience as sipping it—guests ask for wine and cocktails at a handcrafted 60-foot, stained-glass bar. Its eye-catching design fits right into the chic downstairs lounge, dotted with VIP tables where guests revel in bottle service. Upstairs, meanwhile, another full bar awaits visitors, fueling jive sessions on the spacious dance floor. DJs spin there four days a week, playing sets far preferable to the sound of guests blowing over empty champagne flutes.
Late-night partiers can snack on casual bites such as chicken tenders or mac ‘n’ cheese after 10 p.m., but the eatery’s dinner menu reflects the same refinement as the stained-glass bar. Pomegranate-glazed salmon and black Angus filets in blue-cheese sauce delight palates, along with simpler burgers and salads.
At Fresco's Waterfront Bistro, guests lounge on an expansive wraparound patio looking out over elegantly plated dishes of shrimp and calamari to consume views of Tampa Bay. Dockside diners can pair seafood entrees with martinis, margaritas, or draught beers. As night falls, eats will be illuminated by colorful lights, which will also reflect off the water and treat local marine life to a free laser-light show.
When searching for the perfect place to open up their new eatery, Fish Tales Seafood & Steak House owners Dan and Peggy Wesner got all the way to the edge of the ocean, threw up their arms, and said, "good enough." Today, their endeavor has paid off, and diners from near and far come to feast on the restaurant's flaky fish sandwiches. Each day, the kitchen releases its bounty of freshly caught whitefish and tuna onto plates, serving it in steak, fillet, or sandwich form. Chefs also assemble steak, chicken, and salmon into skillets, which arrive to tables chock-full of potatoes, tomatoes, onions, and green beans.
Fish Tale’s marina-side location attracts visitors from water and land, with room to dock your sailboat or warmongering naval flotilla. Wooden benches and tiki accoutrements adorn the dining room, and bartenders at the eatery’s two waterfront bars dispense a bevy of frosty brews.
Outside Ballyhoo Grill, a sign made to look like a colorful speedboat beckons to passersby, hinting at the smorgasbord of fresh seafood to be found within. A tropical theme permeates the space, with live music setting a relaxing mood and nautical decor—such as a surfboard, an alligator head, and a stuffed and mounted kraken—adorning the walls. Guests dine on surf 'n' turf plates, fish tacos, pulled pork, and burgers as they share friendly conversation and clink cocktail glasses and mugs of draft beer.
Chef Will Greenwood’s dishes have graced many important meals, from Julia Child’s and Robert Mondavi’s 80th birthday parties to the Head of State luncheons at NATO’s 50th-anniversary celebration. In the '90s, he was even asked by the Clintons to audition to be the White House chef. Today, Greenwood’s Caribbean-Latin fusion recipes inform festive meals at Catch Twenty-Three. Certified fresh seafood and aged steaks cook over a pecan-wood grill while elsewhere in the kitchen, chefs prepare signature dishes such as macadamia-crusted Chilean sea bass and Cuban-style ribs basted in guava barbecue sauce. In private cooking classes, Catch Twenty-Three’s team members gladly share their culinary techniques and anecdotes about that time they heroically wrested a spatula from the grip of an angry lobster.