Weighing in at almost a pound per slice, Mario's Pizzeria Trattoria's philly-cheesesteak stuffed pizza teems with meat and three cheeses. This is just one of the menu's specialty pizzas, which also include the pizza with nine vegetables and four cheeses and the Chicago Classico, made with sausage and fresh basil. The pizza dough is made fresh daily, as is the tomato sauce that douses pasta dishes.
Diners enjoy their pizzas, pastas, subs, and salads inside or out on the patio tables. They can even cruise through Mario's drive-thru window in Largo if they need a meal to go or a quick olive-oil top-off to keep car engines running smoothly.
Though most vintners have made their wines from grapes, the Shook family turned their focus to other fruits. Starting in 1991, they began fermenting batches of juice from mangoes, red raspberries, limes, and oranges. In 1997, they opened their 14,000 square foot winery shaded by three large oak trees ?where licensed winemakers and distributors ferment and bottle 42 varieties of exotic wines stamped with the Sunshine Tree, the Florida Department of Citrus's mark of quality. Their eclectic selection encompasses citrus, tropical-fruit, berry, stone-fruit, and vegetable wines, each made entirely from the juice indicated on the label. The winery also makes and distributes wine-smoothie mixes and wine pouches, sherries, ports, and champagnes.
With brilliant red curtains behind them, a trio of string players takes the stage and begins to flood St. Petersburg Nights' dining room with festive music. Before them on the wood-paneled dance floor, a woman flutters scarves into the air as she gracefully twirls. This is a standard scene on Friday and Saturday nights, offering entertainment to diners as they enjoy classic Russian and Ukrainian fare such as steamed pierogi, beef stroganoff, and crêpes stuffed with red caviar or chicken. Free burlesque shows are also available on Thursday nights. The kitchen crew crafts these dishes by following recipes passed down for two centuries, making the meals older than Rip Van Winkle's teddy bear. Patrons can take in the show while comfortably seated in padded wicker armchairs, or retreat to the hookah lounge to practice sending smoke signals that request martini refills.
Crum's Bar and Grill regales visitors with hearty feasts of inventive pub cuisine paired with plenty of craft beer and live entertainment. Guests belly up to the marble-topped bar to sample 52 lagers, ciders, stouts, and IPAs on draft, or commune with the spirits of our sandwich-hunting ancestors while watching juicy burgers cook over an open fire. Regularly scheduled entertainment—from Thursday karaoke operas to live bands on weekends—adds a musical touch to meals, and dart boards and Xboxes release reserves of competitive energy.
Cuisine Type: Indian
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Number of Tables: 11?25
Parking: Parking lot
Most popular offering: Chicken tikka masala, naan, samosas
Alcohol: Beer and wine only
Delivery / Take-out Available: Takeout Only
The chefs and owners of Green Chili Indian Bistro have 20 years of experience pleasing the palates of area residents; they opened their first eatery in 1993. Over the years, they've perfected their recipes, such as the slow-cooked lamb vindaloo or their signature biryani dishes. They aren't stingy with the secrets of their trade, though. They share their methods in cooking classes housed inside the restaurant on Saturdays. They can teach students to cook plenty of things that don't appear on the menu, also. "We know Indian food well," the owner says. "If something is not available, we make it per request."
A cultural fixture in the islands of the South Pacific, kava is derived from the roots of the Piper methysticum, and is typically consumed at a nakamal, or central village meeting area. Bula Kafe transports these traditions to the shores of the Florida Gulf, filling coconut shells with the cool beverage and serving them at its outdoor commons. Known for its medicinal properties, the kava root is first ground into powder and then steeped in water, resulting in an elixir that helps calm the body and relieve anxiety brought on by a phobia of dry powder. Along with traditional kava beverages, the bamboo-framed hut purveys such hot and cold delights as spiced chai, fruit smoothies, and frozen horchata.
Set amid an all-outdoor bar, Bula Kafe turns up the fans during hot months and warms its barstools with space heaters and tiki torches during the winter. Throughout the entire year, guests enjoy bouts of table tennis and darts, or compete in high-stakes sessions of board games such as Apples to Apples and Battleship as others strum on acoustic guitars, sip silently as they read a book, or surf the internet on free WiFi. Though the listed closing times are midnight on weekdays and 2 a.m. on weekends, the staff is known for accommodating late revelers with advance notice.