Tokyo Bay Mang Sushi and Japanese Steakhouse spans a spectrum of cooking ideologies, simultaneously folding fresh, raw fish into sushi rolls, searing hibachi items in a scorching blaze, and rounding out the menu with pan-Asian entrees and Thai dishes. Chefs fire up three front-and-center teppanyaki tables, where flaming plumes obscure steak, shrimp, and scallops. The King lobster sushi roll sports dual tempura and fried lobster tails swept up in the flavors of faux crab, asparagus, avocado, and eel sauce. Basil sprinkles thai curries and piping-hot seafood, served behind a façade that mimics the tiered roofs in Thailand that protect possessions from pad thai monsoons.
Gigi's Italian Restaurant is a family-owned eatery that has been injecting diners with the recommended dose of pizza, pasta, and parmigiana since 1967. Initiate meal time with appetizers such as the calamari, lightly fried to crispy resistance ($8), or Gigi's bruschetta, a toasty platform topped with fresh tomatoes, zesty snips of red onion, and dewed by balsamic vinegar and olive oil ($7). The specialty brick oven pizzas tempt taste seekers with the minimalist pizza margherita ($14.17 for a medum) and Gigi's special, an ensemble of pepperoni, mushrooms, onion, sausage, and green pepper peacefully playing culinary bocce ball within the boundaries of a thin-crusted circumference ($21.94 for a medium). Gigi's dinner menu represents the full gamut of authentic Italian favorites, including creamy pasta carbonara ($12), chicken piccata sautéed in a lemony garlic sauce ($15), and eggplant a la parmigiana, where slices of thick, breaded and fried eggplant are crowned with Gigi's sauce and accompanied by a hearty portion of pasta ($14). Pair plates with beer and wine, or a libation from the full liquor bar at the South Pasadena and St. Petersburg locations.
Housed in an entertainment hotspot, Viaggio bursts with distinct flavors and ingredients inspired by various European cuisines within its romantically lit upscale confines. Accidentally brush fingers with your date or the amiable stranger at your table over a plate of splitable tapas such as the garlic feta shrimp ($12) or the potato- and spinach-flanked filet and chorizo ($11). Especially hungry diners or those who failed Sharing 101 can lasso the gargantuan succulence of the 24-ounce sterling-prime-porterhouse steak swaggering in house-crafted steak sauce ($38). The lobster- and crab-crusted Atlantic swordfish spears oceanic appetites ($29) and the stuffed-chicken breast delights feathered fowl fans ($17).
Using fresh, locally sourced ingredients, the King Fish Grill & Tap House chefs create seafood, pasta, steak, and other fresh fish dishes for lunch and dinner. At lunch, thick-cut, sea-salt fries complement the menu’s sandwiches, such as smoked salmon clubs and french dips. At dinner, alternatively, pan-seared, sautéed, or grilled seafood augments fresh fish from the raw bar. The seafood slate gets some time off during breakfast hours, where pancakes, eggs, and healthy oatmeal or yogurt options take over.
The man behind the menu, Robert Uzzillia, developed the sensibilities to cultivate this cuisine roster while attending the Culinary Arts Institute in New York. He cut his teeth at a four-star restaurant in Tampa, Armani’s, and eventually worked at three other restaurants, one for each arm an ideal chef would have.
Ceviche Tapas Bar & Restaurant not only imports ingredients and products, but also recipes. With roots in northern Spain and Catalonia, these dishes come together on a menu of more than 100 hot and cold tapas selections, along with paella and cazuela. Paella, a widely varied rice dish cooked at length in a wide pot over open flame, can contain Serrano ham, scallops, pork, chorizo, and saffron rice the stunning golden hue of an alchemist's magazine advertisements. Though the restaurant spans multiple locations, each one presents guests with some charming element: a poolside patio at the Tampa location, a central tapas bar in Orlando, and a flamenco room in St. Petersburg. Meanwhile, no matter the location, events bring about live music and joviality, all supported by an ample list of Spanish and Portuguese wines.