Tryst Gastro Lounge’s chefs draw in diners with their roast duck breast with maple glaze, which helped earn them recognition as one of America's Most Popular High End Restaurants in 2012 on Urbanspoon.com. Behind the full bar, Logan Owens, the Tampa Bay Times’ Ultimate Bartender in 2012, also does his share to lure customers as he crafts specialty cocktails with muddled fresh fruit, herbs, and spirits. Owens infuses a pear lychee-tini with lychee purée and sake or custom blends an off-menu libation dubbed a "Logan Special," which he designs to suit each imbiber's palate. Tufted leather booths inside the black-and-white-wallpapered dining area absorb posteriors while taste buds absorb cocktails. Alternately, the outdoor patio gives guests the chance to raise their glasses up high in a toast to clouds that look like Winston Churchill.
With daily programs that build skills in sports, computers, and the arts, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Suncoast improves the lives of more than 3,000 young people in the Greater Tampa area. The clubs' fun and engaging afterschool programs are lead by caring adult mentors who help kids uncover new interests and develop new skills that will benefit them in school and life. Youngsters with a variety of interests can find a comfortable place in the clubs' programs, which include a robotics course, computer-skills class, creative-writing group, and a full-court game of basketball.
With its plates of homemade pasta, sautéed marinated chicken, and seafood dishes lit by streaks of neon and sided with martinis, Primi - under new ownership - evokes the image of both a homey Italian restaurant and a swanky nightclub. That's because executive chef Tony Macaroni spent years not only mastering the cuisine of his native Italy, but also working in the kitchens of high-class hotels cooking for celebrities such as Evander Holyfield, Scott L. Schwartz, and Bob Newhart. Together with sous-chef and baking specialist Kenneth Kopcsik, Chef Macaroni whips up elegantly plated dishes such as a thin-sliced tenderloin carpaccio, wild-mushroom ravioli in sage butter reduction, and a slowly braised lamb shank served with broccoli and homemade croquette. An extravagant selection of wines from the Americas and Europe complement the flavors of mussels in garlic butter while four-course chef's table events allow guests to experience the luxury of having their own personal chef.
With more than 30 sweet and savory olive oils and vinegars to choose from, Kalamazoo Olive Company may overwhelm the shrewdest gourmand. That?s why the shop?s expert staff members happily lead customers on tasting tours, pouring small samples from the gleaming fustis that line wooden shelves. Customers can taste oils infused with exotic ingredients such as chipotle peppers or persian limes and lap up sweet, syrupy dessert vinegars. Oil experts are also happy to recommend complementary food pairings from their shop?s selection of Italian pastas, antipasti, and stuffed olives. Once customers have honed in on their ideal oil or vinegar, staff will bottle and seal them onsite to ensure they stay fresh and free of genies.
Appreciation for craft beer, distillers, and the art of mixology draws likeminded imbibers to Taps & Tequila, the home of a dozen flavor-infused tequilas and more than 25 craft beers on draft. Inside the lavish bar area, brick archways and clusters of plush chairs compliment a lengthy, L-shaped bar, behind which sits shelf upon shelf of premium bottles. A spacious beer garden rests just outside, providing walk-up entry from Central Avenue to passersby and Tropicana Field crowds.
Ferg's Sports Bar and Grill sprang from humble beginnings. What started in 1992 as a concrete-block space with 75 seats has since grown into a two-story establishment whose sprawling indoor and outdoor seating areas encompass almost two city blocks. Like the growth of the business, the bar and grill's building materials reflect input from the surrounding community: the wood flooring was compiled from area gymnasiums, and the walls are paneled with hardwood from the old All Children's Hospital.
Owner Mark Ferguson continues to fuel his success with more than 70 TVs, classic bar eats, and a calendar filled with live-music and trivia nights. In addition to fans, the restaurant has been known to serve renowned politicians and?according to the Tampa Bay Times?Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez. Perhaps the duo chose the eatery for its paparazzi-curbing underground tunnel, which leads beneath 1st Avenue South to the stadium.