The Tampa Bay Times credits owners John Harr and Justin Schuver with the revitalizing the old Slice space, turning it into the causal eatery now known as Islands Pizza. The duo gave the menu a pep talk, pairing popular pies with new offerings of hearty calzones and Italian grinders. While miniature overhead lights cast Hollywood-like spotlight on each of Island's steaming, hand-tossed pizzas, adult diners can cool down piping hot mouth with the bar's cool cocktails and 12 beers on tap, or catch reruns of Cheer's in its original Gaelic on the restaurant's flat-screen TVs.
Founded by a husband-and-wife duo, Qachbal's Chocolatier draws on family recipes to whip up cupcakes, fudge, coffee, and sweet confections fresh on-site daily. Vanilla-bean cupcakes wear a crown of vanilla buttercream icing adorned with white-chocolate embellishments, which create an alabaster dessert more appetizing than a picket fence covered in whipped cream. Each bite of a chocolate-truffle cupcake unveils rivers of its eponymous filling, protected from a downpour of sprinkles by an umbrella of rich, dark ganache. Atop every sweet treat's summit, a rich chocolate slice pokes out from a delicate dollop of buttercream icing. All orders must be made two days prior to pickup, and customers can have their cakes custom decorated for birthdays, holidays, or daylight-savings transition days upon request. Qachbal's Chocolatier delivers to the downtown Tampa area and Tampa General Hospital for an additional charge.
Inside the Box Cafe takes the guesswork out of lunchtime with prepacked lunches and catered trays. Using super-fresh ingredients, sandwich artisans stack tender avocado, herbed aioli, and roasted turkey onto freshly baked ciabatta, baguette, or buttery brioche. Available as full or half sandwiches, boxes can be packed with gourmet extras such as new-potato-and-asparagus salads, fire-roasted vegetables, and seasonal fresh fruits.
Rich, indulgent French cuisine?occasionally kicked up with hints of Latin spice?is the calling card of Hyde Park eatery Piquant. Puerto Rican-born chefs Rosana Rivera and Ricardo Castro arrange shareable small plates with croquettes and artisanal charcuterie, and crown galette flatbreads with seasonal ingredients such as cilantro microgreens and b?chamel sauce. Other favorites include rich short-rib beef bourguignon, tender scallops that are smoked during a tableside presentation, and thin pommes frites that one Tampa Bay Times writer called "the ultimate Francophile indulgence."
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