Gerard Jamgotchian, a native of Marseilles, France and L'Eden's chef, plates up a menu of homemade esculent experiences with diverse flavors from exotic locales such as India, Panama, and the Mediterranean. Amid the dark wood and exposed brick of the dining room or outside in the covered garden, morning munchers can rev up the day with a savory breakfast croissant, featuring eggs, ham, and swiss cheese, served with fresh fruit ($5.95). Open for dinner Wednesday through Saturday, L'Eden slings out French classics such as ratatouille stew ($7.50), a duck-and-brie crépe ($14), or quiche lorraine ($9.50). Sample selections from various worldly regions without the use of red teleportation slippers by sinking teeth into the petit couscous inspired by Tunisian cuisine ($12), the vegetables biryani from India ($12), or the shaslik filet-mignon kebabs hailing from mother Russia ($14). L'Eden also carries a wine roster boasting selections from vineyards of France, Italy, California, and the child-laden hills of Neverland.
A complimentary glass of champagne greets each guest as they find their seats and prepare to embark on a three-hour journey. The two dozen adventurous souls converse, but grow quiet as a figure walks through a red curtain. Chef Richard Bottini introduces himself and describes the special menu of gourmet, seasonal dishes he has planned for the evening. True to its name, the restaurant features just six tables, and every meal at Six Tables is an intimate experience with twinkling lights illuminating antique crystal in a setting Gayot named as one of the top 10 romantic restaurants in the area.
Bottini, an award-winning chef and graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, creates a new six-course prix fixe menu every day using seasonal ingredients and his expansive knowledge of French cooking. In the kitchen, he personally prepares each course, incorporating such delectables as Cornish hen and poached duck breast. Bottini breaks down each menu item in English or Klingon to diners and offers wine pairings with dishes, which can be tailored according to taste and diet.
Offering a tantalizing selection of French, American, and fusion fare, Moulin Rouge provides an authentic dining experience fueled by a talented kitchen staff of French and American trained chefs. A varied menu features palate-stimulating dishes such as surf and turf ($28), chicken bordeaux with sautéed mushrooms and tomatoes ($9.95), New York strip steak ($17.95), and tilapia with ratatouille ($10.95). Patrons will enjoy a cozy, relaxing atmosphere, as well as friendly service provided by an attentive staff. Additionally, a fully stocked bar and an extensive wine list will lubricate conversation without the need to invite a nosy therapist to dinner.
Tom Perkins and Lenny Terlaje, the former management team of award winning restaurant Splash! An Ocean Grill, don’t believe that there's only one way to prepare seafood. At their award-winning restaurant, this culinary duo draws upon cooking styles from around the world, from sautéing mussels in scampi sauce to coating sesame-crusted tuna in ponzu. And those are just the appetizers—for entrees,Tom and Lenny crown crab-cake sandwiches with lemon-dill aioli and vampire-proof lobster tails by broiling them in garlic butter.
Alongside these maritime meals, the twosome also showcases ingredients from the land, such as fire-grilled filet mignons and sirloin burgers topped with roasted bacon. Beer, wine, and classic cocktails complement the feasts, which unfold inside a roomy dining room awash in blue lights reminiscent of the sea.
Prepare 1,000 lunches in less than 20 hours. That was the challenge posed for The Brunchery’s catering staff. The eatery’s experts met the daunting request, quickly assembling the hefty sandwiches that The Brunchery has perfected throughout its more than 25 years in business. When President George W. Bush came to Tampa, the White House called upon The Brunchery's catering. In addition to corned beef, grilled grouper, and shaved steak piled on deli rye bread and kaiser rolls, The Brunchery plies guests with half-pound burgers seasoned by chipotle mayo and dill pickles.
But as its name implies, the restaurant doesn’t just craft food for lunch; it’s possibly best known for its morning treats. Made-from-scratch hollandaise sauce for benedicts and golden pancakes have earned The Brunchery awards including Best Place for Breakfast/Brunch from readers of the South Tampa Community News in 2010. When NBC interviewed owner Greg Elliot, the feature zeroed in on the restaurant’s signature french toast, which mingles cream-cheese sauce, bananas, strawberries, and slivered almonds.
Guests devour this lavish creation and others while dining among the dining room’s decorative dishware, Coke bottles, and shelves. Many of the objects come from Greg’s family, such as a hutch his great-great-grandfather built in the 1800s, making guests feel as at home as a rabbit in a top hat.
Inspired by the unique tastes and recipes of the Iberian peninsula, Chef Felix Piedra crafts a menu of inventive tapas and entrees to complement the spicy atmosphere of his Vizcaya Restaurante and Tapas Bar. There, he cooks up hot and cold tapas—dishes designed for sharing—featuring exotic seafood and béchamel sauce and infuses entrees such as Black Angus filet and paella with Spanish touches such as piquillo peppers. Piedra's sommeliers curate an extensive wine list that includes varietals from Spain, Argentina, and Australia, though patrons sometimes eschew international bottles for glasses of sangria, made in-house from caramelized fruit and muscatel and Rioja wines. Occasionally during dinner hours, flamenco dancers perform their passionate dance moves on the restaurant's stage, spinning majestically to traditional Spanish music while stomping out the text of Don Quixote in Morse code.