Before the invention of your friend Dave's totally rad rec room, Tampa hipsters of every ethnicity (except Nerdy-Americans) flocked to Ybor City's social clubs to party all night, smoke in black and white, and take Latin lovers. Today’s Groupon gives you a delicious taste of what once was: for $25, you get $60 of international fusion cuisine at Teatro on Seventh in Ybor City. Beautifully restored to reflect its heyday as the ballroom and theater for Ybor City during the late 1800s and early 1900s, Teatro's elegant columns, exposed brick, and ornate floor-to-ceiling windows recall a more elegant time when men wore hats and seldom checked their Blackberries during dinner.
Teatro's ambitious menu, created by partners Phil Zeltsar and Bill Haines, fuses New American entrees with flavors from around the world-sized globe. Expect hints of Asian, Mediterranean, Deimosian, Middle Eastern, and other cuisines. For dinner, the flavorful New Zealand stuffed lamb rack with Swiss chard, herbal mashed potatoes, and rosemary jus ($27) is highly recommended (and not just by Bret and Jemaine). If your dining companion considers New Zealand to be too ethnic, the meatloaf ($18)—enlivened by red-wine gravy and a sophisticated meat supergroup of beef, veal, and pork—makes a fine alternative.
For lighter fare, look to excellent appetizers such as the tempura portabella slices with truffle oil and pecorino ($9) or Caesar salad ($6) built around a lightly grilled heart of romaine. Lunch options provide gourmet updates on traditional favorites, such as the classic cheeseburger with Gruyère cheese and caramelized onion ($8) or the orecchiette mac 'n' cheese with smoked cheddar cheese and little ear pasta ($10). Teatro also offers an excellent wine list with choices from Italy, New Zealand, Napa Valley, Spain, and other regions of the grape, giving you plenty of quaffs with which to toast the delightful view of Seventh Avenue outside Teatro’s windows.
Finally, in an effort to maintain Tampa's status as "Cigar City" now that Omaha has built its entire downtown area out of cigars, Teatro sells hand-rolled Ybor City cigars, which go great with a few after-dinner cocktails out on Teatro's special cigar terrace. You can use one Groupon per table, so treat your favorite conservative talk-radio host and Cuban presidente to a night of elegant puffs, international eats, and luxurious laughs.
- The single most exciting dish on two visits was an appetizer of tempura-battered portobello slices ($9) given a whisper of truffle oil and a flurry of pecorino shavings and paired with a housemade tomato jam that lingers on the palate, and in the memory, with hints of allspice, chilies and cumin. – Laura Reiley, St. Petersburg Times
- …I ordered the New Zealand stuffed lamb rack. It was simply spectacular. On each lamb rib hung a golf ball-sized chunk of meat, each one split and stuffed with a delicate white cheese before baking. That flavored the meat from inside, and kept it supple, even when cooked medium. – Richard Mullins, TampaBayOnline
- Wonderful atmosphere...colorfully decorated. The food is to die for. I've eaten at all the 4 to 5 star restaurants in the area and this one stands shoulder to shoulder. Floor to ceiling windows offering nice views of 7th street and Centro Ybor. Huge bar... fun employees. – JasFla, Citysearch