Feb 13, 2018

Tampa's Most Romantic Restaurants

Who doesn't like an intimate and charming setting nestled in the perfect location that makes date night with beau the most romantic one? As a working mom with a hectic schedule and lifestyle---sometimes it is hard to allocate that much needed quality time with the hubs. So we often make it a habit to find a sitter at least once a month and take to the town for a nice romantic dining experience. Because sometimes takeout simply just doesn't cut it! Nope. So if you are local to the Tampa area, these five spots are a must if you are seeking to step things up in the romance department.

1. Ciro's Speakeasy | This prohibition-themed establishment might be unfamiliar to many, but for those of us who are lucky enough to know about this little hidden gem, we should consider ourselves lucky. The restaurant is inconspicuously located on the ground floor of an older residential building just off Bayshore Blvd in South Tampa. Employing some of the best mixologists in the business, patrons can opt for popular spirits like the signature Bramble, concocted with crushed berries and vodka. Or start out with modern renditions of tantalizing appetizers that include duck fries, deviled eggs, oysters, sliders, cheese fondu and other contemporary American options . Good luck trying to get a reservation, especially on the weekends. This place stays packed and sometimes require reservations be made two weeks in advance. Don't forget to jot down the magic password for the evening, it is your key to entrance.

2. Oystercatchers | Attached to the Grand Hyatt Tampa hotel, this restaurant has gone through a series of renovations. The most recent taking it to a more modern design. With amazing and calming views of the Bay and great seafood dishes, Oystercatchers is certainly one of my favorite places to dine with the hubby. With upscale ambiance, great food and spectacular views ---this is a must try if you've never been. Make sure to reserve a seat by a large glass window or get a seat on the restaurant's patio to take in some of that serene Bay view.

3. Bern's Steakhouse | Opened in 1965, this Tampa favorite boast an extensive wine list, great steaks and my favorite--a private dessert room. Yes! You heard right. With impeccable service, the dining experience at Bern's is certainly one that you should experience at least once. I'm not sure that they have the best steaks in town, but the ambiance and overall culinary experience makes it a memorable one. It is a once in a lifetime experience for many.

4. Mise en Place | Where do I start? Let's see. With the Moscow Mule. The absolute best that I have ever had and let's face it, I've had my share of mules. No seriously. LOL. Another modern culinary experience that is one of the best that Tampa has to offer. Nestled a few doors down from the popular breakfast/brunch eatery Oxford Exchange, Mise en Place has racked up so many culinary accolades and rightfully so. Chef Marty Blitz has a good thing going and with amazing food, spirits and ambiance--this place is an absolute winner. I recommend trying the charcuterie platter and just about anything your heart desires. Be prepared to experience excellent service from the staff. It is quite obvious that they love their place of employment. 

5. Armani's | Nestled atop the Grand Hyatt Tampa, this Northern Italian trattoria offers  great Italian cuisine with spectacular views of the Bay. With modern and luxe decor, you feel the sophistication as soon as you walk into the restaurant. As with any upscale restaurant, expect to pay for the experience. But with good food, amazing views (especially at sunset) and  spectacular service---Armani's is certainly a good choice for a special occasion dinner date. Food proportions are a little on the small side-- so if you are really hungry, your bill can climb pretty quickly. Overall, I've never had a negative experience here and think it's a great spot to put a little spice in your romance.  

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