Whether you want to go out because you don’t feel like cooking, are hoping to avoid your mother-in-law’s casserole surprise, or you just want to try something different, Tampa has plenty of options when it comes to dining out on Easter. Brunch or dinner, steak or seafood; there’s a little something for everyone. Leave the cooking and cleaning to someone else his Easter and dine at one of these great Tampa restaurants.
The Rusty Pelican
2425 North Rocky Point Drive
Tampa, FL 33607
Hours: Brunch: 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., No dinner served on Easter
Don’t let The Rusty Pelican’s name fool you. This is a beautiful waterside restaurant that offers incredible views, scrumptious food and an atmosphere of pure elegance, in addition to being able to accommodate parties of up to 20 guests. The Sunday brunch includes traditional breakfast favorites, an omelet station, a carving station and fresh seafood, along with complementary champagne for adults. Dinner selections include seafood dishes, such as blackened swordfish and lobster tail, and meat selections, such as filet mignon and chicken scallopini. Please note that there is no children’s menu for dinner.
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4200 Jim Walter Blvd.
Tampa, FL 33607
Pricing: Breakfast $4-$17, lunch $6-$13, dinner $6-$35
Hours: Breakfast: 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., Brunch: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The gorgeous Pelagia Trattoria, located on the lobby level of the Renaissance Tampa Hotel, is truly something to behold. The walls and ceilings are tastefully decorated with artwork imported from Italy, and the restaurant’s entrance area is dotted with numerous awards, including the “Golden Spoon Award” and OpenTable.com’s “Diner’s Choice” award. The beautiful private dining area can host from 8 to 20 guests. All of the pasta is made in-house, and the menu has offerings of stuzzichini (small plates) as well as healthier dining options. The restaurant’s executive chef, Andrew Basch, has created several unique dishes for the Pelagia, such as potato gnocchi with wild boar ragu and homemade ricotta. Don’t forget to save room for some gelato or cappuccino crème brulee.
Splash! An Ocean Grill
3973 Van Dyke Road
Lutz, Florida 33558
Hours: Brunch: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Dinner: 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Splash! is as unique and fun as its name. Both the brunch and dinner menu feature delicious choices right from the Gulf. You can take your pick of traditional breakfast items like waffles and pancakes, or you can try the crab cakes or jumbo shrimp cocktail. The dinner menu features dishes such as grilled golden tilefish (similar in taste to lobster), cornflake-crusted mahi mahi, and Mardi Gras tuna. And, for that one picky eater in the family that won’t eat seafood, there is a good selection of non-seafood entrees, including pasta and chicken. Reservations are recommended.
Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar
4322 West Boy Scout Blvd.
Tampa, FL 33607
Pricing: $10-$30, children’s menu $14.95
Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Fleming’s specializes in fine prime steak and wine, including 100 wines that can be sampled by the glass. The extensive menu includes not only fine steaks such as filet mignon and New York strip steak, but also a prime burger bar, a selection of salads, and a “small plates” menu that features smaller portions of prime steaks as well as chicken and fish. There is also a gluten-free menu and a children’s menu. Private dining rooms are available for large parties by reservation.
Brio Tuscan Grille
2223 Westshore Blvd.
Tampa, FL 33607
Hours: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Brio Tuscan Grille, located in the Westshore International Plaza, is an Italian restaurant that has adopted the motto of “To eat well is to live well.” In addition to the dining area and outdoor patio, there are also six private rooms that can host parties of anywhere from 12 to 225 people. The Sunday brunch offers delicious choices such as white chocolate raspberry french toast, eggs Benedictano, and crab and shrimp crepes. The dinner selection is huge, with over 50 different entrees that include salads, pastas, steaks and house specialties. Even the pickiest eaters will find a culinary masterpiece to enjoy, whether it’s a simple chicken calabrese flatbread or artichoke-crusted beef medallions. Reservations are recommended.
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Amanda Mole has been writing since she was old enough to hold a pencil and cooking since she was tall enough to reach the stove. She believes that food provides more than just vital nutrients: it is an irreplaceable part of countless cultural and social activities. As a Tampa Bay resident for the past 21 years, she is well acquainted with the incredibly diverse range of restaurants, bars, and food festivals that the area has to offer. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.