We went to dinner with friends tonight at Cuvee 103 in Safety Harbor. It’s a wine bar and restaurant on the corner of Enterprise and McMullen Booth. It had a pleasant interior, though I’ll never understand why restaurants feel the need to have a TV over the bar. It really detracts from the atmosphere. Our waitress brought over bread with a basil and an olive tampenade.
I prefer warm bread, so this didn’t do much for me, but everyone else seemed to like the olive & basil spreads. We started off with two of the appetizers, the fried goat cheese and the duck confit spring rolls.
Both were good, but the general consensus was that the fried goat cheese was the better of the two. They were crispy on the outside with a creamy pesto and goat cheese mix in the middle and served with a tasty red sauce. The spring rolls weren’t rolled tight enough so the filling was rather loose. It had a good flavor and the dipping sauce was a sweet plum ginger. For our entrees, we all got something different.
The braised short ribs:
The duck confit:
The stuffed pork loin:
The veal involtini:
Three out out of the four were good. The braised short ribs were definitely the best of the bunch. They were very tender in flavorful sauce. The duck was well cooked and Loren really enjoyed the stuffed pork loin. It had a sausage stuffing and he licked his plate clean. My dish, however, was less than stellar. The veal was tough and the filling of spinach, mushrooms, and fontina did nothing to help the cause. It just didn’t have any flavor. And speaking of no flavor, the grilled polenta was pretty much inedible. I think I managed to eat half of one. It had absolutely no seasoning in it and was gritty and bland. The white wine sauce was the best thing on the plate, but nothing was going to overcome the shortcomings of the dish. For dessert, our friends got the creme brulee and we tried the chocolate cheesecake.
The creme brulee had a beautiful, crispy sugar crust. The cheesecake was very light and fluffy with almost a mousse like texture. Both dessert dishes were empty in minutes. The restaurant has live music that started toward the end of our meal thankfully. The music was nice, but a little too loud for the space. It would have been difficult to hold a casual conversation throughout. Our waitress made us laugh, though, not on purpose most of the time. She didn’t seem to fit the ambiance of the restaurant and appeared somewhat frazzled at times. She was pleasant and kept our drinks filled, but really did seem like a duck out of water. Total bill with two glasses of wine was $136 after a $25 Restaurant.com coupon.
2454 McMullen Booth Rd
San Sushi and Grill recently opened up where Bella Kouzina was on SR 580 in Safety Harbor. We got there early and were the only ones in the restaurant, but by the time we were done, it was starting to fill up. Loren started with a ginger salad and then we got a boatload of sushi.
We tried the Mexican roll, the Kamikaze, the Rainbow, Snow Crab, and Lollipop, plus some salmon. The fish was fresh and tasty. I would have liked the shrimp in the Mexican roll to have been warmer. It tasted like the shrimp was cooked and then had to sit while the rest of the sushi was prepared. At other restaurants, the lollipop roll is served on a plate with a tangy vinegar sauce. This one could have used that burst of flavor. The snow crab roll was a little spicy, but not overwhelming. Loren said the kamikaze roll had his tongue tingling. They only had one sushi chef working while we were there, so it took a while a to get our food. Overall, it was a good experience and we’ll likely be back. It looked like they also had a Thai menu, so we may try that as well.
San Sushi and Grill
3101 State Road 580
Safety Harbor, FL
We tried going to BurgerMonger last week but couldn’t find a parking space. This location on Enterprise Road is notorious for not having enough parking for all of the businesses in the little shopping center. I think this space has turned over at least 4 times that I can remember.
You order at the counter and they bring the food out to you. It’s set up and looks a lot like Five Guys with the open kitchen. The food came out fast and was surprisingly very tasty.
You just never know what to expect from these quasi-fast food restaurants. Their claim to fame is the Akaushi Kobe beef that they use in their burgers. It was a tasty burger. They cook them well done unless you ask otherwise, which we both wanted medium and they were cooked a perfect medium. Loren added bacon, cheese & a garlic sauce that he really liked. I went with mushrooms, onions & cheese. We also got the 1/2 lb of fries. They actually could have been cooked a little longer. They were a bit limp and not quite crispy enough.
What this place has over some of the others is a strawberry butter cake.
This was awesome. It had two big scoops of Hagen Daaz vanilla ice cream, sweetened strawberries and a tasty butter cake. Worth every penny and calorie. Total bill with a drink was $27.
2454 McMullen Booth Road, Suite 207
We had a late breakfast at Athen’s in downtown Safety Harbor this morning.
Blueberry pancakes with eggs and bacon for Loren and a delicious raisin French Toast with eggs and hashbrowns for me. Very filling and the price was right. Total bill with a drink was $14.
226 Main St
Safety Harbor, FL
We’ve seen so many new restaurants come and go lately that I’m pleasantly surprised when one makes it past their one year anniversary. The first time we visited Southern Fresh in Safety Harbor, I didn’t think they’d survive with such a limited menu. Don’t get me wrong, the food is amazing; but with so few choices, I had my doubts as to how often customers would return to eat there. I’m happy to say that they had a packed house tonight and the quality of the food has remained constant.
Loren started off with the BLT soup.
This is one of those dishes that you have to taste to believe. It has all the flavors of a BLT in a warm, peppery broth. The fresh crunch of the lettuce is such an interesting texture for a soup. Because the restaurant was full, there was a bit of a wait for our entrees. We were seated inside and I could see into the kitchen where the fried chicken magic was happening. Every piece was hand breaded and cooked in cast iron skillets. I also spent some time just looking at the decor. I liked the old fashioned glass domes on the ceiling fans.
Our entrees arrived fresh and hot out of the kitchen. Loren ordered their special tonight which was a blackened red fish with saffron rice and roasted veggies.
He said it was delicious. The fish was perfectly cooked and seasoned. The roasted veggies were tasty, but some were unevenly cooked so harder than others. I went for their famous fried chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy and the roasted veggies.
My only complaint is that I wish it was served on a larger plate. It was a bit crowded and hard to not knock things off onto the table. I ordered the dark meat which meant two thighs and a leg. The chicken was crispy on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside. There’s nothing I like more than real mashed potatoes and these were the real deal. Banana pudding is the only dessert on their menu, but tonight they also had a strawberry shortcake on their specials menu so we had to have some.
Though I’m not a big fan of sponge cake, the rest of this dessert was delicious. Fresh strawberries, not overly sweet and a perfect portion for two. The service here is also very good. They all help each other and clear plates and fill glasses. Overall, a great dinner for $44.
122 3rd Ave N
Safety Harbor, FL