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We got a $10 coupon for Bonefish Grill in the mail today, so we headed out there for dinner.  Talk about immediate results from a mailing campaign. 

Luckily, we went out for dinner a little later tonight because when we got to the restaurant there were a bunch of teenagers just finishing up and leaving for prom.  We timed it just right and were able to get a table without a wait.  I gotta say, those kids were really decked out in their suits and gowns.

We were both pretty hungry after a long day for Loren at the autocross track and me at the Great American Pie Festival in Celebration.  We started out with the Singapore Calamari.

I gotta say, this was some of the best calamari I’ve had in a while.  It was really fresh and had a nice crunchy coating on it.   It was mixed with peppers and served with a sweet and spicy Asian dipping sauce.  The dipping sauce was too spicy for me, but Loren liked it.  

I have to add a note in here about the service and attention to detail.  Two plates were placed on our table stacked on top of each other for the appetizer.  When the appetizer was brought to the table, the waiter went to pass out the plates and noticed one had something on it and immediately went back to get us another one.  I know this seems like common sense, but too often something like that isn’t even noticed by the staff at other restaurants and we would have had to have said something about it. 

I got a cup of their corn chowder with lump crab.

There were some big chunks of crab in the soup which was really nice.  I’m a big fan of corn chowder and this is a wonderful version of it.

Loren got a salad with his entree and they brought out some bread and olive oil to dip it in.

The bread was nice and crusty on the outside, but soft and warm on the inside, just the way it should be. 

For our entrees, we both ordered off of the specials menu.  Loren got the Deluxe Mixed Grill, which was a sirloin steak, scallops and shrimp.

He said the shrimp were overcooked, but everything else was done just right.  They gave him some scalloped potatoes even though he had chosen a salad as his side dish and they served a chick pea garnish on both of our plates. 

I got Lily’s Atlantic Salmon with jasmine rice.

The salmon was served with spinach, artichokes and goat cheese.  It was really good.  By this point, I was pretty full, so most of it came home as leftovers, except for the chick peas, those just didn’t do it for me.

With our $10 off coupon, the total bill came to$36.  Not bad for the amount of really good food that we got.  We don’t eat at Bonefish very often, but I’m not sure why.  Every time we’ve been, we’ve gotten great service and really tasty, interesting food. 

Bonefish Grill
2519 McMullen Booth Rd
Clearwater, FL
727-726-1315

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“Who eats well, lives well”.  This was on the wall by our table at Dominic’s Italian Grille tonight.  We’ve eaten at Dominic’s a few times.  There are things I really like about it and other things that I don’t, such as the first aromas I smelled tonight were of bleach or cleaning solutions.  Though I appreciate that the place is clean, that’s not the overwhelming first smell I want when I sit down at a restaurant.

But, now on to a few things I do like…. the bread basket.

These light, airy, buttery delicious rolls are awesome.  There were 8 of them in the basket and not a one left by the time our entrees arrived.  Dip them in the olive oil and herbs and it boosts the flavor, or you can order up some pasta fagioli and dip them in that too.

The soup had good flavors.  Lots of beans, celery, onions, and pasta.  I don’t think it left the kitchen quite as messy as the photo makes it out to be.  Our waiter all but spilled it on the floor when he was trying to put it on the table.  Speaking of our waiter, I wasn’t all that impressed.  He never filled our drinks and didn’t check up on us at all once we got our entrees. 

Loren ordered the chicken piccata.

He really enjoyed it.  Two chicken breasts with the piccata sauce, plus broccoli and their angel hair pasta souffle.  I stole half of the souffle.  It’s one of my favorite things here. He said the sauce had a really good lemon flavor, but wasn’t overpowering. 

I normally don’t order spaghetti and meatballs in a restaurant because I never feel as though you get your monies worth.

Face it, $11 just seems much for 3 meatballs and some spaghetti.  The meatballs were pretty good, not a lot of fillers in them.  The sauce was really bland and acidic.   It tasted like it hadn’t been cooked for very long.  I’m Italian so I  expect a lot more depth of flavor in my sauce.  I think it should be simmering on the stove all day.  This isn’t a dish I’d order again.

Their dessert special of the day was an ultimate chocolate cake.  How could I pass that up?

This was really good.  It had layers upon layers of different types of chocolate.  The crust was a chocolate cookie layer.  Then it had two layers of a chocolate mouse, one dark and one milk chocolate.  The middle was a dense chocolate cake, then a layer of ganache and frosting.  Plus the end was covered in frosting and chocolate chips.  A chocolate lovers dream.  And to boot, it was only $3.95. 

I do have to mention one other thing that did not impress me tonight.  There was a flat screen TV on the wall across from us that was playing a slideshow of food photos from the restaurant.  A couple was then seated at the table directly below it. About halfway through their appetizers, one of the waiters tuned the TV to a basketball game.  The customers asked if the waiter wouldn’t mind just turning off the TV while they ate and the waiter complied.  Then about halfway through their meal, the owner came over and turned the TV back on.  I heard the customers ask again if he could just leave it off, but the owner continued to mess with it, until he got the slideshow of food photos back on.  I just thought it was rude for them not to just leave the TV off until the customers left.  There were only two other tables with customers besides us, so it wasn’t like anyone was missing anything by the TV being off.   

Our total bill was $38.  Again, our waiter didn’t impress me when he brought the bill and there was only one credit card receipt in the folder.   Though I wasn’t impressed with the overall customer service, for the most part, our food was good.

Dominic’s Italian Grille
3163 Curlew Road
Oldsmar, FL
727-784-8100

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  • Filed under: Italian, Oldsmar
  • Looking for somewhere different to eat for dinner tonight, Loren suggested Indian food.  Neither of us had been to an Indian restaurant before, but the reviews for Laziz Indian Cuisine were good, so we gave it a try.  I was skeptical, thinking the food was going to be very spicy, but surprisingly, the two dishes we got were rather mild.

    They brought a basket to the table to start off.

    I don’t know what it was, sort of a crispy tortilla with a tomato/onion salsa.  Seems so wrong to describe this like a Mexican dish, but I don’t know how else to describe it.  Loren liked it.  I thought the tortilla had a dark flavor to it that I just didn’t like.   We thought the tomato mixture had peppers in it, but was actually just tomatoes, onions, and spices. 

    We ordered some garlic naan bread with a side of cucumber raita, which was like a Greek tzatziki sauce.

    The naan bread had a wonderful texture and there was a lot of it.  It was soft with a nice touch of garlic.  The cucumber sauce was a very thin sauce, not thick like you find in a Greek restaurant, but very good with the bread.

    For our entrees, I ordered the shrimp Makhani and Loren ordered the chicken Jalfrezi, both came with basmati rice.

    I ordered mine mild and Loren ordered his medium spicy.  Neither were very spicy at all, but both had very deep, rich complex flavors.   When Loren mentioned his wasn’t very spicy, they brought him a container of spicy sauce.  He really enjoyed the flavor combinations. 

    The tomato cream sauce on mine was thick and rich and perfectly matched  with the shrimp and rice.  Normally Loren doesn’t like a sauce like that, but he kept dipping the naan bread in it.  The only thing I didn’t like about it was that it had cilantro sprinkled on it and the cilantro flavor was overwhelming at times.

    Overall, it was a very enjoyable meal.  The service was very good and they explained a lot of the flavor profiles to us.  We’d definitely go back and try some other dishes.  They recommended we come for the lunch buffet in order to try several different things at one time.

    Total bill was $37 and we both left with happy taste buds and full bellies. 

    Laziz Indian Cuisine
    2475 N McMullen Booth Rd
    Clearwater, FL
    727-797-7541

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  • Filed under: Clearwater, Indian
  • Comfort Cuban


    Cuban Breezes is only a few miles from our house, so we eat there quite  a bit.  This is my fourth time since January.  It’s like comfort food to me.  We’ve never had a bad meal, the service is good, and the prices are great.  What’s not to like?

    I was hungry so we ordered the appetizer sampler platter.

    It had Pan con Queso,  croquetas, yucca fritters, and an empanada.  The only one I didn’t like much were the yucca fritters.   They were a little spicy.  The chicken empanada was really good.  Especially dipped in the Havana sauce.  The Pan con Queso is basically a grilled cheese on their Cuban bread with a light garlic spread and the croquetas are filled with ham and lightly fried. 

    Loren ordered the Masitas de Puerco.  It came with two sides, so he got a salad and beans and rice.

    He really liked the Masitas.  It’s slow cooked pork chunks, boiled until tender, marinated, then lightly fried.

    I was going to order the Grouper Cuban, but the waitress said they use Mahi Mahi now instead.  Ok, sounded good to me.

    And it was.  The Mahi was really tender and really good.  A little cheese, lettuce and Havana sauce, then lightly pressed and it made for a very enjoyable dinner.

    With our $10 off coupon, the total dinner came out to $16, plus we have some leftovers for tomorrow.

    Cuban Breezes
    13980 W Hillsborough Ave
    Tampa, FL

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  • Filed under: Cuban, Oldsmar
  • Kuzina Mediterranean Grill in Oldsmar has now been added to the list of restaurants we won’t be going back to.  This was one of the worst dining experiences we’ve had in a while.  We ate here in January and though that visit wasn’t perfect, we chalked it up to it being a new restaurant.  Now three months later, there’s no excuse for the service and food we were served.

    It started out ok.  They bring you hummus and bread.

    Loren liked the hummus.  It’s very garlicy.  The bread is really good.  This time they served it warm, which was nice.  

    They changed their menu quite a bit in 3 months.  The dishes we had last time weren’t even on the menu any longer.  Not that we’d have ordered them again anyway. 

    We decided to try a different appetizer this time instead of ordering calamari.

    We ordered the rosemary tuna kebabs.  This wasn’t great.  The tuna was overcooked and not very fresh.  If I had to guess, I’d say it had been frozen at some point.  The rosemary was a bit strong and the caper dipping sauce was very salty.

    Right after our appetizer came out, our waiter brought our salads. 

    You get two sides with your entree and a salad was one of the choices.  However, I probably wouldn’t have ordered the salad as one of my sides if our waiter had actually known what sides were available.  When I asked, he said a couple of things, but then later in the evening I overhead another waiter give the list of sides and it had quite a few more choices. 

    The salad was ok, but came with a balsamic vinaigrette dressing which I’m not a big fan.  It also came with slices of a really strong parmesean cheese.

    At this point, Loren’s drink is mostly gone and we hadn’t seen our waiter in quite a while.  Someone else cleared away the empty plates and bread basket that our waiter left on the table.

    Finally our entrees arrived.  When the plates were put on the table, both Loren & I looked at each, crinkled our noses, and asked, “What’s that smell?”, and not in a good way. 

    I had ordered the salmon.  At first I thought maybe it was the relish on the side of the plate, but it actually had a sweet and savory smell to it.  And then I thought perhaps it was the wild rice.  But, no, it was the salmon.  The last thing you want is for your fish to have a very distinct and unappetizing aroma.  I tried a couple of bites, and that was it.  It wasn’t fresh, it was overcooked, and was just overall bad.   The rice wasn’t all that great either.  Now that I look at the photo, the kitchen staff obviously wasn’t all that concerned with overall appearance either.  Just look at the oil smears on the side of the plate.

    Loren ordered a steak with rice (again, because we didn’t know about the other side dishes).

    He said the steak itself was ok, except for the very cold herbed butter on top.  Our waiter stopped by our table one time and when I asked him to refill our drinks he looked at me as though I had sprouted a second head.  I didn’t think it was an odd request seeing as our glasses had been rather empty for a while.

    Now, when you leave an entire plate of food, you expect your waiter to do certain things.  One, ask if you’d like a to-go box and if you decline to perhaps ask if everything was ok.  When I said we were done, he just scooped up the plates and brought the check.  So, I didn’t even bother to mention how bad the food was since I figured I would have gotten that same blank stare.  Instead we got our check, (luckily we had a $25 off coupon), and got out of there for $22.  We won’t be going back.

    And then to top it off, on the way to the car, we had to walk by one of the kitchen staff smoking out in front of the restaurant.  Obviously, they just don’t get it.  It was a bad experience all the way around.  

    Kuzina Mediterranean Grill & Bar
    3980 Tampa Road
    Oldsmar, FL
    813-749-7550

    CLOSED

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