The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

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We had been to Walt’s Seasonal Cuisine in Dunedin a few years ago, and decided it was time to go back.  They were pretty busy tonight, but we were able to get a table without a wait.   Unfortunately, we sat next to a large party that was very loud, so we could barely hear each other. 

Loren started with a house salad and I got the seafood chowder.

The salad had nice fresh greens and a light dressing.  The chowder was tomato based with a lot of fish in it.  It had a really nice flavor.

We had to wait on the bread as it was still in the oven and trust me, our patience was rewarded.

Fresh, hot out of the oven, soft on the inside, crusty on the outside with sunflower seeds on top which added a unique flavor.

For his entree, Loren ordered the salmon special with black bean sauce and mashed red potatoes.

He really enjoyed the salmon.  The black bean sauce was tasty and the mashed potatoes were whipped just right. 

I ordered the lump crab cakes with key lime dijonaise sauce and mashed potatoes.

I’m really picky about crab cakes and these were great.  Not a lot of fillers, just a lot of crab.  They were seared nicely, so they had a nice crust, but tender in the middle.   The key lime sauce was awesome and I really liked the mashed potatoes.

We really should have stopped here, but it was hard to pass up a Ghiradelli chocolate brownie with strawberries and whipped cream.

It was really good.  The strawberries were fresh and sweet and the brownie had a nice texture and flavor.  A perfect ending to a wonderful meal.

Total bill was $60 and worth every penny.  While we were there, Walt stepped out from behind the grill and came and talked to the customers at every table.  That’s when you know you have a chef/owner that really gets what a successful restaurant should be like.  Good food, personalized service, and attention to details. 

Walts Seasonal Cuisine
1140 Main St
Dunedin, FL

Walt's Seasonal Cuisine on Urbanspoon

  • Filed under: Dunedin, Seafood
  • We didn’t head out to eat until about 7pm, so we wanted to go somewhere close.  We hadn’t been to the Tuscano Grille in quite a while so we headed over there for dinner.

    We were able to get a table without a wait which is always nice on a Friday night.  They had live music on the patio tonight as well.

    I’m always happy when they bring warm bread to the table.

    Loren didn’t think it had much flavor, but I really enjoyed it.  It was warm, had a nice texture, and was tasty, especially dipped in the oil.

    We ordered the Balsamic Glazed Calamari.

    The balsamic aroma was really strong. I’m not sure what the white sauce on it was, sort of a mayo, I guess.  The calamari had a nice flavor, but you really did need to dip it in the marinara sauce to cut the balsamic a bit.  The presentation was a bit sloppy and this is where the service began to decline as well.

    We rarely saw our waitress.  The busboy stopped by our table more often than our waitress did.  The dirty dishes from the bread and calamari sat on our table for a very long time.   When our soup and salad came out, they were still on the table and the person who brought the food didn’t bother to clear any dishes away.  Finally one of the busboys took the calamari dishes and I had to ask him to refill our drinks.  It wasn’t until they finally came to take our soup and salad dishes that I was able to get rid of the dish of oil for the bread and I only managed that by putting it on the plate with the soup bowl.  Call me crazy, but I just don’t think dirty dishes should be left on the table as you start to eat your next course.

    Speaking of the salad and soup…

    Loren chose the house salad with his meal and I got the mushroom soup.  The soup wasn’t pretty to look at, but it had a nice deep, rich mushroom flavor.

    Loren ordered the swordfish and it came with mashed potatoes.

    It was a very sparse looking plate.  He thoroughly enjoyed the swordfish though.  It was thick and meaty, well grilled and had an awesome flavor. 

    I ordered the veal scallopini which came with mashed potatoes and I substituted broccoli for the spinach it came with.

    I had a very similar meal at Restaurant Hapa earlier this month and theirs was definitely better than this one.  The broccoli wasn’t cooked enough for me and the potatoes were a bit thick.  The veal was tender, but the knife they gave me wasn’t sharp.  I’m still on the fence about the marsala sauce.  There was something about it that just didn’t appeal to me.  The flavor was too strong and Loren thinks it was because of the mushrooms.  It’s not that it was a bad flavor, just very overwhelming.

    We were stuffed at this point, but when I see a chocolate dessert on the menu, I feel an obligation to take it home.  We ordered a chocolate mousse cake to go.

    The menu said it came with a vanilla bean sauce, but guess you don’t get it if you don’t eat it in the restaurant.  Just stuff it in a box too small for it.   It was really tasty, though it could have done without the chocolate sponge cake bottom.  It sort of ruined the overall texture of the dessert.

    Total bill was $53.  We definitely got plenty of food, in fact most of mine came home as leftovers, but we just weren’t impressed by the service or the overall presentation of the dishes. 

    Even when we had finished our meal, one of the busboys came and cleared the dishes and boxed up my leftovers.  We sat there talking for a while before our waitress ever came to see us again.

    Tuscano Grille
    2544 McMullen Booth Road
    Clearwater, FL

    Tuscano Grille on Urbanspoon


    Didn’t feel like cooking tonight, so we headed over the Latin American Grill Argentine in Oldsmar.

    We’ve been here a few times.  It’s a small restaurant, but the food packs a lot of flavor.  They start you off with some cuban bread with a chimichurri sauce to dip it in.

    You know it has to be good when Loren eats more bread that I do.  The sauce is very garlicy and full of herbs.

    We split a chicken empanada for an appetizer.

    It was nice and crispy and the chicken filling was really tasty.  I’d be happy with just a couple of these for dinner.   My dinner came with 2 sides and I chose the chicken soup as one of them.

    It was chicken and rice with a lot of veggies.  It had a really nice flavor to it, but I couldn’t put my finger on what it was.  There was almost a sweetness to it, but I don’t know if it was just from the fresh vegetables or if something else was added.  In either case, it was a yummy bowl of soup on a rainy night.

    Loren got the roasted pork with yellow rice and beans.

    Inevitably, if there’s roasted pork on the menu, he’s going to get it. This one had a bunch of onions plus the chimichurri sauce mixed it.  He scarfed the entire thing.

    I went for the Milanesa de Pollo with mashed potatoes.

    There was enough chicken here to feed at least two people.  It was nicely pan fried with a lot of seasoning on it.  Maybe a little too much for my taste.  It sort of tasted salty, but maybe with a little lemon thrown in.  The chicken was very tender and the mashed potatoes were homemade, which is the way all mashed potatoes should be.

    For $35 we got an appetizer, two entrees and a drink, plus have of my chicken for leftovers.  Everything was really tasty and flavorful and the service was good too.  It’s one of those restaurants we enjoy whenever we go there, but we just keep forgetting that it’s there.

    Latin American Grill Argentine
    3780 Tampa Road
     Oldsmar, FL‎

    Latin American Grill Argentinian Steakhouse on Urbanspoon


    On our quest to try new places, we set out to the Green Springs Bistro in Safety Harbor for dinner tonight. 

    It’s an eclectic little restaurant.  Lots of bright colors and artwork in the three dining rooms and outside.  We wanted a quiet part of the restaurant and were seated on the back porch.  The restaurant is in a 1930’s house.  The live music was in the dining room in front of ours.  It was very soothing and we knew every song. 

    Loren ordered an iced tea which turned out to be a raspberry blend that he really liked.  He normally doesn’t like fruity teas, but he was really impressed with this one.  We were served a complimentary taste of their potato soup.  It was tasty.  

    Because we just can’t resist appetizers, we ordered the Saganaki,  an oven-roasted Greek Kefalograviera cheese, bathed in olive oil and fresh-squeezed lemon.

    It had a strong parmesean cheese taste to it.  I don’t think I’d order it again, but it was good with the bread.  The salad had a poppy seed dressing on it that was good, though the onions were really strong.

    For my entree, I ordered the Roasted Duck with a blackberry orange sauce.  It came with mashed red potatoes and roasted veggies.

    The duck was tender, but it had the skin still on and it was just the wrong texture.  The same with the blackberry orange sauce, great flavor, bad texture.  I kept getting blackberry seeds between my teeth.  The mashed potatoes were really good.  The roasted veggies were peas and sweet potatoes.  I thought it was odd to serve a roasted potato with mashed potatoes, but I liked them nonetheless.

    Loren ordered the special, a swordfish in a Beurre blanc sauce with the same mashed potatoes and roasted veggies as mine. 

    He really enjoyed the swordfish.  He joked about having leftovers, but there wasn’t anything left on his plate except a bite or two of mashed potatoes.

    We were both pretty full by this point, but I kept hearing the waitress describe the desserts at other tables.  All I had to hear were the words “7 Layer Dark Chocolate Cake” and I was sold.

    At first glance, and even in the photo, the cake doesn’t look all that appealing.  My first thought was that it was going to be really dry.  Boy, was I wrong.  It was one of the moistest, freshest cakes I’ve ever tasted.  One bite and I tried to steal the plate away from Loren.  It had a decadent thick chocolate frosting on top and rich, dark chocolate mousse between 7 layers of cake.  Even though we felt like we couldn’t eat another bite, we managed to finish the entire thing.  I’d go back for the cake alone.

    The only downside was the bill.  This was not a cheap dinner.  $72 for the two of us.  We’re not likely to go back often, but this is definitely a place I’d recommend if you want the occasional special night out. 

    Green Springs Bistro
    156 Fourth Ave North
    Safety Harbor, FL

    Green Springs Bistro on Urbanspoon