Although chef/owner Zack Gross has dished up fine food at Z Grille for years, this year saw such a quantum shift in the downtown St. Pete restaurant that it deserves rookie status. First, a move down the street and around the corner to beautiful digs in the Signature Place building, where artful interpretations of Gross love for tattoos and skateboards give the place a casual but refined vibe. Then, the food, which has morphed from Baja-Mex to imaginative, modern American cuisine that ranges from elegant to playful. With those changes, Z Grille has become the destination for foodies in the crowded St. Pete restaurant market.
104 Second St. St. Petersburg, 727-822-9600 or zgrille.net.