Dining Guide

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Gulf Beaches/North

Frenchy's Rockaway Grill and Beach Club, 7 Rockaway St., Clearwater (727-446-4844). For reasonably priced seafood, this beach spot is a favorite of locals as well as snowbirds. She-crab soup, grouper and a variety of other local seafood are just a few of the specialties offered. Great place to go for a rendezvous, or to dine al fresco. $$

Guppy's, 1701 Gulf Blvd., Indian Rocks Beach (727-593-2032). Guppy's is across from the public access on the gulf, so you can go in beachwear casual, but expect the fish to be all dressed up. The emphasis is on fresh fish, prepared in innovative ways with the best ingredients. Don't miss the shrimp in olive oil and roasted pepper appetizer or the creative daily specials. The bar features a respectable wine list and German and English beers. Prices range from $6.95 to $15.95. $$

Nadia's Restaurant & Bar, 2721 Gulf Blvd., Indian Rocks Beach (727-596-7222). You'll find well-prepared Continental cuisine, fine French and American wines and attentive service in this charming seaside cottage. Classic cream and wine sauces bathe fresh seafoods, veal, beef and ostrich. Try the crab and shrimp in a creamy Pernod sauce. Entrees range from $11.95 to $19.95. $$

Shephard's Waterfront Restaurant & Tiki Bar, 601 S. Gulfview Blvd., Clearwater (727-441-6875). Recommended for its Sunday brunch, this Clearwater Beach spot is a glutton's delight, where every meal is an all-you-can-eat bargain buffet of chef-prepared foods. A perfect weekend includes leisurely grazing through the $13 Sunday buffet featuring eggs Benedict and an omelet station, along with shrimp and carved beef, before retiring to the beachside Tiki Bar to sip a margarita and listen to the live band. $

Gulf Beaches/South

Alfredino's on the Beach, 7141 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach (727-367-9999). If you've ever been to Italy, then you'll appreciate the true taste of fine Italian cuisine served by Alfredo and Maria Elena Quatraro in this cozy and charming restaurant. If you've never been to Italy, then this is the place to discover what real Italian cuisine is all about. Heavenly pastas bathed in sauces prepared fresh when you order, and the Quatraros also serve beef dishes, such as filet in red wine demi-glace, and perhaps the best-prepared fish on the beach, like grouper topped with crab in a Dijon wine sauce. For dessert, try caramel-glazed bananas Foster prepared at your table. Entrees range from $8 to $22. $$

Captain Kosmakos, 9610 Gulf Blvd., Treasure Island (727-367-3743). Brothers Kosmos and George Kosmakos bring a touch of Greece to a mostly American menu stacked high with classic favorites. Greek specialties, especially the baked chicken and Greek salad, are noteworthy. Other winners: steaks, chops, duckling, fresh seafood and stuffed lobster. $$

DeLosa's Pizzeria, 12801 Gulf Blvd., E. John's Pass Village, Madeira Beach (727-398-4657). This cozy pizzeria is located in an area known for catering to tourists, but that doesn't mean it isn't good. In business since 1983, the place is highly recommended by locals, as well snowbirds. Excellent crust and sauce from the family make the difference. Have a side of ziti with red sauce while you're at it. $$

Der Eisenhut, 357 Corey Ave., St. Pete Beach (727-367-6495). Schnitzels, sauerbraten "Hotel Lowenhof," and an Oktoberfest platter with the best brats, pork, potato salad and red cabbage you've tasted. Schaller & Weber products from the deli take out and a fabulous beer collection including Bitburger, Spaten and Weisse. $$

Dockside Dave's Grill and Bar, 13203 Gulf Blvd., in the Charterboat Center, Madeira Beach (727-392-9399). Locals know this humble bar and grill is the place to go for a good, old-fashioned Florida fish fry. Fresh-off-the-boat black grouper and shrimp are bathed in a rich batter, then fried up with a golden, crackling crust. Best-ever onion rings get the same treatment. Good seafood pastas and chowders are also worth trying. If a great grouper sandwich isn't your idea of heaven, then try the grilled half-pound burger, beef on weck, or Italian sausage sandwich. Menu prices range from $4.25 to $11.45. $

Hurricane Seafood Restaurant, Ninth Avenue and Gulf Way in Pass-a-Grille (727-360-9558). The Hurricane is a classic, one of the oldest and best beach bars on the Gulf shores. Over the years, the building and menu have been updated, but the free-wheelin' beach feeling remains. Breakfast on the outdoor deck overlooking Gulf waters, or party at night after a great seafood dinner. They serve award-winning grouper, stone crab and Key lime pie.$$

La Croisette, 7401 Gulf Blvd. (across the Pasadena Causeway), St. Pete Beach (727-360-2253) One of the best breakfasts on the beach, every day of the week. Flaky, buttery homemade croissants accompany a nearly unlimited assortment of fluffy omelets. Outstanding home fries and incredibly light pancakes are menu highlights. $

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