Dining Guide: Splurge restaurants, or Where to dine when someone else is footing the bill

MALIO’S PRIME STEAKHOUSE 400 N Ashley Dr., Tampa, 813-223-7746; maliosprime.com.


Meat is the star at Malio’s, offering USDA Prime beef, fresh seafood, and a selection of over 300 wines.


MARITANA GRILLE 3400 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach (inside the Don CeSar Beach Resort), 727-360-1881, loewshotels.com. This is about as fine dining as you can find in the beachside areas of Tampa Bay. The modern fare keeps with the restaurant’s theme of New American cuisine with Mediterranean and Floribbean accents. Prepare to drop some serious dough for a night out at Maritana Grille but the experience will hopefully make it worthwhile.


MISE EN PLACE 442 W. Kennedy Blvd., Suite 110, Tampa, 813-254-5373, miseonline.com. The trend of casual, noisy, vibrant, and chaotic fine dining joints that litter the Bay area these days is missing a fundamental piece of the experience. Sometimes, when spending a lot on a meal, we want to go somewhere "nice." Elegant. Fancy. Grown up. Mise is all of those things. --Brian Ries


OCEAN PRIME 2205 N. West Shore Blvd., Tampa, 813-490-5288, ocean-prime.com. Ocean Prime is a gorgeous place that feels more like an entertainment complex than merely a restaurant. You also may forget the steaks and seafood that form the core of the menu, especially after downing one of the innovative and expertly constructed cocktails on the Ocean Prime martini list. No matter how good the food (or drinks), it's almost secondary to the luxe joys of this getaway in the heart of commercial Tampa. --Brian Ries


THE PENTHOUSE CLUB 1801 N West Shore Blvd., Tampa, 813-288-9200, thepenthouseclubtampa.com. A place you can enjoy a perfectly cooked steak while watching topless women dance on stage. The prices are steep but nothing comes cheap here (in every sense of the word). Their a la carte side dishes are worth trying by themselves, especially the to-die-for jalapeno au gratin potatoes.


ROY'S 4342 W Boy Scout Blvd, Tampa, 813-873-7697, roysrestaurant.com. If Hawaiian fusion if your game, then Roy's is right up your alley. Roy Yamaguchi has planned a wonderful menu combining some classic (as well as some less-known) Hawaiian dishes with contemporary North American tastes. The next time you're feeling like you ought to "pass the poi" (and drop $170 on dinner) stop at Roy's. --Cristian Feher


SALT ROCK GRILL 19325 Gulf Blvd, Indian Shores, 727-593-7625, saltrockgrill.com. While the menu is simple, consisting of a raw bar selection, in-house aged steaks and fresh seafood cooked over the open wood fire grill, it's the gorgeous view of the Intercoastal that makes this spot worth visiting.


SIDEBERN'S 2208 W Morrison Ave., Tampa, 813-258-2233, sideberns.com. SideBern’s has a decadent six-course tasting menu created that changes with the seasons as SideBern’s Chef Chad Johnson utilizes local and sustainable sources whenever possible. If you can’t find someone to take you to dinner, the lounge menu boasts items such as Spiny Lobster Lettuce Wraps and Catalan Tuna Tacos averaging $8 a piece. --Kira Jefferson

CL regularly presents focused listings of the best dining options in Tampa Bay. This week, we’re giving you a guide to restaurants worth splurging on.

BERN'S STEAK HOUSE 1208 S Howard Ave., Tampa, bernssteakhouse.com. Despite the outdated interior that is reminiscent of Disney's Haunted Mansion, Bern's is a Tampa Bay classic and not to be missed. The quality food and service is well worth the price tag. Don't pass up visiting the Dessert Room either!

CAFE PONTE 13505 Icot Blvd. Suite 214, Clearwater, 727-538-5768, cafeponte.com. The artfully crafted food and tranquil atmosphere make for a very memorable dining experience and is a great spot for celebrating anniversaries, birthdays, etc. Keep an eye out for celebrity diners who are in town doing stints over at HSN.

MARCHAND'S BAR AND GRILL 501 5th Ave NE, St. Pete (inside the Renaissance Vinoy), marchandsbarandgrill.com. Even though they're known for their indulgent Sunday brunch, Marchand's is definitely worth a visit for an elegant dinner experience. The refined menu is a mixture of Mediterranean and Floribbean influences, the wine list is fairly extensive and the service is attentive without being overbearing.

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