Restaurant News: New menu unveiled at the Don CeSar's Maritana Grille

[image-1]Some of the new entrees include the orange habanero barebecue grouper over a plantain and chorizo hash and wilted spinach, and the deconstructed Niçoise salad (pictured) with seared Ahi tuna, roasted beets, olive tapenade, haricot vert salad and quail egg. The horseradish-crusted Atlantic salmon with shrimp fricassée and lobster butter still retains its place on the menu, being Maritana's signature entrée.

The cocktail menu has been revamped, too, in order to complement the contemporary cuisine. Featured are such avant-garde libations as the hibiscus foam-topped Sea Urchin, consisting of Ciroc vodka and Creme de Cassis, and the Ty-ku Ball -- a concoction of Tyku Soju and Domaine de Canton liquer that is poured over cotton candy in the glass.

The restaurant also offers one of Tampa Bay's only chef's tables, where guests can indulge in a five-course tasting menu specially chosen for the table by the chef.

A bit outdated (with cheesy murals and all), Maritana's dining room will be receiving a face lift over two weeks in September in order to better fit with the chic style of the new fare.

Being a Zagat top five for food, décor and service, as well as recipients of numerous restaurant accolades, this is about as fine dining as you can find on this side of the bay. Prepare to drop some serious dough for a night out at Maritana Grill but the experience will hopefully make it worthwhile.

Maritana Grille- 3400 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach. Open for dinner Tuesday-Saturday; 6-10 p.m. Reservations recommended. Call (727) 360-1881. Chef's Table must be reserved at least 24 hours in advance.

Maritana Grille, the Don CeSar's four diamond-rated fine dining restaurant on St. Pete Beach, has just unveiled their new menu — a creative take on New American cuisine with an emphasis on fresh seafood.

Named one of the Top 10 Best Seafood Restaurants in the U.S. by Gayot Guide, Maritana Grille offers an abundance of fresh, artfully prepared seafood dishes, as well as meat and vegetarian selections, and an extensive wine list in a very intimate setting — so much so, you'd forget there were other diners present. The new, modern fare keeps with the restaurant's theme of New American cuisine, along with Mediterranean and Floribbean accents, by touting "eco-friendly" and sustainable seafood options. As for the service, the staff is very knowledgeable and attentive without being overbearing.

For starters, there are the playfully named "soup-a-tizers," including a Yukon Gold potato bisque with sweet corn and crab, and and an heirloom tomato and beet gazpacho. If you can't choose just one soup, order the tasting and sample three. Other starters include the black pepper-crusted beef carpaccio atop roasted beets and micro green salad with a truffle vinaigrette (pictured) and the Maine lobster agnolotti with wilted leeks and "coral butter" (which is a sauce made with lobster roe and, you guessed it, butter).

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