Restaurant News: Recent Bay area restaurant openings

The Twisted Cork Grille took on quite a task of renovating the location formerly known as Twila's on 34th Street in St. Petersburg. What used to to be a seedy bar and "restaurant" is now a classy little joint, with a bright and welcoming interior and a menu to match. It's a mix of classic American Southern favorites at reasonable prices. I was told by the owner that all dishes are made in-house from scratch. The wine and beer list isn't anything fancy, but lists some decent labels (and I'm not talking Boone's Farm grade) at great prices. 3405 34th St. N., St. Petersburg. 727-525-2675; twistedcorkgrille.com


Crabby Bill's has taken over the former Bennigan's location on north 4th St. in St. Petersburg that stood vacant for so long, opening their doors on March 10th. With a bright blue paint job and a bit of decor change, they're offering the same Crabby seafood favorites served at their six other Bay area locations. 9900 4th St. N., St. Petersburg. 727-362-5507; crabbybills.com

Ceviche has just opened a new location in the spot formerly occupied by Tio Pepe's in Clearwater. The grand opening took place on Saturday, June 19, and donated all proceeds from the $20 cover charge (which included complimentary tapas and sangria) to the Children's Dream Fund. Hopefully, this location can also garner the nighttime crowds its sister locations in Tampa and Downtown St. Petersburg gather on weekend nights. Serving lunch and dinner. Ceviche- 2930 Gulf to Bay Boulevard, Clearwater. 727-799-3082; ceviche.com

Burger Monger in Carrollwood, which opened May 21, is taking a crack at the gourmet fast food market with their "upscale burgers". Made with Akaushi Wagyu beef, their burgers and hot dogs are "several grades above USDA Prime" with price tags to match the pricey meat. Burger Monger also offers chicken burgers, handcut fries from Winnemucca Farms in Nevada and add-ons like imported Brie and cherry wood smoked bacon. 10412 N. Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. 813-968-6860; burgermonger.com

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