Restaurant Review: Emilio's Bistro basics

In the current, incredibly uncertain economic climate, it seems that people aren't going out less, they're just spending less. Let's be honest, people who eat out a lot aren't suddenly going to start whipping up weekday dinners from that Rachael Ray book their aunt got them for Christmas. Instead, they'll look for places that give them the same kind of aura, the same kind of service, the same kind of excellent food they used to receive, but at prices that match their new pseudo-frugality. Places like Emilio's Bistro.

Emilio's is the latest restaurant to make a go of the 437 Central location, after two spots failed in less than five years. That could indicate potential problems, but Emilio's has a sharp and smart concept that suits the current downtown St. Pete dining scene, with food that delivers on that promise.

Like Diner 437 before it, Emilio's serves three square meals a day and stays open fairly late — 10 p.m. on weeknights and midnight on weekends. Unlike Diner 437, the food is the essence of simplicity, with nothing over the magical $10 price point.