As a Tampa resident for over twenty years, I've had the gastronomical pleasure of experiencing these fine dining establishments. Trade those beach shorts for something more cosmopolitan, and come hungry.
Here's my rating scale: $$ - Comparatively Inexpensive. $$$ - More Expensive. $$$$ - Very Expensive. Upscale = dress nice. Chic = dress to kill.
4444 West Cypress Street, Tampa, 33607.
Upscale $$$$. Charley's has graced Tampa since 1974 with a quiet, sophisticated ambiance. The service is as upscale as the clothes. Everyone should be waited on like this at least once in their lives. Cozy and elegant, chandelier-decked setting. The specialties are mouth-watering cuts of steak and Surf & Turf.
Rated number 5 out of the Top 10 Steak Restaurants in the U.S. at Prime Top 10, a list of America's Finest USDA Prime Steakhouses & Restaurants.
Reservations not usually needed.
Mitchell's Fish Market
204 Westshore Plaza, Tampa, 33609.
Upscale $$$. Mitchell's is reminiscent of the classy mid-nineteenth and twentieth century 'men only' dining clubs. But women are allowed, of course. All varnished wood and frosted glass with some miniature ships on display. Mitchell's hasn't been in Tampa that long (several years), but it's made a name for itself. The broiled tilapia is succulent, for one. The seafood-many varieties obtained from one coast to the other-is always fresh, never frozen. A relaxed, classy ambiance. Reservations not needed.