BY MARY D. SCOURTES
mscourtes@tampatrib.com

TAMPA - You can't miss Michael's Grill. Just look for the rotund chef statue in front of the green store front in the Main Street shopping center.
Your trek to North Dale Mabry Highway will be rewarded as you relax and peruse the menu of soups">

 

  

BY MARY D. SCOURTES
mscourtes@tampatrib.com

TAMPA - You can't miss Michael's Grill. Just look for the rotund chef statue in front of the green store front in the Main Street shopping center.
Your trek to North Dale Mabry Highway will be rewarded as you relax and peruse the menu of soups, salads, pasta, veal and more.

While it's not a lengthy list, Michael's does offer some fish finds that are not only fresh, but high quality.  Those with hearty appetites may want to try two delicious seafood appetizers, but make sure you save room for chef-owner Michael Reilly's freshly baked herb bread.  The crab cakes - big bites of lump crab meat with just the right amount of onions, peppers and celery - are lightly breaded and accented by a lemon-parsley sauce.  She-Crab Bisque is a full-bodied, coral-colored sea of crab and cream, spiked with cognac.  Bubble Bread - slices of French Bread doused with garlic, herbs and a blend of cheeses - is accompanied by a terrific marinara sauce.  Reilly's spin on baked escargot looks beautiful: The little snails seasoned with garlic butter sit in mushroom caps, blanketed by a giant puff pastry.

Other starters include Baked Onion Soup, Stuffed Mushroom Caps and assorted greens, including a Caesar salad topped with grilled chicken or shrimp.  For entrees, the seafood again drew our attention. Broiled snapper is made even more appealing with tangy crab, mushrooms, asparagus with hollandaise sauce.  Dream Baked Scallops features moist mollusks, bell peppers, mushrooms and a zesty - but not overpowering - Marsala wine sauce. Chicken Little tosses linguini and cream with slices of grilled chicken, garlic, onions and sun-dried tomatoes.


Summer Love, a colorful shrimp, entree, combines tiny bites of asparagus, artichokes and onion with capers and white wine.  If you feel like splurging, try the sweet Florida Lobster, a petite tail served with drawn butter.

Other entrees include Chicken Marengo (with white wine, olives and tarragon), Chicken Nouvelle (with sautéed vegetables), Steak Au Poivre and Shrimp Provencal (with onions, peppers and wine).

All dinners come with a Caesar salad  and choice of potato (baked, twice-baked, garlic mashed) or wild rice.

As for dessert, apple crumble cake, turtle cheesecake, sticky toffee pudding and chocolate crème brulee are sumptuous offerings, too good to pass up.