One of the busiest days at any good restaurant is Vale’s Day – which we always avoid. But the day after is my wife’s birthday, which we can’t avoid. The Maritana Grille was still packed, and they were offering their Valentine’s Day tasting menu. It looked wonderful, and it met our expectations.
This is one of the few restaurants in the Tampa – Sarasota corridor that meets our standards of fine dinning, matching some of the best in NYC, Chicago, New Orleans, and San Fran. Kudos to the chef, the wait staff, and the sommelier (who has brought some really interesting wines to the list).  My hat is off to any wine guy who knows that New Zealand is about more than Sauvignon blanc, and in fact has some great Bordeaux blends from the Hawkes Bay region.  The sommelier had a cab/merlot blend from Craggy Range (2008) which was outstanding.

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