Tampa >Food & Dining > Michael's Grill
Off Night. I have eaten at Michael's Grill a few times and found it to have great service and good food, but Saturday night 18th of September was definately a "Off Night". Their Bisque is normally great but this night it was gray in color and like a VERY thick claim chowder. The crested poached salmon was tender, moist and flakey, but very bland and barely crusted. It came on a bed of macaroni with goat cheese which was not even etible. It was one big clump of solidified noodles. One of my guests had Duck, and while not crispy as promised, the flavor was good. The winner of the night was the Main Street Burger which my wife always orders. We routinely kid her about ordering it as a entree, but this night she got the last laugh. I would normally just chuck it up to an off night, and look forward to the next time, but at the prices which they charge, most people can't or won't take another chance.
Carrollwood's favorite eatery for years, and no wonder. Ambience, food, service (when from their experienced servers), price, freshness of food, wine selection, breadth of menu... all good. Best crab cakes in town. Their wine tastings and special events are indeed special. I've hosted numerous group events there with no disappointments. No wonder they win so many awards.
Avoid at all Cost. Michaels Grill should be avoided at all cost. My first experience was on an early Friday afternoon and I sat outside with a girlfriend. The atmosphere was nice considering the view overlooks the parking lot. Perhaps they were in between shifts, but we were all but forgotten about. Service was lazy and slow, and we had to go inside to ask for more water and tea. When I walked inside the last time, I saw 3 servers, 2 of which were sitting near the back and appeared to be counting money, and one server-ours-cleaning wine glasses. There was a woman who appeared to be arguing with her, standing nearby. This woman, turns out, was one of the owners. She quickly came over and asked if i needed anything. "Just our check". She brought out the bill quickly, introduced herself and made some small talk with us as if trying to rectify the experience and offered to get us a complimentary dessert. Why is it that when you have a poor experience at a restaurant, they think a free dessert will make it all better. Why would I want to stay even LONGER at a place where the experience was so poor? I was very disappointed, and wouldn't reccommend this place to anyone.
The service was WONDERFUL. I couldn't be happier with the service - or the dessert, which was divine. I ordered the toffee bread pudding and it was amazing. The Frech Onion soup was good - but wasn't served in the proper dish. The Veal Marsala was OK - nothing to write home about.
Is it French or is it Italian? The language of upscale comfort food seems to be international..
Andrea and Michael Reilly's little restaurant has become a Carrollwood institution, as much for the warm greeting and neighborly service as it has for the convivial patio and spare, brasserie-style dining room. Eat at the bar and absorb the drama of the bustling open kitchen, but through the French doors out on the leafy patio, the well-heeled crowd always seems to be having more fun.
Settle in with the French onion soup redolent of thyme and cradling a soft flow of gooey cheese, or an Italian comfort-food classic like penne bolognese dotted with ricotta and disks of spicy sausage. Entrees come with a solid Caesar or a spry blue cheese-napped green salad and a choice of potato, but it's worth ordering either the sauteed mixed mushrooms with sherry, or asparagus topped with bearnaise sauce. Desserts are carefully rendered, from velvety creme brulee to homey apple cake.
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