tbt* Weekend 01/12/2022

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Enjoy music and Martin Luther King Jr. events. 2-4 Explore the 10 most anticipated films of 2022. 30

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

TOP RESTAURANTS 2022

Dining delights

Join food and dining critic Helen Freund for a look at the best new restaurants, the best dishes, the best outdoor dining spots and more. 6-21

Snapper and gulf shrimp ceviche at Wild Child in St. Petersburg gets a finishing touch. LUIS SANTANA | Times


things to do

JOAN MARCUS | Courtesy of Ruth Eckerd Hall

The Tony-winning musical Jersey Boys brings the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons to Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater. BY KELLY A. STEFANI Times Staff Writer

Jersey Boys: The Tony-winning musical about Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons includes the hits Sherry, Big Girls Don’t Cry and Working My Way Back to You. $35$100. 8 p.m. today-Thursday. Ruth Eckerd Hall,1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. 727-791-7400. Erasure: During the pandemic, electronic duo Andy Bell and Vince Clarke created music that culminated in their new Neon tour. $29.50$99.50. 8 p.m. Sunday. Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. 727-300-2000. Keith Sweat: The singer-songwriter brings his new jack swing and R&B sounds to Tampa. $70 and up. 8 p.m. Sunday. Seminole Hard Rock

Hotel & Casino, 5223 Orient Road, Tampa. 813-627-7625. Puddles Pitty Party: Puddles the sad clown pantomimes through a parody before belting out an operatic song. $37.50-$54.50. 8 p.m. Saturday. Nancy and David Bilheimer Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. 727-791-7400. Tampa Pride Ultimate Showdown: MLK Weekend: Brianna Summers hosts an MLK tribute talent contest that honors the “pioneers who have paved the way” for the rights of others. $10-$20. 7 p.m. Sunday. Southern Nights,1401 E Seventh Ave., Tampa. 813-247-1019. Winter Jam 2022: The Christian music tour features headliners Skillet and Tauren Wells, as well as performances by KB, Colton Dixon, I Am They and NewSong. Erasure will perform at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg on Sunday.

Courtesy of Andy Sturney

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ANDY BUI | Courtesy of Cirque Italia

Hector Pazaran performs in Cirque Italia’s new “water circus,” which is being staged inside the traveling tent at Westfield Brandon mall. The show moves to Wesley Chapel later this month. Shane Pruitt will preach while Abby Robertson and Bayside Worship lead the pre-jam. $10. 7 p.m. Friday. Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. 813-301-6500. Clearwater Art Walk: Stroll through downtown Clearwater while learning about the city’s public art scene during this docent-led walk. Review at least 20 art installations, from sculptures and murals to wrapped signal boxes and storm drain murals. The walk ends just before the monthly Downtown District Sip and Stroll. Get tickets at clearwaterartsalliance.org. $10-$15. 10:30 a.m. Saturday. Clearwater City Hall,112 S Osceola Ave. Pirate Parrrty: Party like a pirate at WFLZ’s Saturday Night Pre-Party with Brian Fink and DJ Jaime Ferreira Live. There will be pirates, giveaways, dancing and more. Free. 7-10 p.m. Saturday. Brandon Westfield Brandon, 459 Brandon Town Center. 813-661-5100. Gasparilla Bash: Dance the night away to R&B music by The Bus Stop Band at this pirate-themed party with brews and bites. Benefits the Rotary Club of Tampa Foundation. $50-$110. 7-11 p.m. Saturday. 81Bay Brewing Co., 4465 W Gandy Blvd., Tampa. 813-837-2739. Al Downing Jazz 50th Anniver-

sary Celebration: Award-winning singer, saxophonist, songwriter and entertainer Danny Bacher headlines the third annual Palladium Jazz Awards. This year the awards show celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Al Downing Tampa Bay Jazz Association. $20-$36. 4 p.m. Sunday. Palladium Theater, 253 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. 727822-3590. Cirque Italia: This Cirque-style show with European flavor, lasers and water effects includes aerial work, contortion, hand balancing and clown comedy between acts. Seating is limited and socially distanced inside the traveling tent. Masks are recommended, and directional signs must be followed for safety. $25-$50, $10-$45 children. 7:30 p.m. today-Friday,1:30, 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. Westfield Brandon, 459 Brandon Town Center Drive. 941-7048572. The show moves to Wesley Chapel later this month. Paranormal Cirque: Cirque Italia is also presenting a different kind of show. This one has nightmares, fear, surprise and more, as well as a “Clown Castle” with acrobats, illusionists and mysterious creatures. Age13 and older. $10-$50. 7:30 p.m. today-Friday, 6:30 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday, 5:30 and 8:30 p.m.

Sunday. Riviera Dunes Marina,102 Riviera Dunes Way, Palmetto. 941704-8572. Racewars: MLK Show: This car enthusiasts’ MLK tribute combines a car show and amateur drag racing in a safe environment. $15-$150. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. Showtime Speedway (formerly Sunshine Speedway), 4550 Ulmerton Road, Clearwater. 727-561-9646. Pinellas Geological Society Gem Show and Sale: Collectors show and sell a variety of mineral specimens, jewelry, gem trees, rock slabs, crystals and other handcrafted lapidary items. $2.10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday-Saturday, noon-5 p.m. Sunday. Central Park Performing Arts Center,105 Central Park Drive, Largo. 727-709-3236. Sarasota Seafood and Music Festival: The festival offers a diverse menu of foods, including seafood from local and sustainable ocean resources. There will be live R&B, blues, jazz, rock and Caribbean music. Free (food/drink additional). 4-10 p.m. Friday,11 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday,11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. Main Street and Gulfstream Drive, downtown Sarasota. Contact Kelly A. Stefani at kstefani@ tampabay.com or 727-893-8194. Wednesday, January 12, 2022

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things to do

Times (2018)

A City of Tampa Department of Solid Waste and Environmental Program Management float shares a message from the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during Tampa’s annual parade in January 2018.

Celebrate King’s legacy BY KELLY A. STEFANI Times Staff Writer

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parade Dade City: The parade lines up at Rodney B. Cox Elementary School at 9 a.m. and steps off at 10, making its way from Martin Luther King Boulevard to the Robert D. Sumner Judicial Center (Pasco County Circuit Court Building). Free. 10 a.m. Saturday. Rodney B. Cox Elementary School, 37615 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Dade City. 352-521-1460. MLK Dream Big Weekend Concert: This open-air jazz concert pays tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Free. 11 a.m. Saturday. Albert Whitted Airport, 540 First St. SE, St. Petersburg. 727-321-7919. MLK: “We Are the Dream” Expo: You can honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and support local businesses at this festival with vendors, dancers,

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live entertainment, music, a kids corner, food, speakers, games and activities. Free. Noon-4 p.m. Saturday. Gibbs High School, 850 34th St. S, St. Petersburg. 727-893-5452. Tampa Bay Black Heritage Festival: Music Fest 2022: Gates open at noon for headline performances by The Bar-Kays and Jane Eugene (Saturday) and Euge Groove and Erica Campbell (Sunday). $15-$40. 1-9 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. Curtis Hixon Park, 600 N Ashley Drive, Tampa. Brooksville MLK Day Parade: Participants line up for the “Moving the Dream Forward”-themed parade on Varsity Drive. From there the parade turns right onto Oakwood Drive, left onto Howell Avenue and left onto Fort Dade Avenue. Free. 10 a.m. Monday. Hernando High School, 111 Ernie Chatman Run, Brooksville. 352-398-5139.

MLK Dream Big Weekend Parade: The parade includes appearances by bands from Talladega College, Tuskegee University, Texas Southern University, Miles College and Palm Beach Lakes, Miami Carroll City, Booker T. Washington, Miami Norland, Stranahan and Daytona Beach Mainland high schools. It starts at Third Street and First Avenue S, proceeds west to 16th Street and disbands next to Tropicana Field. Free. 11 a.m. Monday. Along First Avenue S, St. Petersburg. 727321-7919. Tampa Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parade: After a year off due to COVID-19, the parade is back. It starts at Cuscaden Park and ends at Middleton High School. Free. Noon Monday. Cuscaden Park, 2900 N 15th St., Tampa. 813-803-8060. Contact Kelly A. Stefani at kstefani@ tampabay.com or 727-893-8194.


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taste top restaurants 2022

Despite struggles, bright spots shine O BY HELEN FREUND Times Food and Dining Critic

n March 11, 2020, I published the last restaurant review I would write for the rest of that year. Of course, I had no idea what the future held at the time. That week, we ran a playful rundown of the Filipino fare served at Jollibee, a fast-food restaurant with a cultlike international following that had recently opened in Pinellas Park. I’ve been a restaurant critic for close to seven years now and I can say with some certainty that I never expected my last review before a pandemic to focus on the nuances and flavor profiles of Jolly Spaghetti and Chickenjoy. But then again, everything that came after March 2020 was a surprise. Many of those surprises came from the restaurant world, where I watched as chefs, owners and restaurant staff worked harder than ever to save their institutions and preserve their livelihoods, constantly pivoting and rolling with the many, many punches that the coronavirus pandemic lobbed their way. There were the mask mandates, and the staff tasked with enforcing them when unruly customers refused to comply. The capacity restrictions and the ensuing social media backlash whenever a restaurant looked too busy. The labor shortages,

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LUIS SANTANA | Times

Wild Child in St. Petersburg, whose dishes include, clockwise from left, a roasted beets and apple salad, fish and grits, ceviche and braised short ribs, is one of Tampa Bay’s best new restaurants to open during the pandemic.


the supply chain lags, the exponential food price hikes. And of course, the many restaurant employees that would inevitably contract COVID-19, sometimes prompting a days-long shutdown of the business. Many Florida restaurants fared considerably better than their counterparts elsewhere in the country. But the past 18 months haven’t been easy, either. All of this contributed to our decision not to publish a top restaurants list in 2021. Judging or critiquing restaurants at such a tumultuous time didn’t just feel wrong, it was impossible: I wasn’t dining out regularly until a few months ago, when — fully vaccinated and amid dwindling COVID-19 cases in the state — I finally felt comfortable sitting in a packed dining room. This year, we’ve decided to take a different approach again. Our rundown of Tampa Bay’s best new restaurants and the accompanying lists are focused primarily on the restaurants that opened in 2020 and 2021. Call them pandemic success stories, if you will, but the following 10 spots opened during an incredibly uncertain time and still managed to hit it out of the park. As I write this, the omicron variant is causing record numbers of coronavirus cases in the state. Who knows what the next year will bring. With safety still top of mind, we’ve included details on outdoor seating and takeout options for each restaurant listed. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends masking in indoor public settings in areas with high community transmission, though masks are not currently required in Florida restaurants. In the meantime, let’s enjoy our wonderful restaurants, safely, for as long as we can.

Photos by LUIS SANTANA | Times

Wild Child, our pick for the bay area’s best new restaurant, is in St. Petersburg’s Grand Central District.

Best new 1 eateries

BY HELEN FREUND Times Food and Dining Critic

Wild Child

Rob Reinsmith’s menu at Wild Child features dishes with Latin and Caribbean influences.

What makes Wild Child Tampa Bay’s best new restaurant? Maybe it’s because, without any inkling of what the future held, owners Matt Kaye and Rob Reinsmith turned their original plans upside down and opened a restaurant at the height of the pandemic. Maybe it’s the brilliance of running a mostly outdoor eatery in Florida, which — even in the dead of summer — emulates an urban tropical oasis; a sidewalk and picnic table party that never feels cramped. Maybe it’s that the owners have managed to tap into the culinary zeitgeist and create a restaurant that feels so perfectly of this moment. Whatever it is, Wild Child hit the ground running when it opened in August 2020 and hasn’t stopped.

You could come here just for the cocktails, an excellent tropical-leaning selection that’s always evolving. One constant: the Mezcalita, a spicy, smoky margarita that gets a kick from jalapeno and a dash of sweetness from agave and pineapple. You could come for the tropical, eye-catching decor and people-watching and marvel at how the owners managed to create a restaurant with a color scheme and aesthetic that, while attractive to the Instagram influencer set, isn’t made or designed with them exclusively in mind. Whatever you do, definitely come for the excellent food featured on Reinsmith’s wildly creative menu, where Latin and Caribbean influences mingle within a distinctly Floridian theme. Over the last year and a half, I’ve popped by on several occasions, always curious what the ’burg’s buzziest restaurant will come up with next. A roasted half chicken served with yuzu salsa verde and fries on one visit might be reimagined as a Peruvian grilled chicken served alongside purple potatoes on the next. A seasonal burrata salad might feature fresh peaches one day and juicy heirloom tomatoes and cherries on another. There’s always something in flux, and it’s almost always great. But while Reinsmith shakes things up seasonally, there are a few mainstays on the menu that have earned their keep: jerk-seasoned octopus plated with lemon jam, fennel and mint; chorizo-stuffed dates, wrapped in crispy slices of bacon and nestled in a pool of smoky tomato and piquillo pepper sauce; and a dreamy tuna tostada, featuring the perfect marriage of bright, smoky, crunchy and creamy elements. It’s the salsa macha — a dark and smoky medley of peppers and peanuts — that really steals the show. Best dishes: Tuna tostada, jerk octopus. Outdoor seating and takeout available. 2710 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. 727-954-7425. wildchildstpete.com.

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with such a hefty price tag attached, dining here feels like more of an occasion — an excuse to celebrate something big. Because a night out at Koya is something very special indeed. Best dishes: Kama toro, wagyu katsu sandwich. Special takeout menu available certain nights. 807 W Platt St., Tampa. 813-2847423. noblericeco.com/koya.

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Koya

Chef Eric Fralick’s multicourse meal at Koya starts by featuring the top of the tuna, the meat right beneath the fin and one of the leanest parts of the fish. This isn’t just any old tuna: This is the coveted (and pricy) bluefin tuna from Kagoshima — sold at auction and flown in straight from Japan’s famed Toyosu Market. Course four features the kama toro — the back cheek or collar of the fish — and the fattiest, silkiest and arguably most delicious part. It’s served as a tartare, on a bed of rice and with a healthy drizzle of white soy, lacto-fermented ginger and a grating of fresh wasabi root. It’s one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. And it’s just one of nine courses at the Tampa restaurant, where you’ll enjoy not just a high-octane meal — you’ll spend an evening at the theater and get an education, too. There are also sake pairings — Fralick’s wife, Adriana, pours from a short but impressive list of the Japanese fermented rice spirit, explaining in detail the subtle nuances and flavor profiles of each — and friendly banter with neighboring diners. And a price tag of $275, before pairings and tipping. Opening an upscale, tasting menu-only restaurant at the height of the pandemic was a gamble. But Tampa diners have been more than game: The restaurant has been booked solid since it opened. The menu gets a full overhaul every season but also undergoes small tweaks week to week and sometimes day to day, depending on what Fralick is able to source. A recent winter menu featured kurama ebi, sweet and bouncy Japanese tiger prawns served under a light and airy yuzu-laced sabayon. There was also Faroe Island salmon, served directly out of a smoking cloak with a zingy ramp salsa. One of the showstoppers came close to the end, when a meltin-your-mouth marbled square of dry-aged Wagyu (A5 BMS 12, from Kagoshima) appeared. The meat was breaded and served katsu-style on a miniature sandwich with an accompanying Parmesan veloute topped with shaved white truffles, for dunking. Though the restaurant has attracted its fair share of regulars,

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Sea Worthy Fish + Bar

Courtesy of Koya

Tampa’s Koya features a chef’s tasting menu that changes often. There are also sake pairings.

Photos by DIRK SHADD | Times

Must-try specials at the cozy Sea Worthy Fish + Bar in Tierra Verde have included lobster with fresh squid ink bucatini, left. Another standout is a whole fried catch of the day, right.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Hope Montgomery and Jason Ruhe opened their coastal-inspired restaurant in Tierra Verde a few weeks before the statewide shutdown. But despite the temporary setback, their seafaring spot off the Pinellas Bayway is sailing along smoothly. The restaurant has been pitched as the coastal sidekick to their lauded downtown St. Petersburg restaurant Brick & Mortar. But Sea Worthy shouldn’t be considered a sidekick to anything. It’s a knockout all on its own. In a nod to the Gulf Coast, and inspired by the couple’s love for the open water, the menu highlights local and regional delights from the sea, reflected in the restaurant’s cozy nautical-themed dining room. Count on a rotating selection of daily specials — whatever is striking Ruhe’s fancy that night — as the dishes not to miss. On one evening, that might include a plate of Korean barbecue-inspired short ribs. On another, a snappy fresh ceviche. Homemade pasta — on some nights a bucatini, and on others cavatelli — is often served alongside seared scallops in a creamy carbonara sauce. If this is on the menu, do not pass it up. Other standouts include a whole fried catch of the day, which arrives plated atop coconut rice and a refreshing green papaya slaw. If you can, try to snag a seat on the outdoor deck, a second-floor perch that looks out toward the Gulf of Mexico. Time it just right and you’ll catch a sunset, and a meal, you won’t soon forget. Best dishes: Scallop carbonara, whole fried catch of the day. Outside seating and takeout available. 1110 Pinellas Bayway S, Tierra Verde. 727-623-0468.


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Lingr

Lingr might be Tampa Bay’s most ambitious restaurant opening of 2021 — a curious and creative concept that, in the wrong hands, might not have worked. But with chef Jeffrey Jew at the helm, things are going just fine. The theme here is Norwegian and Cantonese — more broadly, a Nordic-inspired restaurant with Asian influence. It’s an homage to chef and owner Jew’s background and upbringing (his mother is Norwegian and his father is Chinese) peppered with some of the culinary chops and techniques he’s honed throughout his career. Despite appearances, Lingr isn’t really a fusion restaurant. Unlike so many other globe-trotting spots that borrow from a hodgepodge of cuisines, this one has a pretty strict roadmap. Some dishes skew more Scandinavian while others feature a heavier hand with Chinese influence. But the genius here is that the ingredients emblematic of both cuisines — star anise, fennel, cardamon, ginger — work remarkably well together. The dishes that keep me com-

MARTHA ASENCIO-RHINE | Times

LUIS SANTANA | Times

A snapper crudo at Lingr in St. Petersburg is served with a citrus buttermilk, lotus root and dill oil.

Amish-raised rotisserie chickens highlight the menu at Willa’s in Tampa and are served with a zingy salsa verde.

ing back: puffy rounds of Sami bread, topped with smoked lion’s mane mushrooms, brunost cheese and chili oil; mapo ho fun noodles, swathed in a fiery sauce heavy with Sichuan peppercorns; and wedges of spiced parsnip cake layered with a sweet mandarin cream. Best dishes: Hamachi crudo, smoked lion’s mane Sami bread,

Hyde Park, and yet I couldn’t agree more. The bistro, though not exactly casual or cheap, is a welcome addition to Tampa’s current dining landscape, where everything seems to fall increasingly into two camps: upscale and fine-dining or fast-casual and grab-and-go. Willa’s straddles the space in between with an approachable

mapo ho fun. Outside seating available. 400 Sixth St. S, St. Petersburg. 727-471-6120. lingrrestaurant.com.

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Willa’s

When Willa’s opened back in March, it was originally pitched as the perfect neighborhood restaurant. I live nowhere near Tampa’s North

menu of New American dishes, classic cocktails and a welcoming “pop-in-whenever-for-a-snack-ortipple” kind of atmosphere. The kitchen is helmed by Gabriel Lopez (formerly a sous chef at Mise en Place) and the backbone of the operation is the rotisserie-roasted chicken, Amishraised birds roasted until crispy

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Sauvignon Wine Locker & American Trattoria

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and impossibly flavorful, served with a zingy salsa verde. A perfect dinner here might start with a bowl of chili-laced Castelvetrano olives, paper-thin slices of jambon de Paris and an aperitif or two. (The bar menu features a sizable vermouth collection.) Diners would then be wise to move on to the creamy tahini wedge salad and maybe a slice of the whipped ricotta and hazelnut toast. Then, a few pieces of the juicy roasted chicken and a side of schmaltz-roasted potatoes, or the crispy panko-fried pork schnitzel, served along a pile of bright, citrusy greens. Dessert, if there’s room, is sweet and simple: a slice of carrot cake or several spoonfuls of a velvety chocolate pot de creme. Best dishes: Roasted chicken, pork schnitzel, tahini Caesar salad. Outside seating and takeout available. 1700 W Fig St., Tampa. 813-5194552. willastampa.com.

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Patti’s Kitchen

Since opening in July 2020, this Pinellas Park gem hasn’t skipped a beat. The treat here is the Bangkok-style street noodle dishes — steamy, spicy soups and brothless specialties topped with grilled meats and seasonal vegetables. The restaurant’s chef and owner hails from Bangkok and designed the restaurant’s menu as an hom-

Times (2020)

The offerings at Patti’s Kitchen in Pinellas Park include ba mee moo dang, which is made with egg noodles, homemade barbecue pork and yu choy, and topped with fried garlic and cilantro.

age to the street vendors and noodle dishes hawked all over Thailand’s capital city. Soup lovers and spice fiends will find much to love, from the spot’s signature boat noodles (tiew nam tok), heavy with the flavors of cinnamon, cloves and star anise, to the bright and fiery tom yum soup,

dotted with crunchy peanuts and hunks of seasoned pork. Though noodle soups are still the highlight, the kitchen has been experimenting with new specials, and it’s always fun to see what they’ve got in store. The excellent Thai curry puffs are always a good bet — buttery,

MARTHA ASENCIO-RHINE | Times

A seared snapper is served over pea puree with Calabrian chili oil and dragon fruit salsa at Sauvignon Wine Locker & American Trattoria in St. Petersburg.

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flaky pastries filled with a spiced potato and chicken mixture and served with a bright and crunchy cucumber salad. Best dishes: Thai curry puffs, boat noodles. Takeout available. 6527 Park Blvd., Pinellas Park. 727-289-4153.

Chris Ciarcia’s new downtown St. Petersburg restaurant Sauvignon has been perpetually packed since opening in early 2021. With the (temporary) loss of wine-and-cheese staple Annata on Beach Drive NE, the restaurant — with its heavy focus on decadent charcuterie boards and fine wines — feels right at home. Ciarcia, a level two sommelier, spent several years managing Annata, and his wine expertise is as much a draw at Sauvignon as anything else. The restaurant has attracted a strong following of local oenophiles and curious imbibers looking to expand their palates. Though the wonderful charcuterie boards are a tempting way to pass the evening, the rest of the menu is equally exciting. A creamy burrata gets paired with a tomato confit that tastes like it’s been sweetened by the sun. The homemade pasta collection features a pappardelle swaddled in a thick and flavorful lamb sugo, studded with oyster mushrooms and caramelized tropea onions. Sauvignon’s location is pretty clutch, too: Tucked between a string of bars in the busy — and boozy — 200 block of Central Avenue, the best seats in the house are outside on the second-floor patio, overlooking the action.

MARTHA ASENCIO-RHINE | Times

An expansive wine program is a highlight at Sauvignon, where guests can buy wine locker memberships to net discounts on hard-to-source bottles and special events.


Best dishes: PEI Mussels, pappardelle with lamb sugo. Outdoor balcony seating available. 241 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. 727-827-7896. sauvignonstpete. com.

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The Urban Stillhouse

There’s little arguing that The Urban Stillhouse is one of Tampa Bay’s most beautiful new restaurants. Designed with distilleries in Kentucky and Scotland in mind, the yawning bi-level space is outfitted with plenty of dark wood, leather, heavy metal and copper accents, and features a modern industrial aesthetic that feels both cosmopolitan and cozy at the same time. It’s fitting that executive chef Kenny Tufo’s creative New American menu also consistently knocks it out of the park with crowd-pleasers like chicken liver crostini topped with bourbon, cranberry and rosemary compote; pappardelle swaddled in a lemon mascarpone sauce with lobster and peas; and the excellent grilled octopus, where olive oil-slicked tentacles get grilled over barrel staves and served atop fresh greens alongside a flavorful romesco sauce. Given that the owners also own Horse Soldier bourbon and the American Freedom Distillery, drinking here is half the fun. The Horse Soldier flights are a good place to start, but for brown liquor connoisseurs, the private tastings are a must. Best dishes: Grilled octopus, chicken liver crostini. Some outdoor seating available. 2232 Fifth Ave. S, St Petersburg. 727-440-8040. theurbanstillhouse. com.

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Courtesy of JHarePhotography

A dish featuring charred octopus with romesco, greens and charred lemon is served at The Urban Stillhouse in St. Petersburg.

Kuba Cocina

Many will remember Felicia Lacalle from her time at Hemingway’s, the modern Cuban restaurant inside the Heights Public Market at Tampa’s Armature Works. Earlier this year, Lacalle’s cooking found a new home in St. Pete Beach — a takeout concept she calls Kuba Cocina (but also Kuba en la Playa, a nod to its proximity to the beach). The spot features several holdovers from her pre-

MARTHA ASENCIO-RHINE | Times

MARTHA ASENCIO-RHINE | Times

Cuban sandwiches and contemporary Cuban dishes are served at Kuba Cocina in St. Pete Beach.

The Jungle Prada Burger at Kuba Cocina has a beef-pork-chorizo patty topped with bacon, egg, malanga sticks and Swiss cheese.

vious restaurant as well as a few additional creations. There’s also really good sangria to-go. Though there is ample seating outside, the all-day menu is designed with the grab-and-go beachgoer in mind and features handhelds like lobster empanadas, sandwiches and other snacks to-go.

with the flavors of shredded roasted pork and chorizo, speckled with tiny shrimp, chunks of ham, green onions and peas and topped with sweet plantains. And the massive El Rey Kubano, Lacalle’s take on the Tampa Cuban sandwich, is hands-down one of the best around.

Crispy, bronzed chicharrones are like pork candy, served with a squeeze of fresh lime and a creamy cilantro and garlic aioli for dunking. Lacalle’s specialty, the Kuban fried rice, is a nod to the Chinese Cuban mashup found at restaurants like Tampa’s Arco Iris Cafe. The dish is a showstopper, rich

Maybe it’s the gorgeous mural outside the restaurant, or the way the sun hits the shaded patio tables at sunset, or the punch packed by the fruity sangrias that resemble adult-sized Capri Sun pouches — something here just clicks.

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Courtesy of Hotel Haya and Amy Pezzicara

Flor Fina, inside Ybor City’s Hotel Haya in Tampa, features upscale and contemporary Latin cuisine — and fun peacock glassware. Continued from previous page

Best dishes: Kuban fried rice, El Rey Kubano, passion fruit sangria. Outdoor seating and takeout only. 7525 Blind Pass Road, St. Pete Beach. 813-255-1241. kubacocina. com.

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Flor Fina

When Flor Fina first opened inside the splashy new Hotel Haya in Tampa’s Ybor City, the debut was coupled with some pretty big news: Douglas Rodriguez, the tenured Miami chef and godfather of Nuevo Latino cuisine, would be running the spot’s culinary operations. But a lot can happen in a year. Rodriguez has since left the building. Chef switch-ups this early in the game aren’t usually a harbinger of good things to come, but in this case, things aren’t just looking up — they’re better than ever. A few months ago, chef Nathan Hardin (formerly of Armature Works’ Steelbach and other projects) took over as executive chef for both Flor Fina and the hotel’s boutique breakfast and lunch spot, Cafe Quiquiriqui. While the overarching concept of upscale Latin cuisine has largely stayed the same, the menu feels fine-

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tuned and focused now, with an emphasis on Cuban, Italian and Spanish influences emblematic of Ybor’s multicultural roots. There are plenty of holdouts from Rodriguez’s tenure: a quartet of ceviches, each featuring a different fish and accoutrement (the salmon with the leche de tigre is a winner), and the massive 32-ounce tomahawk ribeye, served family-style with chimichurri. I’m partial to Hardin’s new additions, which include a play on chorizo meatballs served atop chewy hunks of focaccia, wrapped in a spicy oregano-flecked tomato sauce and tucked beneath a snowy blanket of manchego foam. Crispy-fried carrot falafel are served with a garlicky yogurt and a bundle of fresh herbs, and the Ybor brick chicken is a can’t-miss dish, crispy-skinned and flavorful, served on a bed of smoked squash risotto and salsa verde, and finished with a rosemary-tinged pan sauce. Best dishes: Chorizo meatballs, Ybor brick chicken. Takeout available. 1412 E Seventh Ave., Tampa. 813-568-1200. hotelhaya.com. Contact Helen Freund at hfreund@ tampabay.com or 727-893-8310. Follow @HelenFreund. She dines unannounced and the Times pays all expenses.


taste top restaurants 2022

Best dishes

BY HELEN FREUND Times Food and Dining Critic

For many of us, the great takeout game of 2020 stretched well into 2021. To-go meals made up many of my dinners. But despite not eating out as much as I did during pre-pandemic times, I still discovered dozens of exciting new restaurants and fantastic meals. Whittling down that list to my 10 favorite dishes wasn’t easy, and there were more than a few great bites that didn’t quite make the cut. Here are some of the most memorable dishes I ate during the past 12 months.

Bucatini al Pesto Timpano Hyde Park

Tableside service is all the rage at the new and reinvigorated Timpano Hyde Park, but the showstopper dish is hands-down the bucatini al pesto. Ask for the “Parm to Table” experience and a server will roll over a cart carrying a giant wheel of Parmesan. (The maneuvering of this gets Photos by HELEN FREUND | Times interesting when the restaurant is Timpano Hyde Park’s “Parm to Table” experience includes bucatini jam-packed busy, which is almost with pesto served tableside out of a Parmesan wheel. always.) The pasta gets prepped directly in the wheel, tossed with hot water (which, together with the cheese, helps emulsify the sauce), a generous drizzle of olive oil and tons of fresh basil snipped right into the bowl. It’s both dinner and a show you won’t want to miss. 1610 W Swann Ave., Tampa. 813-254-5870. timpanohydepark. com.

Dan Dan noodles

Abandon Izakaya

There’s always something exciting to try at this supper clubturned-restaurant in Seminole, where owners Mitch Beardsley and Chanse Chanthalansy are forever experimenting with cre- Dan dan noodles feature a lip-numbing Sichuan chili oil, beef and ative takes on globally inspired seasonal Chinese greens.

Valkyrie Donuts in St. Petersburg sells a wide selection of vegan doughnuts, including guava jelly-filled versions with cream cheese frosting.

street food. But my favorite dish so far has been the excellent Dan Dan noodles, a hallmark of Sichuan cuisine flavored with the mouth-numbing spice imbued from Sichuan peppercorns, tossed with spicy ground beef and topped with seasonal Chinese greens. Every consecutive bite is more of a scorcher than the last, but the burn is worth it. 7570 Starkey Road, Suite E, Seminole. 727-289-8911. facebook.com/ abandonizakaya.

Guava jelly doughnut

Valkyrie Donuts

not. Creative, over-the-top flavors abound, but the guava jelly-filled version is particularly delicious, slathered with cream cheese frosting and sweet enough to induce a temporary sugar coma. 2444 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. valkyriedoughnuts.com.

Katsu Sando

Rooster & The Till At a recent dinner at the lauded Seminole Heights restaurant in Tampa, it was like no time had passed at all. (In fact, my last visit was before the pandemic.) The dining room was packed and buzzing with the excitement that can only come from anticipating your next great meal: sumac-charred caulilini, dusted in smoky dukkah spice and dotted with knobs of creamy goat’s milk feta; pickled and grilled Argentinian red

Celine Duvoisin’s egg- and dairy-free doughnut concept, which launched in Orlando and expanded with a second location in St. Petersburg’s Grand Central District this summer, is a must-try for any doughnut lover, vegan or Continued on next page Wednesday, January 12, 2022

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The Katsu Sando at Rooster & The Till in Seminole Heights in Tampa, left, has Iberico pork cutlets and a yuzu kewpie mayo.

HELEN FREUND | Times

The kugel hash browns served for brunch at Cru Cellars in Palma Ceia in Tampa are hard to resist.

Courtesy of Skyler June

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shrimp, served atop dollops of cloudlike aerated grits; those perfect, crispy, fiery cobia collars. But the dish I can’t stop thinking about — even dreaming about — is the Katsu Sando, a genius play on the Japanese sandwich. Here, thick, juicy Iberico pork cutlets are paired with Napa-braised kraut in an XO sauce and sandwiched between two slices of Jameson B. Breadhouse Bakes milk bread. The sandwich is sizzled in chili oil until crispy and served with a creamy yuzu-laced kewpie mayo on the side, perfect for dunking so that each bite is a little salty, porky, crispy and spicy. Is it the best thing I ate all year? Probably. 6500 N Florida Ave., Tampa. 813-374-8940. roosterandthetill. com.

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Kugel hash browns Nam khao

Cru Cellars

Sap Sap Lao Cafe

Palma Ceia wine shop and restaurant Cru Cellars really changed the game when it added a fantastic new brunch menu to the mix in 2021. There’s a lot to gush about at this Tampa spot, from the flights of bubbly (it’s never too early for Champagne) to the sweet outdoor patio setup in the back, but the one dish I can never say no to is the kugel hash browns. Like a latke-kugel hybrid, the creamy potato mix gets baked, sliced into cubes and fried until golden brown and crispy. It’s hard not to order several rounds of these — they’re that good. Outdoor seating available. 2506 S MacDill Ave., Tampa. 813-831-1117. crucellars.com.

Spices, fresh herbs and plenty of funk: The flavors emblematic of Laos cuisine come alive at this Pinellas Park newcomer. Nam khao, a delicious crispy rice medley hailing from the country’s capital city, Vientiane, is one of the best examples of this — a triumph of flavors and dimension. Served with large lettuce leaves for wrapping, the rice is flavored and textured with dried, shredded coconut, fried until crispy and tossed with salty, slightly sweet hunks of fermented pork, dried chili peppers and a handful of peanuts, which provide a welcome crunch. 4366 Park Blvd. N, Pinellas Park. 727-623-9730. sapsaplaocafe. com.

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HELEN FREUND | Times

Takeout options from Sap Sap Lao Cafe in Pinellas Park include, clockwise from left, thum mua, nam khao and sai gok.


seitan sausage, a sweet San Marzano tomato sauce, fresh basil, chili flakes and, the real kicker, thick dollops of creamy almond ricotta. I almost couldn’t believe it was vegan. 6428 N Florida Ave., Tampa. 813-515-7562. groundfoodscafe. com.

Scacciata Siciliana

Casa Santo Stefano

MARTHA ASENCIO-RHINE | Times

Slow-cooked oxtail is served with sweet plantains and rice and beans at Irie Mon inside 22 South, the food hall inside the historic Manhattan Casino in St. Petersburg.

Courtesy of Casa Santo Stefano

The Scacciata Siciliana at Casa Santo Stefano in Tampa features bread topped with tomato sauce, garlic, onion and Pecorino Romano and caciocavallo cheeses.

Was it really a party if someone didn’t show up with a tray of scachatta? The Scacciata Siciliana at Casa Santo Stefano tastes like what I imagine nostalgia tastes like for anyone who grew up in Tampa. The version at Richard Gonzmart’s Ybor City restaurant, like so many other dishes here, is an homage to the Sicilian immigrants who came to Tampa during the late 1800s. The thick, doughy slices arrive topped with a sweet, garlicky tomato sauce and a blend of salty Pecorino Romano and caciocavallo cheeses. It’s a simple, comforting and delicious dish 1607 N 22nd St., Tampa. 813248-1925. casasantostefano.com.

Smoked swordfish tacos Rene’s Mexican Kitchen

HELEN FREUND |

Times

Specials at Rene’s Mexican Kitchen, a food truck in Seminole Heights in Tampa, include salmon and smoked swordfish tacos.

Braised oxtail

Irie Mon Jamaican Grill

HELEN FREUND |

Times

The salsiccia pie at Ground Foods Cafe in Tampa’s Seminole Heights features almond ricotta, seitan and basil.

The menu — and vendors — frequently change at 22 South, the new food hall inside St. Petersburg’s historic Manhattan Casino. But one constant has been the tasty Jamaican specialties served at Irie Mon Jamaican Grill. I still dream about their braised oxtail, a powerhouse of complex flavors, complemented by sweet plantains and fluffy yellow rice. The sweet and sticky meat carried so much flavor and that fatty, gelatinous goodness oxtail is known for.

Outside seating and takeout available. 642 22nd St. S, St. Petersburg. 727-592-1267.

Salsiccia pie

Ground Foods Cafe While researching Tampa Bay’s burgeoning vegan and vegetarian scene, I came across Ground Foods Cafe, a petite Italian joint in Tampa’s Seminole Heights with an envelope-pushing menu of vegan pastas and pizzas, all of which are fantastic. My favorite dish here is the salsiccia pie — a savory square pizza topped with spicy ground

Chef Rene Valenzuela is always coming up with innovative taco creations at his popular food truck in southeast Seminole Heights in Tampa. The regular menu is great, don’t get me wrong, but I’m partial to trying out whatever Valenzuela is experimenting with that week. One particularly memorable trip, I sampled a smoked swordfish taco where the meaty fish had been brined in a dark ale, smoked over pecan wood and shredded and tossed in a chile morita sauce. Served on a warm tortilla and topped with pico de gallo, shaved cabbage and a creamy tomatillo sauce, each bite was a combination of smoky, spicy and crunchy — the most unique and tasty taco I’d had all year. 4414 N Nebraska Ave., Tampa. 813-500-2510. renesmexicankitchen.com. Contact Helen Freund at hfreund@ tampabay.com or 727-893-8310. Follow @HelenFreund.

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taste top restaurants 2022

Best outdoor dining BY HELEN FREUND Times Food and Dining Critic

Dining outside in the Florida elements isn’t always a trip to the beach. In fact, during the summer months, it can feel a lot more like a trip to the swamp. But we tend to forget that there is a glorious time of year (ahem, right now) where, for a good six months, eating outdoors can be downright lovely. These five restaurants capitalized on their outdoor dining setups during the pandemic and continue to offer a delightful excuse to enjoy a little al fresco dining.

Alesia For a large chunk of the pandemic, this charming French and Vietnamese bistro remained com-

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pletely closed to indoor dining. That didn’t do much to dissuade diners and, especially, loyal regulars, many of whom have been frequenting this west St. Petersburg gem for the better part of the last decade. They come for the banh mi sandwiches, served on shatteringly crisp baguettes, the flaky pate-filled puff pastries, the steaming bowls of anise-scented pho and the cheese plates adorned with raw honeycomb. Though the dining room has since reopened, the best seat in the house is still outside in the courtyard, flanked by lush bougainvillea plants and dangling lights. Takeout available. 7204 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. 727-345-9701. alesiarestaurant.com.

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Baba

DIRK SHADD | Times (2020)

The outdoor dining setup at Alesia in St. Petersburg features a large shaded seating area.

The large retractable windows that open onto the patio overlooking Central Avenue give this St. Petersburg restaurant a breezy, al fresco feel regardless of where you’re sitting. Debbie and George Sayegh’s homage to their Mediterranean heritage has evolved significantly since opening in 2019 (there’s now a regular lunch and weekend brunch service) and, under chef de cuisine Sara Jones, the menu is better than ever. Whether it’s a plate of golden beets and figs with pistachio tahini and whipped labneh, a crisp salad dotted with hunks of creamy Greek feta or the always changing charred octopus dish, you simply cannot go wrong here.


Takeout available. 2701 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. 727-954-3406. eatatbaba.com.

Gangchu Like other restaurant owners on the brink of opening new concepts, the pandemic allowed Noel Cruz to take a moment to reconfigure his plans. Gangchu, a Korean fried chicken and cocktail spot in Tampa’s Seminole Heights, opened early in 2021. As it turns out, taking over an old auto repair shop on N Nebraska Avenue provided the perfect backdrop for a blueprint that included plenty of outdoor seating. Designed with an increasingly outdoors-leaning clientele in mind, the large covered deck divides the restaurant space and includes an outdoor bar, several television screens and ample shaded seating on the wooden patio. Crunchy, spicy Korean fried chicken wings are the highlight here, for good reason. The wings and boneless fried chicken plates come served with a selection of six different sauces, but my personal favorites are the gochujang buf-

LUIS SANTANA | Times

Guests gather on the patio at Pizzeria Gregario in Safety Harbor, where outside dining is the only option.

falo and the sweet chili garlic. Pair the wings with a bite of the accompanying sweet-and-sour pickled daikon radishes and a dunk into the house ranch sauce and it’s not hard to see why this place has amassed such a solid fan base. Takeout available. 6618 N Nebraska Ave., Tampa. 813-723-4264. eatgangchu.com.

Pizzeria Gregario Dining outside is still the only option at this Safety Harbor pizza destination, and that’s all good and fine because really, you’re here for one thing and one thing only: Gregory Seymour’s wicked delicious pies. In many ways, it feels like busi-

ness as usual: Guests still order at the counter from a chalkboard menu, and a small selection of beer, wine and soft drinks is served. But instead of grabbing a seat inside the tiny indoor dining room (now mostly used for storage), diners find a table on the 18-seat patio outside, a corner lot in downtown Safety Harbor that imbues a charming neighborhood feel. The abbreviated menu includes a selection of nine pies, all featuring that perfectly crispy, chewy crust made with stone-milled flour the spot is known for. There aren’t any sides or salads offered at the moment, but there is garlic schmoo — a delicious garlic, olive oil and lemon combo that’s a must for crust-dunking. Takeout available. 400 Second St. N, Safety Harbor. pizzeriagregario.com.

Two Graces There might not be a lovelier place to dine outside right now than Two Graces, which opened in late October in west St. Petersburg. The restaurant, which took

over the space formerly home to the Reading Room, features a similarly verdant charm to its predecessor, with lush flower and herb gardens lining the entrance. Pendant lights illuminate a large oak tree, and the expansive outdoor dining area stretches out beneath a long pergola. Proprietors Marlin Kaplan and partner Lisa Masterson also run the upscale beach restaurant Grace, and the menu here — while distinct — features a similarly upscale modern American spread, with several vegan and vegetarian options and a selection of woodfired pizzas. The menu right now feels particularly seasonal, from the delightful Brussels sprouts dish dotted with chestnuts and grapes to the stuffed baby pumpkin, which arrives filled with a pumpkin risotto and topped with a Parmesan tuille. 6001 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. 727-803-6050. facebook.com/ twograces. Contact Helen Freund at hfreund@ tampabay.com or 727-893-8310. Follow @HelenFreund.

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taste top restaurants 2022

Best new bars for bites Exploring chef Amber Blawn’s small but superb menu of Asian-inspired small plates is the other draw. From the haricots verts and snap pea medley tossed in a garlic and cashew vinaigrette to a snapper crudo with whipped avocado and a truly excellent bowl of soba noodles, there is a lot to love here. The Grand Central District location inside an unmarked little blue house might be confusing at first, but if the crate of sake bottles is on the front porch, you know you’re in the right place. 2340 First Ave. S, St. Petersburg. inbetweendays.co.

BY HELEN FREUND Times Food and Dining Critic

The Tampa Bay bar scene hasn’t seen the exponential growth experienced in the restaurant world, but there have been notable newcomers. The five spots listed below opened in 2020 or 2021. The selected spots all highlight a unique hybrid approach where the food, and not just the drinks, is featured prominently. From airy rooftop lounges to swanky and intimate cocktail bars, put these spots on your weekend list.

Cru Cellars Westshore This wine bar-restaurant hybrid is designed with oenophiles in mind. An offshoot of sister concept Cru Cellars in Tampa’s Palma Ceia, the glitzy newcomer is also the flagship food and beverage concept at Tampa’s Westshore Marina District, and the proximity to the water is referenced both in the spot’s beautiful bright blue tile backdrop as well as in the food menu, which features an emphasis on fish and seafood. Beyond that, executive chef Jasmine Funk’s menu features a wide selection of contemporary New American cuisine and plenty of snackable shared plates — from flashfried padron peppers with lemon aioli to cheese curds served with roasted jalapeno ranch. And Cru’s reliable cheese and charcuterie farmer’s platters never disappoint. If something from the 2,000-bottle exposed wine cellar doesn’t catch your eye during a meal, the wine shop annex offers another great excuse to grab a bottle of something special on your way out the door. Outside patio seating and takeout available. 5232 Bridge St., Tampa. 813-5155817. crucellars.com.

In Between Days Part Tokyo-style listening room, part sake bar and restaurant, the

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The Nest

The Cru Cellars Westshore Marina location in Tampa features plenty of outside seating.

LUIS SANTANA | Times

Cold soba noodles are served at In Between Days, a sake bar and listening room in St. Petersburg.

’burg’s newest hot spot provides a perfect setting for intimate evenings to the tune of a rotating eclectic music selection.

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CHRIS URSO | Times

Courtesy of Traci Bryant Ferguson

The Nest, a cocktail lounge from the Caracara team in Dunedin, has French colonial-inspired fare.

Warm wood and dim lighting set a sultry mood while a collection of mostly vinyl provides the soundtrack to the evening. A

healthy sake collection forms the backbone of the drinks program, and half the fun is sampling from the many different bottles.

The swanky lounge from the team behind neighboring restaurant Caracara features an intimate setting and a French colonial-inspired menu in the heart of downtown Dunedin. Get lost in the luxury of it all while cozying up in one of the plush armchairs and sipping on the Hanky Panky, a blend of Sorgin gin, sweet vermouth and Fernet Branca. Or try the Land of Milk and Honey, made with a special Papa’s Pilar Marquesas blend rum, honey and cream, and topped with cinnamon dust. Chef and owner Traci Bryant Ferguson’s menu of globe-trotting small plates changes frequently, and includes shareable snacks like steak tartare with shiso leaves, black garlic-mustard vinaigrette topped with quail eggs and seared cobia nicoise salad with haricots verts, fingerling potatoes and olives. For dessert, there’s vanilla sugar-dusted beignets and French macarons filled with raspberry preserves. 30 Broadway, Dunedin. caracaratapas.com.

Sal y Mar Catch a breeze, some delightful cocktails and a selection of Latin-inspired snacks at this roof-


top lounge at Midtown Tampa’s dual-branded Aloft and Element hotel. The lounge and restaurant inspired by Mexican beach hot spot Tulum features 360-degree views and a menu that dabbles in Latin- and Caribbean-inspired small plates. The eclectic menu (designed for sharing) runs the gamut from shrimp corn fritters with guacamole and pineapple jackfruit tacos to scallops with charred broccolini and tostones served with a chipotle crema. The spot’s signature cocktails fall in line with the Riviera Maya theme, including the Sal y Mar margarita served with a Tajin-spiced rim, and the Mayan Mojito made with Zacapa 23 rum, Chandon sparkling wine, mango and mint. Outdoor seating available. 3650 Midtown Drive, Tampa. 813-692-3330. salymarrooftop. com.

Santo’s Drinkeria This airy rooftop bar and lounge on top of Richard Gonzmart’s Sicilian restaurant Casa Santo Stefano is a great place to pop in for a drink before or after a meal

IVY CEBALLO | Times

HELEN FREUND | Times

The rooftop lounge Sal y Mar overlooks the pool at the Aloft hotel at Midtown Tampa and features an outdoor setting with Latin- and Caribbean-inspired cocktails and snacks.

Casa Santo Stefano’s rooftop bar Santo’s Drinkeria features Sicilian wines, cocktails, snacks and an outdoor patio overlooking Ybor City in Tampa.

downstairs. But it’s just as lovely to spend an evening on the spacious outdoor patio, which features views of Ybor City. The vibe here is loud and colorful, from the antique barber chair that greets guests when they enter to the encased cigar selection and bright stained glass bar backdrop

cheeses, Sicilian olives and marinated vegetables. Just like downstairs, the wine list here is exclusively Sicilian, and though the cocktail menu is distinct, many of the bartenders can whip up the restaurant’s specialty cocktails, including the excellent Casa Negroni, made with Sicilian

(which features glass taken from a chapel at Jesuit High School). Though billed as more of a bar, there’s plenty on the food menu to make a meal of it, including porchetta “paninos,” meatballs braised in tomato sauce and large antipasti plates toppling with assorted Italian meats and

gin, campari and Punt e Mes, an Italian vermouth. Outdoor dining available. 1607 N 22nd St., Tampa. 813248-1925. casasantostefano.com. Contact Helen Freund at hfreund@ tampabay.com or 727-893-8310. Follow @HelenFreund.

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taste top restaurants 2022

Best revamps

BY HELEN FREUND Times Food and Dining Critic

For many Tampa Bay restaurateurs, the past 18 months provided an opportunity for reflection and renewal. Sometimes that meant rethinking business plans and the restaurant’s internal structure. Other times, it meant taking the opportunity to remodel the eatery’s physical attributes. Several local spots emerged completely renovated, even changing menus and entire restaurant concepts. These six restaurants underwent significant revamps during the pandemic and are worth a revisit sometime soon.

HELEN FREUND | Times

Potato-crusted oysters are served at Edison: Food + Drink Lab in Tampa.

The Black Pearl The fine-dining favorite has always been a go-to when celebrating a special occasion, and now the swanky space is even more inviting. The downtown Dunedin restaurant recently underwent a full remodel, which included new flooring, velvet booths, hand-painted wall coverings and custom light fixtures, including Kate Spade lamps next to every table. Next up, the owners plan to renovate the exterior, adding outdoor patio seating and a full-service bar inside an adjacent greenhouse space. Diners can rest assured that the menu at the popular date destination is still helmed by executive chef and partner Christopher Artrip, and that the white truffle lobster risotto isn’t going anywhere. 315 Main St., Dunedin. 727-7343463. theblackpearldunedin.com.

Courtesy of Pablo Diaz

A selection of desserts is served at The Black Pearl in Dunedin.

Ceviche

Cena As if anyone needed another excuse to dine at Michael Buttacavoli’s contemporary Italian stunner, the restaurant now features an expansive covered outdoor dining area and a new pizza menu. The renovations to the Channel District restaurant include the outdoor walkway and seating area between Cena and Pour House at

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the Grand Central Kennedy building. In addition to fire pits and seating for roughly 40 people, there’s also a full-service bar. Guests sitting outdoors can order off Cena’s regular menu (don’t skip the crispy eggplant with truffled fonduta) or from the new pizza menu, which includes a number of pies topped with everything from nduja sausage and ricotta to pistachios, mortadella and buffalo mozzarella. One caveat? The pizzas can be ordered for dining outside or to-go, but not while dining inside the restaurant. Outdoor seating and takeout available. 1120 E Kennedy Blvd., Suite 112, Tampa. 813-374-8840. cenatampa. com.

ARIELLE BADER | Times

Ceviche’s new location in St. Petersburg features plush banquettes inside and an outdoor patio overlooking Beach Drive NE.

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Following a grand reopening inside the former Moon Under Water space on Beach Drive NE this summer, the relocated and revamped Ceviche is back and better than ever in downtown St. Petersburg. The croquetas and the patatas bravas haven’t budged. But the expanded menu includes 14 additional dishes, and time-honored

favorites received some polishing. The new space is gorgeous, too, outfitted with white oak floors and dark turquoise accents. Cozy up in one of the plush, burnt salmon banquettes lining the far right wall or sidle up to the 12-seater bar, where an overhang of teal fish-scale tiling lends the space a nautical vibe. A glance straight to the back reveals a partially open kitchen and a carving station where aged Iberian ham is sliced to order. The outdoor seating is also great, and if you can time it just right on a weekend night, snag a seat near the front, where flamenco guitarist Javier Hinojosa is a regular guest. Outdoor seating and takeout available. 332 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg. 727-209-2299. ceviche.com.

Edison: Food + Drink Lab Where the menu is concerned, Jeannie Pierola’s lauded Tampa restaurant hasn’t skipped a beat. But the space off W Kennedy Boulevard looks a lot different than it did pre-pandemic. A patio flanked by plants and greenery provided by Yura Vine Brothers, dangling pendant lights and heat lamps now provides outdoor seating for those looking for an al fresco experience. Inside the restaurant, the revamped space allows for more socially distanced seating arrangements, including a plush leather sofa banquette for larger parties that divides the room. Food-wise, Pierola’s team is still hitting it out of the park, with a constantly rotating menu that’s recently included foie gras- and Iberico ham-topped nigiri and duck confit with crab enchilado tamales and a chipotle beurre blanc. Don’t worry, the potato-crusted oysters are still there. Outside dining and takeout available. 912 W Kennedy Blvd., Tampa. 813-254-7111. edison-tampa.com.


The Little Lamb Gastropub What was once a 38-seat bar and restaurant tucked inside a Clearwater strip mall has since expanded to include an additional 125 seats, several outside tables and a separate, 18-seat bar. Chef James Renew’s contemporary gastropub fare is as creative as ever, and features lunch service on Fridays and Saturdays in addition to a dinner spread. The menu is pretty straightforward, with a number of sandwiches and burgers served at lunchtime, including a lamb Juicy Lucy with feta and tzatziki on a brioche bun. Dinner still drives home global touches on composed plates, like steak tartare with caramelized shallots and a smoked beef aioli; shrimp toast with spicy tomato broth, sausage and ciabatta; and a snapper amandine served with almonds, green beans and a lemon brown butter sauce. Some outside seating and takeout available. 2 47 5 N Mc Mu l l e n - B o o t h Road, Clearwater. 727-401-3339. thelittlelambgastropub.com.

The Restorative The celebrated Dunedin restaurant went through plenty of changes over the last year and a half. After relaunching as a takeout concept (and briefly changing its name to The Temporary) and a short-lived experiment with

outdoor seating, the petite Dunedin eatery underwent a full interior renovation in fall 2021. The polished new dining room now features darker hues, including stained floors and the long wooden bar that anchors the space. The revamp also included new chairs, bathroom decor, ceramic plates by local pottery business NGWPottery, a cozy back table with room for an additional six diners and exposed brick walls adorned with photographs of places the owners or their families have called home. But the biggest change-up might be the restaurant’s new stove and range hood — before, everything was cooked on induction burners. As has been the case for so many years, chefs and owners Jason and Erin “Cricket” Borajkiewicz are still wowing diners with their contemporary and innovative takes on New American cuisine. The short menu changes weekly (sometimes daily) and still features delightful starters like the popular naan bread with herbed butters and creative entrees including an excellent tilefish, served with a murasaki sweet potato puree, fiery salsa macha and burnt lime. 420 Patricia Ave., Dunedin. restorativerestaurant.com. Contact Helen Freund at hfreund@ tampabay.com or 727-893-8310. Follow @HelenFreund.

HELEN FREUND | Times

Tilefish is served with a murasaki sweet potato puree, fiery salsa macha and burnt lime at The Restorative in Dunedin.

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taste HEALTHY RECIPE

TOM MCCORKLE | The Washington Post

Start the new year off nice and easy BY ELLIE KRIEGER The Washington Post

This recipe checks all the boxes for the kind of food I want to usher me into the new year. It’s healthful and comforting (yes, it’s possible to have both!) and it’s convenient — easy to pull together, make ahead and reheat. It’s a better-for-you spin on a familiar favorite, baked ziti, made with whole-grain pasta (although regular pasta would be fine if you prefer it), packed with vegetables and made cheesy and creamy with

a more healthful than usual balance of part-skim ricotta, mozzarella and Parmesan. This recipe makes 8 to 10 servings, so it is an easy cook-onceeat-twice situation for most families. When I’m just cooking for my husband and myself, rather than baking it all at once in a 9-by-13inch pan, I divide the batch into two 8-by-8-inch baking dishes and place one, tightly covered, in the freezer to double the dinner-atthe-ready payoff. It’s an easy win to kick off 2022. Continued on next page

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Three Cheese Pasta and Vegetable Bake 1 pound whole-grain or regular penne pasta, or other tube shaped pasta 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for brushing the pan 1 pound baby bella (cremini) mushrooms, sliced 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced 1 (16-ounce) bag frozen broccoli, defrosted (may substitute with 5 cups blanched fresh chopped broccoli) 7 sun-dried tomatoes, soaked in hot water for10 minutes, drained and thinly sliced (about ⅓ cup) 1 teaspoon dried basil ½ teaspoon dried oregano ½ teaspoon fine sea salt ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1 (16-ounce) container part-skim ricotta cheese 4 cups marinara sauce (homemade or store-bought) 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded part-

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skim mozzarella cheese ¼ cup (½ ounce) grated Parmesan cheese Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for serving (optional) Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for 2 minutes less than suggested in the package directions. Drain and return the pasta to the pot. Meanwhile, position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees. Brush a 9-by-13-inch ovenproof dish with oil.

pasta in the pot, along with the ricotta and marinara, and stir to combine well. Transfer the mixture to the prepared dish and evenly spread it out. Sprinkle the top with the mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses, and cover the dish loosely with foil. Bake for15 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is melted. Let sit for10 minutes before serving. Makes 8 to10 servings.

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until their liquid evaporates and they begin to brown, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until aromatic, 2 minutes more. Add the broccoli, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, oregano, salt and pepper and stir to combine.

Nutrition information per serving (1 ⅔ cups), based on10: calories: 333; total fat:13g; saturated fat: 5g; cholesterol: 23mg; sodium: 412mg; carbohydrates: 41g; dietary fiber: 7g; sugar: 4g; protein:19g. This analysis is an estimate based on available ingredients and this preparation. It should not substitute for a dietitian’s or nutritionist’s advice.

Add the vegetables to the drained

Source: cookbook author and registered nutritionist Ellie Krieger


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Actor took a spirited path to CBS’s ‘Ghosts’

BY ANYING GUO The Washington Post

The scene, circa 1987: Actor Richie Moriarty is standing onstage with a stuffed dog puppet in his hand at his school talent show. The 6-year-old gives a quick introduction: “Hi, my name’s Richie, and this is my talking dog. His name is Troubles. My mom thinks he doesn’t talk, but I think he does.” Then, Moriarty stumbles over his first joke, a pun intended to sub out “roof” for “ruff.” From there, Moriarty fires off joke after joke, both his and Trouble’s voice higher and higher pitched until he tells one of his final jokes in an almost unintelligible pipsqueak: “Yesterday, I saw a new ad for a new soap that’s called Lost. So next time your mom goes to the store, tell her to get Lost!” Decades later, Moriarty, now 41, is co-starring on the CBS comedy Ghosts but still recalls his ventriloquist standup routine with clarity and laughter. “The audience is laughing because they legitimately do not understand a word I’m saying,” says Moriarty over a recent Zoom call. (When he posted a video of the performance on YouTube, he added subtitles.)

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Richie Moriarty, foreground, with some of the cast of CBS’s Ghosts, plays deceased scout troop leader Pete in the quirky sitcom.

This was his first foray into performance after moving to Rockville, Md., at age 5, and though he has never really done standup again, he remembers that flicker of joy when hearing an audience respond to his jokes in real time. His love of performance has led to an acting career, dabbling in a little bit of everything — improv, commercials, voice-over work — before landing a role as Pete on the CBS comedy Ghosts. Originally based on the BBC series of the same name, Ghosts,

which premiered in October, is about a group of spirits who all apparently met their corporeal end at a wooded country estate, the mansion that serves as their main haunt. They include a hippie mauled by a bear, a pants-less hedge-funder, a fastidious Viking, a gay Revolutionary patriot, a vivacious ’20s jazz singer and a Victorian-era doyenne whose family originally owned the property. And there’s Moriarty’s Pete, a scout troop leader who took an errant arrow through the neck


during a troop outing decades ago, which is still stuck in his ghost form. (“It’s very comfortable, though,” says Moriarty, who just has to watch how he walks through doorways.) When the elderly occupant of the estate dies (and quickly shoots upward to the afterlife), ownership of the mansion transfers to a distant relative, Sam (Rose McIver), a freelance journalist, and her chef-husband, Jay (Utkarsh Ambudkar), who decide to leave the city and move in. To the ghosts’ profound dismay, Samantha and Jay plan to refurbish the place as a bed-andbreakfast inn, constantly filled with (ugh) people. “I hate getting walked through,” Pete observes. “It’s probably the worst pain I can think of. No, wait — arrow through the neck. That beats it.” On Moriarty’s first read of the Ghosts script, he felt an instant connection. “[Ghosts] came at a time where I had done a lot of small, but more significant, television and film roles, and it was right in my wheelhouse,” he says. “If I am what they’re looking for, I think I can deliver.”

Show creators Joseph Wiseman and Joe Port were likewise captivated by Moriarty. He was one of the first actors they saw for Pete, and saw how Moriarty could play up Pete’s dorkiness without painting him into caricature. “He was also incredibly good at being a dramatic actor,” Wiseman says. “There was this anger he could tap into. There’s a quick part [in the show] where he remembers an argument [he and his wife] were having and you can see him snap at it. But it’s funny anger, not like an ugly sort of anger, but it feels very real.” Moriarty’s journey to Ghosts was not a straight shot from that Rockville talent show. He lost interest in drama after a lackluster experience in a freshman-year play. At Wootton High School, he dove into leadership roles in student government and swimming and served as senior class president (coincidentally, cast member Ambudkar also went to Wootton). Those activities superseded any interest he had in drama. Although now based in Maplewood, N.J., he thinks fondly of Rockville and the friends he still

has there. As a student at Boston College in the late 1990s, Moriarty attended improv and sketch shows in college, itching to participate. But it wasn’t until after graduation that he pursued it. “I started taking classes at Improv Boston, which is oddly in Cambridge, and right away, I was like, this is what I want,” he says. “These are my people. This is what I want to do.” He joined the main stage cast of Improv Asylum in Boston. “[That’s] where I got my 10,000 hours,” he says. “That’s where I met some of my best friends. I did a solid decade of improv and sketch comedy and commercial work in Boston before I made the jump to New York.” In New York, he eventually got his first TV gig, playing a waiter in an ABC Family (now known as Freeform) show Chasing Life. He also got two football gigs: in a prominent sketch with NFL star Peyton Manning and actor John Malkovich that opened the 2019 Super Bowl and a four-minute teaser before the kickoff of the 2018 AFC championship game fea-

turing just him and Malkovich. “John Malkovich and I were just in a green room, reading this four-page script together, this is so bizarre,” Moriarty recalls, who got the role in the teaser after a friend and casting manager passed along his reel. Longtime friend and collaborator Matt Catanzano saw Moriarty’s work ethic firsthand — how he diligently kept record of the auditions he went on, noting when he got a callback. “He’s such a charming, funny guy, but he’s also so smart when it comes to that aspect as well,” says Catanzano, a fellow Improv Asylum alum. Moriar ty and Catanzano became the brains behind Simply Unemployable, an improv and comedy project, touring the country while they continued auditioning and building out their TV and film resumes. “Even a good show, a bad show, a well-attended show, no one at a show — people always walk away loving Richie,” says Catanzano, who is now based in Los Angeles. “He has that ability to step onstage and people immediately feel at ease. They start laughing before

anything even comes out.” The pandemic slowed Ghost’s production, but reception has been warm since its premiere. One episode this season, called “Pete’s Wife,” centers on Moriarty’s character’s attempt to see his still-living wife, Carol, played by Caroline Aaron. Years have passed since Pete’s death, but he yearns to know what has become of the family he left behind. After much prodding, he gets Sam, the only one who can communicate with the ghosts after a near-death accident, to invite Carol to the mansion. But Pete finds out that Carol has been harboring a devastating, decades-old secret. “It was my first time where I was getting to perform in this television show and have this story line be about my character,” says Moriarty, who felt “energized” exploring the depth of the ever-chipper Pete. “It felt like a real career moment for me to be the center of an episode of television. ... I’m hopeful the success of Ghosts will allow me to do more film and television. I want to keep doing this!” Ghosts airs at 9 p.m. Thursdays on CBS.

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Critics’ guide on what to stream this weekend BY NEAL JUSTIN AND CHRIS HEWITT Star Tribune (TNS)

Spencer

The line on Princess Diana is that life in the public eye made it impossible to live a real life. But the conceit of this fact-based fantasia is that it was the royal family that messed her up. Following the style he used in his Oscar-nominated Jackie, Pablo Larrain’s focus is narrow, deep and star-powered. Kristen Stewart can do just about anything, acting-wise, and her performance in Spencer — set during a Christmas week when her character is at the end of her royal rope — shifts seamlessly between total Diana immersion and potent glimpses of kinship between her and the actor playing her. OnDemand

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The Tender Bar

J.R. Moehringer’s tough-minded memoir about growing up in a Long Island bar with his uncle as an unconventional father figure gets cuted up in George Clooney’s adaptation, which leans too much on the years when J.R. can be played by adorable moppet Daniel Ranieri. But it getssmarterandmorecomplicatedas it goes, and Ben Affleck is charismatic as the uncle. AmazonPrime

The Super Bob Einstein Movie

Bob Einstein was never as famous as his younger brother, Albert Brooks. But Einstein had a following all his own, thanks to his talk-show appearances as sad sack stuntman Super Dave Osborne and a recurring role as Marty Funkhouser on Curb

Your Enthusiasm. Steve Martin, Sarah Silverman and Larry David share hilarious anecdotes about the late comic. The highlight: Brooks looking back at Einstein’s appearance in Modern Romance, the only time the two siblings shared the screen. HBO Max

Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold

This 2017 documentary celebrates the late journalist and novelist who died last month. Nephew Griffin Dunne coaxed his animated aunt to share vivid memories that range from hosting parties for Janis Joplin to coping with the death of her daughter. Harrison Ford, Anna Wintour and Calvin Trillin are among the wellknown names helping their friend take a trip down memory lane. Netflix


watch

FRANK MASI | Netflix/TNS

From left, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Gal Gadot and Ryan Reynolds star in Red Notice. Johnson recently made Netflix history.

The Rock is solid, with 3 films in Netflix’s top 10 BY KARU F. DANIELS New York Daily News (TNS)

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is happy to be “one lucky son of a b—.” The Hollywood heavyweight recently celebrated a cinematic achievement, making history as the only actor to have three movies in Netflix’s top 10. The Scorpion King breakout took a break from his workout for a second last Wednesday to share the good news with his 287 million Instagram followers. He explained that the streaming giant had contacted him to inform him that currently the “top three movies in the world belong to me.” Johnson went on to explain that Red Notice still sits at No. 1 on the global ranking, and thanked fans for making the recently released action flick “the biggest movie of all time for Netflix.” The second is the Fast and Furious spinoff Hobbs and Shaw, which he noted had “the highest audience score of all time for ... any ‘Fast and Furious’ movie.” The third movie, which he described as a “very special family movie,” is 2012’s Journey 2: The Mysterious Island. “I’m a lucky son of a b—,” the former wrestling superstar added, admitting, “it’s because of all of

you that any of this is possible.” “I’m privileged to deliver the goods for you,” Johnson said, before signing off by blowing the camera a kiss. Johnson’s mention of Hobbs and Shaw can be seen as a true kiss-off to his Fast Five co-star Vin Diesel. The two multiracial, muscle-clad box office superstars have bad blood between them. Last November, Diesel, who has been with the multibillion-dollar-grossing franchise since its beginning in 2001, posted an Instagram message to his “little brother Dwayne” (who stands some 5 inches taller than him), publicly hoping they could reunite for the final Fast and Furious film. People’s Sexiest Man Alive of 2016, already signed on to do another film with his Hobbs co-star Jason Statham, took umbrage at Diesel’s attention-grabbing antics. In an interview with CNN, Johnson said that while he “would always be supportive of the cast and always root for the franchise to be successful,” there was “no chance” he’d return. America’s most-followed man on social media originated the role of Hobbs in 2011’s Fast Five, returning in 2013’s Fast & Furious 6 and in 2019’s Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw. Wednesday, January 12, 2022

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Marvel Studios/Entertainment Pictures/ZUMA Press

Benedict Cumberbatch stars as the title character in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which is directed by Sam Raimi and scheduled to hit theaters May 6. BY MOIRA MACDONALD The Seattle Times (TNS)

Maybe by the end of 2022 we’ll all be hitting the multiplex again. In the meantime, here are some cinematic offerings in the new year that might make it worth heading to the theaters. Dates are, perhaps more than ever in this still-pandemicked world, subject to change; streaming dates, where applicable, will be announced later.

Parallel Mothers This one, directed by Pedro Almodovar, is technically a 2021 release and you’ll definitely be hearing Oscar buzz around it, particularly for Penelope Cruz in the central role. She plays a new mother who bonds with a young woman she meets at the hospital where they both gave birth — but the story soon takes an unsettling turn. Cruz always makes magic for Almodovar’s camera; their collaboration now goes back 25 years, to 1997’s Live Flesh. (Now in theaters, limited release)

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10 of the most

anticipated movies of 2022

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Milena Smit, left, and Penelope Cruz are featured in Parallel Mothers, Pedro Almodovar’s new film. IGLESIAS MAS | Sony Pictures/TNS

The Outfit Full disclosure: I have a weakness for any film involving tailoring or dressmaking. So this one seems tailor-made (ha! Sorry!) for me: A former Savile Row tailor, played by Mark Rylance (an Oscar winner for Bridge of Spies), relocates to Chicago and finds himself caught in the web of the mobsters for whom he makes suits. Could be fun? (Feb. 25)

The Batman Superhero franchises never die; they just keep rebooting. The latest reimagining of the Caped Crusader features Robert Pattinson (who will always be the Twilight glittery vampire dude to me) in the title role, along with Zoe Kravitz as Selina Kyle/Catwoman (now that’s a promising bit of casting), Jeffrey Wright as Commissioner Gordon, Paul Dano as the Riddler and Colin Farrell as the Penguin. (March 4)

Downton Abbey: A New Era Plot information on this movie is scarce, but we can assume that it is a New Era over at Downton Abbey (though, didn’t they say that on practically every episode?), that Lady Mary will say some delightfully caustic things, that Carson will fret over These Modern Times, that Lady Edith will have a crisis and that excellent hats will be worn. I’m there. (March 18)


Focus Features/Entertainment Pic

The cast of Downton Abbey: A New Era includes Hugh Bonneville and Michelle Dockery. It opens March 18.

Sony Pictures/TNS

The Batman, which opens March 4, features Robert Pattinson, left, as the Caped Crusader and Zoe Kravitz as Selina Kyle/Catwoman.

The Lost City Based solely on the trailer I am prepared to say that this might be the most charming movie ever, and I think we all need to see it immediately. Please let me not be wrong. Sandra Bullock plays a romance novelist with a hot cover model (Channing Tatum) and they end up kidnapped and in a jungle (in sequins!) somewhere and Daniel Radcliffe and Brad Pitt both show up. See what I mean? (March 25)

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

The summer movie season kicks off with this superhero saga, which you might know something about if you understood those post-credit sequences in Spider-Man: No Way Home. Benedict Cumberbatch returns in the title role; Elizabeth Olsen, Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong and Chiwetel Ejiofor co-star. And director Sam Raimi returns to

the Marvel universe after a long absence (his last outing: Spider-Man 3, otherwise known as The Third Tobey Maguire One, in 2007). (May 6)

Nope Jordan Peele (Get Out, Us) likes to keep his movie plots under wraps, so all we know at this point is that Nope is another horror movie from Peele’s creative mind, that it will star Daniel Kaluuya (Oscar-nominated for Get Out), Keke Palmer and Steven Yuen, that it will likely scare us to death and get us talking, and that Peele likes movies titles with very few letters in them. (July 22)

Mission: Impossible 7 This is the third M:I installment from writer-director Christopher McQuarrie, and the first two — Rogue Nation and Fallout — were pretty thrilling indeed. Tom Cruise, as super spy Ethan Hunt, will once again perform death-defying feats; alongside him will be Rebecca Ferguson, Simon Pegg,

Ving Rhames, Vanessa Kirby, and (new to the series) Esai Morales and Cary Elwes. (Sept. 30)

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever As difficult as it is to imagine this franchise without Chadwick Boseman, who died of cancer in 2020, the new film will reunite director Ryan Coogler with original cast members Lupita Nyong’o, Angela Bassett, Letitia Wright, Daniel Kaluuya and Martin Freeman. (Nov. 11)

Exhibit A/Entertainment Pictures

Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum embark on a jungle adventure in The Lost City, which is slated for release March 25.

She Said Maria Schrader, an Emmy winner for the Netflix series Unorthodox, directs this based-on-atrue story drama about two New York Times reporters, played by Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan, who uncovered evidence of Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein’s long history of sexual misconduct. I love this cast, which also includes Patricia Clarkson, Andre Braugher and Samantha Morton. (Nov. 18)

ANDREA PATTARO | AFP via Getty Images/TNS

Tom Cruise is pictured in Venice, Italy, during the filming of Mission: Impossible 7. Character Ethan Hunt returns to theaters Sept. 30. Wednesday, January 12, 2022

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paws

‘Mudi’? American Kennel Club adds 2 dog breeds

BY JENNIFER PELTZ Associated Press

NEW YORK — An athletic Hungarian farm dog and a tiny pet of bygone Russian aristocrats are the latest breeds in the American Kennel Club’s purebred lineup. The club announced last week that it is recognizing the Russian toy and the mudi. That means they’re eligible to compete for best in show at many U.S. dog shows, including the AKC’s big annual championship and the prestigious Westminster Kennel Club show.

Bengal Kittens exotic looking, very beautiful. Great temperments. 11 weeks old. Health cert incl. Call or text 352-571-0557 Siamese Kittens Apple heads. Chocolate, Seal & Lilac, Blue Point. $500-$600. Shots, Health certificates. (1) older Lilac kitten $300. Call 352-422-6792

American Pitbull puppies. Excellent quality Pedigree, ready now. Parents on premises. Serious inquiries only. 630-300-8278 Boston Terrier pups. M/F. CKC. Ready mid-January. $900. Vet checked. Approx. 20lb. full grown. Crystal River area. 270-308-5144 Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. 2 Males born 11/12. DNA tested parents. UTD on shots/wormer. Microchip/Health certificate, 1 year health guarantee. $2,400 each. READY NOW! 727-222-5200 Chihuahua. 10 wks. old. Deer head. Short hair, sweet & lovable. Shots, health certificates, ready for new families. $250. Permit 182. 727-366-0171

The mudi, whose American fans pronounce its name like “moody,” although the vowel sound in Hungarian is closer to the “u” in “pudding,” descended from long lines of Hungarian sheepdogs before a museum director took an interest in the breed and gave it a name around 1930. Fans say the medium-sized, shaggy dogs are vigorous, versatile and hardworking, able to herd sheep, hunt boars, snag rats and compete in canine sports such as agility and dock diving. “They’re very perceptive, and they have a subtle quality” and

COCKER PUPS

Males $400-$1500. Females $2500. Beautiful. Exceptional temperaments. All ages. 352-398-9153 Corgi Pembroke Hlthy, quality, intelligent, sound temperament, reg., dew claws removed, vet chked, shots, parent triple clear, all colors. $1200 386-243-1592 or 813-295-4807

Mudi

are very trainable, but they need things to do, said Kim Seiter, an Oak Ridge, N.J., dog agility trainer who has four of them. “They’re not for the inactive person.” The dogs — the proper plural is

French Bulldog puppies. Purebred. Dewormed, shots up to date. $900. Call or text 561-463-6024 French Bulldog pups. CKC. Females. $2,500. Also Frenchton CKC pups $800. Ready end of Jan. Vet checked. Crystal River area. 270-308-5144 FRENCH BULLDOGS - Champion bred, all ages. Pet & show available. Call 813-629-3333.

English Bulldog puppies. 1 Male & 1 Female. 10 weeks old. Ready now. For addt’l details, text 941-479-6255

German Shepherd 1 Male DOB 10/27. 9 weeks old Ready Now NEW YEAR SPECIAL. $1,700. B/T Short Hair, Working line. Bell, FL. Call Sheila 352-214-8789

English Cream Golden Retriever Pups. 2 Females avail. Ready now w/2 sets of shots & health cert. POP. $2500. 863-640-3120

Goldendoodle. Christmas pup pies! MultiGens. Many colors, Health warr. All shots&certs.Home Raised w/lots of children. $2,800. Mike 609-408-6280

French Bulldog puppies. Petite. AKC, Health Certs. M & F, all colors. Ready now! $3,200 - $4,500. 813-7772517 www.purefrenchbulldogs.com

Russian toy

Goldendoodle puppy. F1B. 1 Male, 5 months old. Beautiful Red, hypoallergenic, all shots, chipped, wormed, health cert. $1200. Spring Hill. 352-777-2017

“mudik” — were featured on postage stamps in their homeland in 2004, as were some other Hungarian breeds. The Russian toy developed from small English terriers that gained the fancy of Russian elites by the early 1700s. The diminutive dogs, which are supposed to weigh no more than 6.5 pounds, have a leggy silhouette, perky expression and lively demeanor, breeders say. “They’re extremely affectionate” with their owners but can be reserved with strangers and need to meet plenty of new people as

Great Pyrenees. Female. 8 mo. Trained/house broken. Great with kids, chickens, dogs. Purebred. Sire is 165lbs. $500 firm. 772-204-4442 Havashihpooh (Havanese Shih Tzu & Poodle mix). Non-allergenic, loving & Adorable! Progressive trng. Rare clrs. $2,800 & up. 941-724-2613 LAB puppies AKC, health certs, 8 wks, ready to go to approved homes, $1550. 352 575 7329 www.labracadabra.com Labrador puppies. AKC, all colors, ready now. $1000. Text please: 813-410-3689 Labradors. Yet another quality litter of puppies! Only six left! Males & Females. Yellow & black. Ready Super Bowl weekend. POP. AKC/UKC. 863-453-5218 Maltipoo Mixes Teddy Bear Faces, Small, F/M Sweet, Smart, Hypo Allg, H/C, Vet @, 1 yr guar. Can deliver. 727-5607846 ID 203949 Maltipoos. XS. 5lbs. as adults. Baby doll faces. Fully vetted with Health certs. Ready now. $2,000 $2,500. 352-216-8996 Mini Doubledoodles. 30lbs. as adults. Blue Merles/Black. Fully vetted with Health cerfs. Ready now. $1,500 - $2,000 352-216-8996

pups, says Nona Dietrich of Minnetonka, Minn., a breeder and member of the Russian Toy Club of America. “And they’re funny. They have quite an attitude.” The AKC is the United States’ oldest purebred dog registry. It recognizes 199 breeds, including the two newcomers, and acts as a governing body for many dog shows. Recognition requirements include having at least 300 dogs of the breed spread around at least 20 states and promulgating a breed standard that specifies ideal features, from temperament to toes.

Mini F1B Goldendoodle. Pick of the litter Female. 6 mos. on Christmas Day. Red EASY care coat. Daisy is perfect, so sweet & gentle. Completely potty trained. Full grown under 35 lbs. DVM cert. All shots, micro-chipped, mellow disposition. $5K. 312-659-2424 Web ID 200693 MISSING Shih Tzu. Female. Bailey was last seen on Ponce De Leon Blvd & Clearwater Largo Rd. White, small, 11 lbs. Reward! 727-276-3347 Morkies. Adorable teddy-bear faces with thick hypo-allergenic, non-shedding hair. 1 F, 2 M are 8 wks old. $995. Also 7 mo. old F $750. Call or text 813-787-2188 Pomapoos DOB 7/6. Ready Now. New Year Special 2M Super Sweet. $800. Dad; 8 Lbs. Merle Poodle, Mom 14 Lbs. Pomeranian. Bell, FL Call Sheila 352-214-8789 Pomeranian/Shih Tzu mix 3 small males, Fluffy, playful, sociable, home raised. Parents on property. Vet cert. $1200. Taking dep. Avail Jan 3. 352-544-0330 web ID 200680 SHEPADOODLE 2M 1F, Black, Dad 50 Lb AKC Poodle, Mom 75 Lb AKC German, F1B, Born Jan 5th, $500 Dep. $1,700. Bell, FL Call Sheila 352-214-8789

Shichonpoos. 2 Male beautiful puppies available for adoption. We are a small family breeder who only breeds one litter at a time so that we can give our puppies loads of love, time and attention. For more information about us, visit our website: www.lilacpups.com You can also contact us at tmclure@neo.rr.com or 419-589-4433 Shih Tzu puppies. M & F, various colors. Pics avail. CKC reg & Health Cert. Ready now. Males $1,500, Females $1,600. 727-492-8091 Web ID 201483 Wanted female Yorkie, 3 months to 1 yr old, to buy, adopt or rescue, for former previous Yorkie owner in Springhill FL 352-660-5517 Yorkie mix pups. 1 M, 1 F. Health cert. shots. Ready to go. $800. NO text, calls only. 352-606-1282

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marketplace

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CDL Driver Spring Hill. Looking for a Class A CDL Truck Driver. Parttime or full-time position available. 727-532-9466

CASH FOR GUNS AND AMMO TODAY!! Fully licensed and insured, honest & ethical local dealer. Cash buyer, no waiting, no consignments, NO AUCTIONS, just CASH today! We handle all paperwork securely & discreetly. Call/drop by, 9-5pm M-Sat. 5697 34th St N (aka US19) St. Pete 33714. 727-888-6419

Clock Repair - House Calls 813-376-9513 Antiques-Grandfather bryansclockrepair.com • Oldsmar

SUNSHINE POSTCARD CLUB SHOW

Friday, Jan. 14, 10am - 5pm Saturday, Jan. 15, 9am - 5pm Lakeside Event Center, Country Inn & Suites by Radisson RJ Stadium, 4750 N Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa 33614 Free Parking; Admission $3 or $5 for both days. $1 off if you bring this ad. Masks strongly encouraged! Come to buy or sell. Contact Bonnie, 813-766-7292 or Leah, Leahcard@aol.com

ESTATE ANTIQUES FINE ART, JEWELRY AUCTION

Multi-Estate Discovery Auction Sat. 1/22, 12 PM Previews: 1/20 1-5 PM, 1/21 1-6 PM & 1/22 10 AM-12 PM

Always Best Cash for Vinyl LP’s, 45’s, audio equipment. Bananas Records 40 years! 727-327-4616 Arrowheads and Artifact Collections Wanted! Looking to buy entire collections of Native American Artifacts! Anything Native American Related. Call or Send Pictures to Nick. 630-824-8902 BUYING ANTIQUE ORIENTAL RUGS Best Cash Paid 941-925-1025 Buying Pre ’76 Sports Memorabilia: Baseball, All Sports Cards, OPC, Non Sport, Tobacco Cards, Americana & Consignments 727-420-1933 Cash Today 4 All Diabetic Test Strips & Supplies. Also buy Dexcom / Omnipods / Insulin. Will Beat All Quotes. Fast local pickup. 727-204-0478, 813-498-0444 WANTED. Old audio. Marantz, Dynaco, Pioneer, Sansui, etc. Reel to reel tape decks, tapes, old speakers, old tube amps, tubes, old turntables, old studio gear. Text or call 727-421-4019

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Customer Relation Reps We are looking for part-time customer relations representatives to work 15 to 28 hours per week with previous customer service experience, exceptional interpersonal & communication skills. Representatives will assist subscribers by phone and dispatch subscriber delivery information to Home Delivery. The starting rate of pay is $12.00 hr. The position is located at our office on 490 1st Avenue South, Saint Petersburg, FL 33701. * Working remotely is also available (based on performance*). • Must type 30 wpm • Experience in a fast-paced environment • Good computer skills & active internet user • Excellent reliability • Available Sunday 8am-11am & Mon-Friday 8am-2pm For further information go to: https://corehr.hrcloud.com/TBT/# /jobs

After School child care staff M-F, 2:15-6:00pm - St. Petersburg independent school. Supervise preschool/elementary age students after school. 15-20 hours/wk. Email resume and reference contact info to Dominique Hamm at dhamm@shorecrest.org

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Wanted! Vinyl Records, CDs, LPs & 45s. The Clearwater Record Shop 1610 N Hercules Av. (727)200-9397

General Dental Practice. Great opportunity for an independent dentist looking to own a well-established general dentistry practice in a highly desirable & growing city in the Tampa market. The owner is retiring 727-267-6594

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727-293-1022. 727-786-1144. 36279 US Hwy 19, Palm Harbor, please ring back doorbell. 18+ Now Hiring

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Every Wednesday from 10 am to 12 pm

Free Estimate, Sewers & Water Mains from $800+. Master Plumber Senior Discount available Call 727-576-6124 Lic CFC037264

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Clearwater – ICOT Center. 966 SF, 1,089 SF, 1,291 SF, 3,426 SF & 4,829 SF Professional Offices Largo 840SF & 1,211SF Prof. Offices Immed. Occupancy Tenant Incentives Call Al Isnetto Palmwood Real ty 352-597-2500 x 202

Visit WalkInInterviews.com to find your next career opportunity.

Buddy’s Roofing

24/7 Reroofs & Repairs we also do Roof Coating on RVs Campers &Trailers we also coat flat roofs. Free Estimates BBB Member (813)982-0218 CC1325993

AdventHealth North Pinellas

No appointment is necessary. Sign-on bonuses available for select positions. Please bring resume and references to 1395 South Pinellas Avenue, Tarpon Springs, FL 34689. Check in at main entrance.

21-COHRTA-12651

Austin’s Artificial Grass Make your lawn the envy of your neighborhood! Get ecofriendly,low maintenance, long lasting Astro turf installed by reliable hard working professionals. Call Austin’s Artificial Grass at 727-201-6865 for your free bid today. Don’t forget to ask about PJ’s discount & save up to $300.

You’re invited to interview for any of our open positions.

0000203382-01

2 Crypts: Sylvan Abbey Memorial Park; Inside Near Chapel: $12,000 ea. Level D-62 & E-62 727-560-0575

NO EXPERIENCE REQUIRED for a fast paced residential new construction environment. S&S Electric 813-569-2397 Email to: hr@ss-electric.com EOE, Drug Free Workplace

Home Delivery Independent Distributor Opportunities

2528 30th Ave. N St. Pete. 727-821-1167 www.BurchardGalleries.com BP In Effect Au322/Ab169 Consignments welcome!

Refrigerator $125. Range $75, Dishwasher, $50. Washer, $150. Dryer $85. 727-914-0995.

Electrical Positions

Breaking news, sports, business, arts and more.

BURCHARD GALLERIES

All Wholesale Washer/Dryer Sets $250up. Ranges, fridges, all styles, colors, S.S., $125up. 727-544-6500

Deliver the Tampa Bay Times Newspaper. We are looking for Independent Contractors who are willing to run their business just a few early morning hours a day, just 2 days per week. The requirements are easy; must have a Florida driver’s license, reliable transportation, car insurance and be organized to run your business. You can start earning right away. To learn more go to: www.tampabay.com/distributor Or call 1-866-498-4637

TAMPA & LARGO Rooms For Rent Single Males Only Shared Rm $650, Private Room $875 Clean, Beautiful, Fully Furn, Groceries, All Util.Washer/Dryer, on Busline. 813-900-9422


I Buy Houses CASH!

Clearwater OR Bushnell (Sumter) Rms w/ Priv Ent & Bath, WiFi, Cable, Util Incl, Bushnell on 50 acre ranch $550 Clw $750 Long Term 352-603-0611 (Rob) airranch@embarqmail.com

Quick Sale • Fair Price

813-895-6399

LAKE MAGDALENE/USF AREA FRESH &CLEAN 1 BR/1 BA APTS $1000 RENT $500 DEPOSIT w/675 or Higher Credit OAKWOOD APTS 813.777.5864

Clearwater. 7 Minutes to Beach ! Newly remodeled 2BR 1BA all new furniture, appliances, sheets, towels, etc. $1900/mo All utilities incl. 1st/last/sec 7 mo max No smoke/pets 727-656-1807

N. Tampa Manufactured Homes ***NORTH TAMPA*** N Florida Ave: 813-935-9476 Fletcher/I-275: 813-978-3501 North Tampa: 813-971-0238 1, 2, & 3 BR’S From $175 Week No App. Fee or Credit Check 1 Year Lease, Must Qualify Eves & Weekends 813-340-7713

NEW PORT RICHEY SOUTHGATE APARTMENTS 62+, 1BR $715/ mo. Restrictions apply. EHO. Adjacent to Southgate Shopping Center 727-847-1110

Clearwater. 7 Minutes to Beach ! Newly remodeled 2BR 1BA all new furniture, appliances, sheets, towels, etc. $1900/mo All utilities incl. 1st/last/sec 7 mo max No smoke/pets 727-656-1807 Redington Shores Gulf front Charming 3BR/2ba beach house, tile flrs, fenced , 1 car gar. Cable, wifi. $4000/mo w/yr lease + utilities Pets ok. 1st/last/sec. 813-251-1394

Clearwater $375,000 3BR /2.5BA Open House 12-3pm Sat & Sun. 1709 Eaton Dr. 1495sf Updated Family home, fenced corner lot. Apone Realty 727-455-1706

Floral City $850,000. 12.82 acres 2000sf 3BR/2BA/3 car garage, Fireplace, hot tub, 5 stall barn, shop, 2 lifts, 3 sheds, gen. system. 5 cows. 352-585-1111

Don’t Miss A Beat. 5 acre farm on large private access lake. Mature Citrus, Water & Electric on property. On Hillsborough County blacktop road. 15207 Carlton Lake Rd Riverview FL $350K/obo 727-409-4191

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Breaking news, sports, business, arts and more.

Honda CRF 150R 2012 $2,500. New cond. Never raced. Also Yamaha YZ250 2019 $6,200. New cond. Ridden once. 727-457-9000

Ford 2008 F250 4x4 Lariat 65,500 mi, super clean, new tires, shocks & brakes $19,500. 352-688-2790

Ford Expedition XLT 4WD 2008 $8,200. 130K mi. Clean! New tires. Minor exhaust leak. 832-515-8636

Clw ON TOP OF THE WORLD 55+com 2BR/2BA 1400 SF 3rd Flr Corner RAINTREE VILLAGE 55+ TOWNHOUSE 2 Master b/rs 1 up/1 dwn FIREPLACE FLO LUGO RLTY 727-455-7361 / 7363

THE LATEST NEWS IN YOUR INBOX

Chevy Corvette 1976 $13,500 OBO. Rebuilt orig. motor, trans. Numbers match. Auto. A/C. T-Tops. Blk paint, Blk int. TMU. Needs minor, due to age. Runs, drives. Serious only, no trades. 813-418-1223 Mercedes 2008 S550 57k mi. Books & records. Sr. driven. New Garaged. $19,995. 813-671-4446

û CA$H CA$H NOW! û ) FAST CA$H NOW! * Wanted: Junk cars / trucks È 727-278-0765 $Ca$h Today 4 Junk Car$ Expert Towing ****727-834-9301 CASH FOR CARS - ANY CONDITION Running or Not Running. Free Towing Call 352-342-7037 Wanted Cars, Trucks, Vans, Motorcycles, RVs, Boats. Any cond. Cash pd. Same day service. 727-520-3985

Mercedes-Benz SL500 1998. Hard top/rag. $15K. 168K mi. Meticulous care! Customized red. 727-224-8715 Vespa motorscooter GTV250ie. 2009 $4,000. 2,468 miles. 1 owner. Call for addt’l info. 727-289-7796

Saturn Vue XE 2008 $4,500 OBO. 124K mi. Tan, AWD. Lthr int. Immaculate in & out. 727-919-7880

Harley-Davidson 2007 $1,500 15838 mi., 96 c.i. Black, adult owned. Info: 863-293-4410 at virlof@viasatnet.com

Wanted: All Motor Homes, Travel Trailer, & 5th Wheels. Diesel Trucks, Any condition. Cash paid on the spot! 954-595-0093

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25’ Bayliner 2450 1994 $4,548 Mercruiser 350 motor, being sold to the highest bidder on 01/17/2022 at 8am EST by the Tierra Verde Marina located at 100 Pinellas Bayway S, Tierra Verde, FL 33715. Highest bidder must remove vessel at own cost. This vessel is being sold as is, no warranties. All bids & all sales are final. 727-866-0255

$$$ WE PAY TOP DOLLAR FOR JUNK CARS & TRUCKS. We sell QUALITY used Auto & Truck Parts. $$$ WE PAY CASH FOR JUNK CARS & TRUCKS $$$ 12905 US Highway 41, Spring Hill, FL 34610 (813) 995-9350

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Wednesday, January 12, 2022

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Wednesday, January 12, 2022