Wednesday April 30th was my 40th bday, and I got together with about 20 of my friends at Circles Restaurant in Hyde Park(had a buddy fly in from Chicago as well). A favorite of mine, it's a small old house, with separate dining rooms, and a large bar area. We had our own room, but the owner, Micheal, greeted us in the bar and we had some drinks as people arrived, a nice meeting area and very friendly staff. We were seated in a comfortable room, and right away were attentively being waited on by three servers, who explained the specials. Circles has a very interesting menu, full of very tempting dishes from around the world. I have never had a bad meal here, the food is very fresh and portions are large. My birthday meal consisted of a perfectly cooked 10oz filet with a peppercorn topping, smashed potatoes and fresh asparagus. Everyone who had meals and appetizers advised what a great choice the place was, and after dinner we headed back to the bar, where the very friendly owner allowed us to imbibe on more drinks before heading out on the town.
After a great dinner, most of us walked over the the Dubliner, a very casual, laid back Irish Pub that was very busy this Wednesday evening with a live band, and lots of pretty people. A few good laughs, and it was on to a location closer to home, what else than the Green Iguana Westshore, again very busy and very entertaining.
I was in the Florida Keys for the remainder of this loooong weekend, and briefly I can say that the Duval Inn was one of the nicest B&B's I have stayed at, Lloyd's Bike Tour is a must, the beaches at Fort Zachary Taylor Park are the nicest - lots of bike paths, nature trails and a cool old fort to discover, and some great eats in Key West included A&B Lobster House, Caroline's, La Te Da, Sarabeth's, Ernest Hemingway's Cafe. It was the Songwriters Festival, so there was alot of great live music.
Back to Tampa on Monday, we went to get some Pedicures at the Manhattan Nail Shoppe on Manhattan Avenue, then some great seafood lunch at Crab Shack(Dungenous and Alaskan Snow Crab, with a dozen fresh oysters-very large-and Maryland Crab Cakes. A trip to downtown St. Pete to see a movie at BayWalk and then some Gelato along the waterfront and walking around some of the nice shops downtown St. Pete.
I still enjoyed my 40th as if I was no older than 25....age is just a number!