I live in Tampa by way of Miami and I created this resource for resident foodies and Florida visitors alike. My goal is to give readers easy access to delicious food that’s a little bit off the beaten path and miles away from the many chains and tourist traps that proliferate Florida’s landscape. Sometimes, I do this by sharing my own experiences and other times, I rely on Florida Foodie Insiders to report their favorites back to our readers.
There are many reasons why I started this blog, but to start with, I’ve always been obsessed with food. I was born into a boisterous Italian family where food was paramount and early on, my Mom – an amazing pastry chef in her own right—fueled my interest by teaching me everything she could in the kitchen. So, even as a young child, it was clear that all things food-related were a part of my DNA. And although I’ve chosen the life of a government lawyer, I’ve never lost a zest for cooking, restaurants and wine. For me, food has never been just a hobby, it’s been a passion that I want to share with whomever will listen. If you ask my friends, they will tell you that they can only take so much of me chattering on about chefs and restaurants before they tune me out, so now, I chatter to you. I hope you are inclined to chat back.
But it’s not just the cooking, eating and drinking that I’m enthusiastic about. I think that who’s around the table is as important, if not more important than what’s actually being eaten. Trite? Perhaps, but some of the best conversations and most meaningful times of my life can be pinpointed to a particular kitchen table or a celebratory meal at a specific restaurant. These days, the person usually sitting across the table from me is my hubby and gastronomic partner in crime, Mister M, and this blog documents our restaurant adventures. I’m hoping our experiences will help you decide where to eat during your next Florida vacation or provides an answer when someone asks that inevitable question, “What should we do for dinner?”
So please, poke around and look at the city-specific Zest’s Bests destination guides and Bon Vivant Obsessions. Feel free to introduce yourself through the comment sections of the posts–or better yet, become a Florida Foodie Insider— I’d love to hear from you.
zestfloridafoodie (at) gmail (dot) com
Two Zest disclaimers: First, we only post reviews of restaurants that we would wholeheartedly recommend. As Insiders, we understand that just one bad review can kill the livelihoods of small restaurant owners and their employees. It’s not about whether we have discerning tastes– but when we have bad dining experiences, we let our dollars do the talking, as they say. There are plenty of great places to discover and sharing those experiences is the main focus of this blog.
Second, unless otherwise specified, we don’t review items or restaurants unless they are paid for with our own hard-earned cash. Zest’s Best restaurants don’t know they are getting reviewed and if we review something that was given in exchange for an “independent” review, we’ll be sure to tell you. (This disclaimer is really for the Federal Trade Commission– you can take the kitchen out of the lawyer, but you can’t take the lawyer out of the kitchen!)