Michael’s Grill - Carrollwood’s Gem
Michael’s Grill is an award-winning, dine-in restaurant featuring a full lunch and dinner menu. They also have a full breakfast menu on Saturday and Sundays.This cozy neighborhood gem is conveniently located at 11720 North Dale Mabry Highway, and provides ample parking for all their guests. Michael’s Grill offers lots of great fish dishes, savory chicken entrees, juicy steak dishes, mouth-watering pastas, amazing salads and delicious homemade soups.
I had the opportunity to taste their award-winning She-crab bisque, and it was delicious, I highly recommend it. They also offer daily lunch and dinner specials, which are highlighted on a big colorful chalkboard inside their restaurant. Michael’s Grill is family owned and operated by Chef Michael and his lovely wife Andrea. This wonderful couple have been married for 17 years, the same amount of years that Michael’s Grill has been open. “We opened in 2000, the same year we married,” said Andrea. Andrea runs and manages the front of the restaurant. She greets every customer that walks in with a big smile and makes them feel right at home.
Andrea shared with me that she loves to bake, and actually she is the one in charge of baking all the desserts that are offered at Michael’s Grill, including their special homemade apple blueberry strudel. Chef Michael’s dream all his life was to open his own restaurant. His love for really fresh tasty food came from cooking at home when he was young. I asked Chef Michael who taught him how to cook so well and he said “My mother of course! I learned everything I know from her.”
Michael’s mother was half French half German, and his father was Irish American, so a lot of the dishes reflect a strong European flair. Chef Michael grew up in Miami, and was head chef at Monte Trainers on the bay for ten years. He trained under French chefs and his ability for creating amazing dishes came naturally. Seafood specially has been a big part of Chef Michael’s career, but he admits a really great hand cut steak is right up his alley.
I love seafood, so during my visit I ordered their savory Rustic Salmon, which completely blew my mind. This particular entree is now one of my all time favorite salmon dishes in Tampa Bay. From the impeccable presentation, to the perfectly pan seared piece of salmon topped with a warm fresh tomato ragu, and honey goat cheese, to the magnificent roasted cauliflower and pesto cream, this dish is nothing short of perfection.They also offer a wide variety of chicken dishes like their Sonoma Chicken, which consists of a succulent grilled chicken breast with a creamy blue cheese and smoked bacon risotto served with chefs veggies.
Even though their food is outstanding, their friendly and personal service is what truly sets them apart. “We love to make guests feel special. If we know someone is coming in for a special occasion we’ll have champagne waiting for them when they arrive,” says Andrea. “We love to have fresh cut flowers on all our tables and flickering candles. Michael and I always strive to meet all of our guests.”
Local customer, Michael Parise, recently gave Michael’s Grill a 5 star review on Facebook and had this to say about his experience: “Just finished Jay's Birthday lunch at Michael's Grill in Carrollwood. Rarely am I able to offer such a comprehensively positive review of a restaurant from the moment we entered to the moment we left and all the wonderful food and drink in between. The sangria was unique and wonderful; best I ever tasted. The meals were fresh, tasty, properly seasoned, and prepared in a way that showed love. The wait staff was fabulous; Bianca could not have been more pleasant and helpful. Michael's is chef-owned. His wife Andrea tends the bar (she made the sangria!) and makes every guest feel special. And the prices were very reasonable for the quality and care. Thank you Michael's Grill on Dale Mabry, Carrollwood, Tampa!”
So what are some of the guest favorite dishes?
“Guests favorites are the Wasabi Crusted Tuna, the Rustic Salmon and the Steak Au Poivre. Of course the crab cakes, She-Crab bisque and the fried brie are a must!” says Andrea. “Our breakfast on Saturday and Sunday is delicious. Our eggs Benedict are amazing. Michael’s Hollandaise sauce is made from scratch of course. It’s very creamy and savory with a hint of lemon. You may also want to try the croquet madame, which consists of ham and swiss cheese on Texas toast topped with fried eggs and light cheese sauce. And mimosas are always $3.99.”
At Michael’s Grill you can see and taste that every dish is made with love and a true passion for cooking. “Guests always tell us that our food is so tasty and fresh, I really think they taste the love that Michael and his team put into each of the dishes,” says Andrea. “We enjoy making people happy, it makes us happy. It’s a great feeling when you can give someone a really great meal. “Our love for the customer and great quality food shines not only through us, but our servers and kitchen staff as well.”
Chef Michael shared with me that he truly loves what he does. He loves the instant gratification he gets from being a head chef and restaurant owner. “I love the fact that as soon as I am done with a dish I can see the customers’ faces and reactions. I love hearing their compliments from across the bar and every time someone gives me a thumbs up, I feel an enormous amount of instant satisfaction. You cannot get that at all jobs,” says Chef Michael.
Andrea and Chef Michael would like to thank everyone that have supported them through all these years. “We really want to thank all of our loyal customers for their magnificent support throughout the years. It’s been a pleasure serving you and getting to know you. It will be 17 years this December, and we wouldn’t be here without your amazing support and loyalty,” says Andrea. “We also really appreciate feedback, so whenever you come in, please let us know what you think about the food and overall experience. We consider it a gift to make us better.”
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Michael’s Grill is located at 11720 North Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa, FL 33618. For an extended Menu and information regarding renting a room for a special event, wedding or party please reach out to Andrea or Chef Michael at (813) 964-8334 or email them directly at firstname.lastname@example.org