So I actually lived in Tallahassee for 20 years, but apparently the restaurant scene has markedly changed (for the worse?). Correct me if I'm wrong, but I've heard that:
Albert's Provence - seriously downhill after Ughetto retired
Kool Beanz Cafe (was my favorite restaurant) - chef moved to S. Florida (although apparently Keith Baxter is still there - I could've sworn he was the one preparing the great meals I had there around 1999-2000).
Mozaik - was always to me in the shadow of Kool Beanz
Rubie Sky (new) - not really all that great
Food Glorious Food - thought it was a Kool Beanz copycat with less successful results, but haven't been since Kevin Stout of Andrew's Second Act fame joined the crew.
Chez Pierre - oh c'mon
Andrews 228 - why did they have to ruin Andrew's Second Act, the only restaurant in Tallahassee that had a classy white-linen atmosphere. The one time I went there, every dish was drenched in olive oil. It was peculiar.
Z. Bardhi's - was pretty good - how is it now?
Georgios - uninspired, cavernous menu
Sage Restaurant - never went there, but I liked it in its Mon Pere et Moi days
So considering ALL THAT...I'm bringing someone to Tallahassee who's never been to my fair city before, and I'd like to give her one "upscale" evening (we'll be doing Spring Creek Restaurant down at the coast and Market Diner in Thomasville to cover the other end of the spectrum). Is my better bet to go with Cypress, which seems promising in its creativity and use of local ingredients, or Liam's up in Thomasville? How does Avenue Sea in Apalachicola compare to an old standby that I used to love down there, Chef Eddie's Magnolia Grill?
Our standards (unfortunately?) have become fairly high after living out in the San Francisco Bay Area and now Raleigh/Durham, NC (which has an AWESOME slow-food local farmers restaurant movement to the extent that we've been called the "next great dining destination"), so please advise if you think we should save our wallet for another time and place. If so, we'll...I dunno...do Paradise Grill, the Chicken Santa Fe at Tally's Grill, or dare I say it, that heartburn-inducing siren-like spaghetti at Barnaby's.
P.S. I've seen this great previous thread: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/412109. Any new impressions?