Restaurants & Bars 22

Chez Bryce, Davis Islands (Tampa)

Miss E | Mar 9, 200805:25 PM

SO and I dined at Chez Bryce on Davis last night, wondered if anyone else has opinions to share.

We liked it, but weren't blown away. Appetizers were almost absurdly generous in size, but while the truffled mac and cheese arrived alarmingly hot, the cod beignets were too cool. The moules frites entree was just the right size and tasty, although the fries arrived a bit cold. The scallop entree was a misfire, and very overpriced at $25: the diver scallops were tough, and the three small caramelized leeks were inedibly sweet and oily. There was nothing else on the plate besides a bit of fennel and a few small mandarin orange slices! We fared better with desserts: a hot rhubarb crumble was a hit, served with a dollop of sour cream in a very large portion; and the chocolate tart was the real French deal, rich and smooth, not too large a slice, served at room temperature just as it should be. OK, I could complain about the utterly tasteless fresh raspberries on top--when they're that bad, why bother with them at all?

Anyway, all of the above plus two glasses of wine at $9 each brought the bill to $110 before tip, and left us with a vague feeling of having paid too much for the experience. It's bistro food, but those are not bistro prices!

The room is small and horrifically noisy. It also has a lighting problem: the dim lights in the dining room would be cozy if it weren't for the flourescent glare from the open kitchen. The decor is simple, with a country French flavor.

The wine list is well-designed and priced, offering all the usual American and Australian reds and whites by the glass and bottle as well as a nice list of Old World wines, many by the glass.

Service was well-meaning but lacked some attention to detail.

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