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Guide Review - Manhattan Dolce Bar & Bistro

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The Bottom Line

Manhattan Dolce Bar & Bistro claims it is “striving to be the ultimate spot on the west side of South Tampa to get away from it all.” Unfortunately in more ways than one, the bar falls short.

Pros

  • Some of the food is good
  • The wine is alright

Cons

  • There is hardly any parking in the front of the bar, let alone around it.
  • The food is over priced and it was difficult to find a friendly waiter.

Description

  • Address: 4328 West El Prado Boulevard, Tampa, FL 33629
  • Phone: (813) 832-3388
  • Hours: Monday through Saturday 5 p.m. to 1 a.m.
  • Parking: There is limited parking available in front of the restaurant and some parking on side streets nearby. Just be careful of areas that say “No Parking”. Don’t chance it because TPD is more than happy to write you a parking ticket faster than you can ask for a another drink!
  • Company Website

Guide Review – The Manhattan Dolce Bar & Bistro

For the record, nothing saddens me more than writing a negative review. I always look for the positives in every place I try, but I have to say the Manhattan Dolce Bar & Bistro was an unexpected disappointment that left such a bad taste in my mouth I doubt I’ll go back. The saddest part about this is it was highly recommended to me by several pals on Facebook.

Check out 10 Places to Get a Martini.

What made my experience so bad? Let’s start with the parking. I tried to visit on a Friday but couldn’t find parking anywhere nearby and got so frustrated I simply went to another bar. Believing in giving a place more than one chance I came back on a Wednesday during happy hour and found a lucky parking spot as someone was leaving. Upon walking into the restaurant I was pleased to see a very posh setting with shiny walls and funky décor. The place was pretty empty so I expected quick and friendly service. Unfortunately this was where things went awry. My waiter didn’t even come and greet me and my party for more than 10 minutes and when he finally did he looked bored and as though being here and catering to us was the last thing on his to-do list.

I made some silly jokes as I queried about the drink specials for happy hour and nothing really got a rise out of him. I brought three friends with me that night because we all heard great things. They too had questions about their drinks and it seemed the waiter was not knowledgeable at all as he had to go and ask several questions of the bar staff to be able to assist us. Deciding he just was having a bad day I put in an order for a glass of wine and the folks with me put in orders for other drinks.

Skip the Manhattan and head downtown. Here are some bars and eateries in downtown Tampa.

Our drinks didn’t arrive for a while and when they did the wine was fine but the mixed drinks according to my party were nothing to write home about. Surely, the food would be better. I was excited to see that for happy hour several dishes are available for just $5. Thank goodness that was the case because looking over the regular menu quickly told me that anything other than the happy hour bites were over priced.

I ordered the chicken Caesar salad, the fish tacos, the chicken sake kabobs and that night the crab cake sliders were also available for the $5 pricing. On a side note our waiter informed us that the crab cake sliders featured the same size crab cakes that are available as an entrée for $13. All I have to say regarding that inflated price is that unless it comes with a side dish, it’s too much money to pay! Further proof that your only decent bet for low budget is happy hour for dining!

Looking for bar food done right? Check out Old Northeast Tavern.

I will say I enjoyed to bites I ordered. I split all of them with my husband and they were pretty good. Not great mind you, but pretty good. Thank goodness we ordered as many plates as we did because we would have left hungry if we hadn’t. The other two folks in my party split the short rib nachos and the fish tacos and were very disappointed with the nachos. They felt that even at happy hour pricing the amount of food they received was sub par at best.

After the poor service, the not so great food and seeing the overpriced regular menu items I can not recommend Manhattan Dolce Bar & Bistro as a place to visit. There are much better options with bigger portions, better drinks and friendlier staff in Tampa Bay.

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