Tampa Area Restaurants

Besa Grill

The opening of a new restaurant is always exciting in my book. Because we live more so in the suburbs than in the city, new restaurants don’t necessarily pop up on a regular basis.

I’d had my eye on the progress of Besa Grill before the signs even went up outside. What can I say: our frequent trips to Bonefish Grill right across the street might have put it on my radar. We waited…impatiently…for the opening date announcement. I could hardly wait to get in to try out the menu; Besa Grill is from the same owners as Flamestone Grill (another favorite local restaurant of ours), so I knew it would be awesome!

I’ll let the photos do most of the talking…there was a lot of deliciousness going on that evening!

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You have to start with a champagne toast for a restaurant opening, right? Now, on to the menu…and cocktails…

Our first round of cocktails was pretty diverse. My mom selected the Besa Margarita:

Justin: their Mango Margarita:

My dad opted for the Basil Cucumber Gimlet (which I didn’t get a photo of), and I sipped on a Besa Signature Mojito. Yum yum!

Our table decided to sample a few appetizers before moving on to entrees. We began with the Calamari Fiesta, featuring jalapeno and fresno peppers along with the squid. We loved this take on a traditional fried calamari – it was a nice departure from having a simple marinara sauce on the side!

Also on the table: a trio of guacamole! We sampled the roasted corn and black bean, the traditional, and the pineapple flavors (they also offer mango and goat/blue cheese). Surprisingly, the pineapple was a crowd favorite! We would never have expected to like it as much as we did, but the sweet chunks of pineapple were a great complement to the guacamole.

Moving on: it was time for a second cocktail and for dinner! My dad selected the Guava Habanero margarita. We all found ourselves sampling it, because this cocktail was amazing! It features guava puree and a habanero simple syrup; sweet and spicy! I think I might have to have one of my own on my next visit…

My mom selected the Grapefruit Basil cocktail:

Justin went for the Blackberry Mint margarita. I think it gets the award for the prettiest drink of the evening. Look at that color (and it tasted great too)!

I decided to try out one of the tequilas from their menu. You can have it served on the rocks for $1, or mixed as a margarita for $3. I selected the Cabo Wabo Reposado as a margarita, and it was wonderful!

Onward! We sampled one of the side Besa salads with mixed greens, grilled yellow tomato, red onion, jicama, cucumber, and honey lime cilantro vinaigrette:

For dinner, I partook in the Nine Spiced Chicken with sautéed black beans, spinach, and pan roasted potatoes in a saffron jus. There was so much flavor in this dish; I loved it! Considering the fact that chicken dishes can be a bit on the boring side typically, this was anything but!

My mom ordered the Grouper Veracruz, featuring tomato, black olive, and caper relish:

My dad ordered the Crusted Strip, which had aged bleu cheese, applewood bacon, and a jalapeño crust. it was a heck of a steak!

Finally, Justin ordered the Agave Shrimp with tequila braised greens, chipotle mango coulis, and cilantro chive oil:

Now…we could have stopped there…

…but we couldn’t resist trying some dessert, now could we? Thank goodness I was wearing something stretchy. First up: some cafe con leche. The rock candy stir sticks were a nice touch instead of a sugar packet!

Thankfully, we had managed to save a bit of room in our stomachs for dessert, because Besa Grill has some wonderful selections on their menu! There was the fried banana cheesecake…

A whoopie pie trio…

The Impossible Chocolate Cake (1/3 flan, 2/3 chocolate cake, with a small cup of hot chocolate on the side)…

And the Bolillo Plantain Bread Pudding (P.S. don’t you love the outline of a fork sprinkled onto the plate???):

Whew…what a meal! I can definitely say that it was a memorable one! Besa Grill has a diverse menu options (I really want to try some of the tacos on my next visit), the ingredients are interesting and flavorful, and the presentation is stunning! The inside of the restaurant was completely remodeled: it looks incredibly gorgeous, and would be a great place for a date night. If you are in the area, I would definitely suggest you make some plans to stop by!

Besa Grill

2542 N. McMullen Booth Rd.
Clearwater, FL 33761
Phone: 727-400-6900

So: what do you think you would order off this menu? Have you had a new restaurant open up in your area recently?

Besa Grill on Urbanspoon


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  • ugh – i should have waited to rad this until this afternoon. now i’m starving! everything looks delicious – i could make a meal out of the guac alone! 🙂

    your photos are looking REALLY great – what camera/lens are you using here?

    • Colleen – Yeah, I definitely think the way most places serve it with marinara is kind of…boring. Thankfully, Besa Grill’s isn’t served with marinara, and it has the added punch of the peppers and a sprinkle of cheese! Definitely not like other calamari I’ve had in the past.

  • I normally never comment on food posts just because I don’t really feel like I have anything to say, but nice sell, lady! You really made me want to go here. Especially the drinks and desserts. and guac. and rock candy. okay everything.

  • Hi Katie! My husband is the chef that designed the menu. I’m so glad you liked the food. I’m very proud of him 🙂

    • Laurie – No way!!! What a small world. Well, tell him I think he did a great job; we’ll definitely be back in to enjoy more 🙂

  • Mmm we went on Friday and sampled a bunch of apps I want to try the pinapple gauc on our next visit. We opted for the black bean, traditional, and goat cheese instead.

    That chicken you got looks so yummy!

    I could live at the bar. All of our drinks were delicious.

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