217 Central Ave, St Petersburg, FL | Directions 3370127.771205 -82.635519
Neighborhoods: University Park - South Downtown
A Must Go!!! – We visited St. Petersburg, during our Spring break, and went to The Garden for dinner. We had been there a few years ago - and what a change in food and service! Now there are new owners, and what a delight. I had a Lollipop Pork Chop dinner that was excellent. My husband had the Tommy Tips steak dinner which was cooked to perfection. There was a live jazz band in the garden where we were sitting, surrounded by beautiful flowers and trees. After dinner we had wine and just relaxed listening to the music. The portions were a good size and the price was right. I loved the friendly, relaxing atmosphere which we have not experienced anywhere else in St. Petersburg. I recommend this restaurant to all, and we will definitely go back on our next trip to St. Petersburg.
Great Place to Dine, Relax and Listen to Good Music – I was surprised to learn there are new owners at the garden as of 2010. I had been there a few years ago. Now the place looks fabulous. The food was fresh and delicious, reasonably priced, service was great, and so was the live jazz band. I sat in the garden enjoyed my dinner, relaxed around beautiful trees and flowers and just mellowed out to the music. There are many sections in this restaurant for all to enjoy, even a nite club called The Lobby which has reggae music on Sunday nites, and hip hop on Fri. and Sat. My friend just had her 40th birthday party there. She couldn't have picked a better place. I definitely recommend this restaurant to anyone, any age, who just wants a good dinner and a friendly atmosphere to enjoy. It was a great experience and I will go back for sure!!
Best Calamari, Pesto and Pate – I've live downtown for 4 years and The Garden is easily my favorite restaurant. The food is outstanding, the ambiance unbeatable. Have had nothing but good experiences there. The bad reviews here are very misleading. if you miss this restaurant, you miss out.
Really Bad Experience – I presume The Garden is on the way out. I took my family there before the orchestra in St. Pete. The orchestra was wonderful, the Garden was horrible. The tagine (a specialty) was weeks old and served cold. The waitress was, we hope, waiting on her first customers because she forgot things, put her fingers into the wine glasses as she served and spilled the over-dressed arugala salad dressing all over the table when removing the empty (except for a puddle of pure lemon juice dressing) plate. I presume they broke some law by taking money for what has to be described as a fraudulent meal. There are other good choices such as Cafe Alma, etc. and I would recommend that you don't even think of going to The Garden of Evil. Dennis M. Kovach
Worst Restaurant in St. Pete – We live locally and thought we would give this restaurant another shot - as we experienced terrible service about 10 years ago - well not much has changed.
The food was awful, terrible! My husband and I took my 16 yr old and his GF. GF ate none of her salad as it was no nasty. My fish was supposed to be "fresh - like grouper" - no way. It was way overcooked and it was perfectly square like the frozen fish at the supermarket. I was told mine was the special, fresh fish topped with crab stuffing. I honestly cannot identify what was on my fish. It was runny - and seemed like sour coleslaw. My husbands chicken was tough, and overcooked. Our salads... well, I think it was the spring mix out of the bag, usually good - but this had sat and wilted. Also, we asked for Ceasars - apparently they do not know the difference... seriously - that is what the waitress told us.
The sevice was horrible. Our waitress forgot about us for almost 45 minutes, we had to ask twice for our appetizers... no refills on drinks and the food was cold. We are pretty easy to please, but this was just god awful. The icing on the cake was when the server gave herself a 22% tip, and charged it to our account... We asked the manager about it - he just said we can change it if we want...... It was a terrible dinner experience, I was embarrassed that we took my son's girlfriend there... I am going to be sure to tell everyone I know how awful The Garden is - I honestly think Red Lobster was 100 times better than this place....yep, I'm serious..
That was an hour I'll never get back... – Don't bother. Lunch took way too long. I ordered the Catch of the Day which was flounder with the white wine and shallot sauce and a salad. The fish looked like it was a previously frozen filet, not fresh. The sauce just tasted like salt - nothing else. The salad was some kind of bagged junk that they threw a couple of slices of onion and some nasty canned black olives on. And the white wine dijon vinagrette could have been water for all the flavor it had. What a waste of a lunch hour.
Dont go if you need a drink! – I thought the atmosphere was decent. Bar staff was terrible. I waited for a drink and then when i finally got it, it was not what i had ordered. It took equally long to get my correct drink. After that experience i opted to have dinner at the oyster bar down the street. Rather than risk an equally bad dinner experience. Mastrys seemed to be a pretty good bar If that is what you are looking for.
Are you kidding!!!!! – Unbelievably terrible!
Had a meal wish was good, gave my credit card to the waiter, he misplaces it between the table and the credit card machine. He can't find it anywhere, that's for 1/2H. Talked to manager who was most unhelpful. They comped my diner which is the least they could do. While in the restaurant waiting for my card to reappear, I call my bank to cancel it and it has already been used in the cigar store 2 doors down the street. By then I'm furious but the manager is so not helpful. He never returned my calls for follow up with this problem. I will never return there and will make sure anybody considering going there gets the whole story. I am a concierge in a local hotel and know a lot of other concierges. I will make sure this gets around town !!!!!!!!!!!!!
The Garden: good atmosphere, some great dishes – The Garden is much better than some people seem to think; I've never had any complaints about service or the food - that said, some dishes are better than others. The grilled chicken appetizer is fantastic and large enough for a meal for one; the pesto penne is a very generous, tasty dish, and the daily catch is usually an excellent choice. The atmosphere is unbeatable, but if you don't like crowds avoid the weekends, and especially "First Friday," when it's impossible to even navigate. They do serve a pretty good long island iced tea, too.
Housed in the oldest building in St. Petersburg, it benefits from the historic ambience of the former Hotel Detroit. – In Short
The restaurant is located in a building dating from the 1880s that opens onto a courtyard shaded by a big banyan tree, providing a cool mien during the many hot months. Specialties include lamb chops, or the pasta made with duck, influenced by a Mediterranean outlook that calls upon culinary traditions of Spain, the south of France and northern Africa. Adjacent to the restaurant is The Lobby Bar, offering a generous selection of imaginative martinis and good cigars.
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