By Carla Selby
While trying to find the right words to describe this neighborhood gem, I ran into a 5-star google review that did the work for me;
“Always delicious. Always fresh. Always a welcoming smile and fantastic service. In a city full of chain restaurants, Michael’s Grill will blow you away with incredibly delicious dishes and top-notch customer service,” says recent customer B.M. and I couldn’t agree more!
Located at 11720 N Dale Mabry Hwy, the same location where they first set roots over 18 years ago, Michael’s Grill is an award-winning restaurant offering the Carrollwood community some of the most delicious lunch, dinner, and brunch options in the area. My family and I love Michael’s Grill, and I am sure you will too.
The food is consistently spectacular, and the only thing probably more impressive is the attention to detail of husband and wife team, Michael and Andrea Reilly. The value they bring to their patrons is second to none when it comes to the taste, personalized attention, quality of the food, and small touches such as the scent of fresh-cut flowers, and flickering candles that decorate each table.
“We enjoy making people happy; it makes us happy. It’s a great feeling when you can give someone a great meal. Our love for the customer and great quality food shines not only through us, but our servers and kitchen staff as well,” says Andrea.
Together, Michael and Andrea provide not only mouthwatering food and unparalleled customer service, but also a friendly and welcoming atmosphere where new customers become regulars, which then turn into great friends and become part of Michael’s Grill family.
“After being a part of this community for so long, I feel like I can’t go anywhere without running into a friend that I’ve made at our restaurant,” says Chef Michael. “I love sharing my love for good food with the community and Andrea, and I feel like that shines through in the guest’s experience. Over the years, so many of our customers have become friends that we not only see at our restaurant, but we also go out with when we have some time for ourselves.”
Growing up in Miami, Chef Michael had the opportunity of going fishing regularly. Which you could say, sparked his interest and passion for all things seafood. He also enjoyed diving for lobsters at Biscayne Bay and learned how to cook them in creative new ways properly.
During my last visit, I had the pleasure of trying one of the newest additions to the menu, the “Caribbean Lobster Tail,” grilled and brushed with a lemon butter sauce, served over chef’s stir-fried rice. The lobster was juicy and perfectly cooked, and the rice was very flavorful, with hints of ginger, soy, and pineapple. Yummy! If you’re looking for a unique seafood dish, look no further. Andrea suggests pairing this spectacular dish with a glass of champagne or white wine. “I’m a lobster and champagne kind of girl,” says Andrea. Me too, Andrea, me too.
I also had the opportunity of trying yet another delightful new addition to the menu; the “Wagyu Sliders.” These sliders are now my new “go-to” dish at Michael’s Grill. I don’t consider myself a big fan of burgers, mainly because many restaurants and big chains don’t use top quality beef when making their patties, which translates into a less than appetizing meat flavor. But as you can expect from every dish at Michael’s Grill, these new sliders are made with top-quality ingredients, starting with the Wagyu beef. WAGYU is a Japanese cattle breed – derived from native Asian cattle. Wagyu were originally draft animals used in agriculture and were selected for their physical endurance. This selection favored animals with more intra-muscular fat cells – “marbling” – which provided a readily available energy source. The unique taste and tenderness of highly marbled Wagyu beef make for an unrivaled eating experience. Wagyu beef is not only a gastronomic delight, but it’s healthy and delicious as well.
Michael’s new Wagyu sliders were as deliciously tender and juicy as they were flavorful. They came prepared in three unique ways; one had a creamy gorgonzola topping, another one had Chef Michael’s homemade BBQ sauce with crispy bacon, and last but not least, the third slider was topped with a delicious wasabi slaw. My husband and I kept fighting over these sliders, and we both agreed that it was a new favorite dish at Michael’s. Listed only on the dinner menu, you can also request them for lunch. Just ask Andrea or Chef Michael if they could prepare these succulent Wagyu Sliders for you during your lunch stop. I promise you they will be more than happy to accommodate your request.
“Every time we stop by the food is excellent. We feel at home the moment we walk in. Andrea will usually greet us at the door, and Chef Michael and her will stop by our table to say hi and make sure we’re enjoying our meal,” says local customer A.F. “The wait staff is always polite and check on us often. My family and I have been coming here since they first opened their doors almost 20 years ago and we’ll keep coming back for more. They also have a very delicious Brunch on the weekends, some of the tastiest food you’ll ever have.”
Almost 120 years ago, long before anyone invited their friends to feast on eggs Benedict, french toast, and mimosas, the word brunch appeared in print for the very first time in the United States. Today, just like a runny egg, brunch dribbled out into the mainstream and is more popular than ever. During Saturdays and Sundays, make sure to stop by Michael’s Grill to satisfy your brunch cravings. You will not regret it.
With unique and tasty options like the Seafood omelet, made with shrimp, crab and mozzarella finished with a Newberg sauce, the Filet Hash and Eggs, prepared with filet mignon, hash brown potatoes, poached eggs and creamy homemade hollandaise sauce served with a homemade biscuit, and Andrea’s Brioche French Toast served with seasonal berries and warm maple syrup and mascarpone cream, you can be sure that Michael’s Grill will become your go-to brunch spot in the neighborhood. They also have a fantastic selection of eggs Benedict and fresh homemade quiches. During my last visit, I also had the pleasure of trying their Crab Cake Benedicts, made with their famous crab cakes, poached eggs, creamy Hollandaise, grilled asparagus served with your choice of home fries or grits. It was, without a doubt, one of the tastiest egg Benedicts I’ve ever had. “Michael has been flipping eggs since he was 15 years old,” jokes Andrea. “So this dish is a perfect combination of his passion for seafood and his ability to make amazing eggs.”
While Chef Michael prepares all the main entrees, Andrea is in charge of baking and tending the bar. Customers rave about her sticky toffee bread pudding and sangria, so make sure to try those on your next visit. Andrea is also in charge of the beer, wine, and champagne list selection at Michael’s. She makes sure to taste everything before it becomes an official part of the menu; that way, she ensures quality and taste. Michael’s offers one of the most extensive wine pours in Tampa Bay. With a generous 8 oz pour, you get your money’s worth, so don’t be afraid to add that wine glass to compliment your meal.
To this day, Chef Michael will still pause for a second to watch guests try his food from the kitchen. He enjoys watching people’s first impressions when the food arrives. He particularly finds joy when the customers express out loud how good something tastes or how impeccable the presentation is. “If I have a second, I love observing people try our food for the first time. It’s very gratifying to know I can make people happy with what I prepare. I often scroll through our reviews online because the positive feedback is what makes me enjoy coming to work every day,” says Michael. “The years have just flown by for us. It doesn’t feel like work when you’re passionate about what you do, and Andrea and I love it!”
What do people remember most about an event? Considering nobody got intoxicated and made a fool of themselves, then the answer is always the food. So what better place to host your next private event or party, than a spot that offers fantastic service and award-winning food that people will be raving about long after the event passed? Michael’s Grill has a separate conjoining dining area that can comfortably seat up to 40 guests. This separate area has its private bar and features the same elegant décor and welcoming ambiance. So, if you are looking to book your upcoming holiday party or even a small and intimate wedding, give Michael’s Grill a call today and book before it is too late.
Andrea and Chef Michael would like to thank the community for their incredible support through all these years. “Thank you from the bottom of our hearts; it’s been a pleasure serving you and getting to know you and your loved ones. It will be 19 years this December, and we wouldn’t be here without your amazing support and loyalty,” says Andrea.
Michael’s Grill is located in the Main Street Shopping Center at 11720 N Dale Mabry Hwy in Tampa. They are open Mon. – Thurs. 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Fri. 9 a.m. – 10 p.m.; Sat. 9 a.m. – 10 p.m.; and Sun 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. For additional information, please call (813) 964-8334 or visit www.MichaelsGrill.com