Joe Maddon’s new restaurant got first 4-star review in the history of the Tampa Bay Times
Ava in Tampa is now the hip place to be, and you pretty much have to be an Esteban Yan-level celebrity to get reservations.
Did you know Joe Maddon, baseball’s cool dad, opened a new restaurant? Probably not. I didn’t, either. Except in Tampa, it’s been something of a big deal, considering that Maddon partnered with local restaurateur Michael Stewart. Now that the restaurant, Ava, picked up the first four-star review in the history of the Tampa Bay Times, just try to stop the hype.
Since instituting a star system six years ago, the Tampa Bay Times has given only a handful of restaurants 3 ½ stars (among them CopperFish, Ulele and Edison), and it has never given four stars overall to a restaurant. Ava is the first. Despite this, I have always firmly believed in that Platonic ideal, the “four-star” taco stand as well as the “four-star” fancy French places with tuxedoed waiters.
I, too, believe in the four-star taco stand. I also believe in the small of a woman’s back, the hanging curve ball, high fiber, good scotch, and a world in which Joe Maddon sidles up to a food critic and does this:
One night Joe Maddon leans our way at the pizza bar and says, “You’ve got to try this ribeye. Seriously.”
Hat tip: Timothy Burke