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“Best Bartenders in Florida and best Bread Pudding”
Review of Columbia

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Ranked #12 of 713 Restaurants in Clearwater
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $10 - $30
Cuisines: Cuban, Spanish
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Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Families with children, Local cuisine, Business meetings, Large groups, Romantic
Dining options: Breakfast, Lunch, Late Night, Dinner, Delivery, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Description: Waterfront dining at its finest! Family-owned & operated for more than 112 years, Columbia has earned acclaim for its old-world charm & award-winning Spanish/Cuban cuisine & wine list. Join us for century-old family recipes like Paella "a la Valenciana," Filet Mignon "Columbia," & fresh seafood specialties. Sample a fine Spanish wine like Torres, Montecillo or Campillo. Don't miss our world-famous Original 1905(R) Salad, named "One of America's Top 10 Best Salads" by USA Today -- The only restaurant in Florida to be named. Whether you choose a table looking out onto the radiant blue waters of the Intracoastal Waterway from the Mediterranean dining room, or experience the casual atmosphere from our outdoor deck on the water, you can enjoy the cuisine that has consistently been voted Tampa Bay's Favorite. Casual attire is fine, but we don't allow sleeveless shirts on men. We are a sister to the Columbia in Tampa's Ybor City, founded in 1905. Children's menu available. Open 365-days a year, including all holidays.
Reviewed March 22, 2012

We were staying at the Marriott Sand Key, next door to this wonderful restaurant. Around 3:30 my wife and I went for Happy Hour. We had two great bartenders, Holly and Lori. It's obvious from their personalities that they like their employer and enjoy people. Very efficient, knew the beer selections and made several excellent recommendations. We stayed for quite some time and luckily didn't have far to go. The food was so good that we went back the next evening after cancelling our prior reservations. To eat at the same place twice is a no no in my book but the girls Lori and Holly were just too good. The salad, the empanadas, the black bean cakes the Cuban Bread were just too good to pass up. But the Bread Pudding was too good to describe. Whenever my wife and I see Bread Pudding on the menu we order at least one. Well of all the gin joints in all the world I had to taste this bread pudding and I'll never be the same. It was just incredibly delicious. And Lori recommended it. We'll
be back for more - the place is large and incredibly clean and well worth a drive or walk.

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1  Thank Jackieboy014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,862 - 1,866 of 2,026 reviews

Reviewed March 18, 2012

Dined in feb 2012 with my wife and friends at the Clumbia the food and service was brill
You can sit outside looking out on the intercostal waterway or in the beautiful restaraunt
No early bird but the prices are ok.

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Thank 7frank
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 16, 2012

Second time around for us at Columbia - this place is awesome. Great food and Mojitos to die for. Sat outside overlooking the bay - very relaxing, great place to just chill! If you are in Clearwater Beach - this is a must visit.

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Thank audittflyer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 11, 2012

Popular place on Clearwater beach Sand Key. The menu has a large selection of Cuban and South. American dishes, large variety of Chilean and Arentine wines.

A good bar area that opens up to the intercostal waterway. Out door seating. Friendly bartenders.

The main dinning room is large without losing appeal. The room is relatively quite for so many tables enjoying themselves.

The main dishes we had were all very good. My wife had red snapper with eggplant and fried shrimp. The shrimp were wrapped in a thin layer of bacon, served with a delicious yellow rice with peppers and onions. The sauce on the fish was perfect.

My daughter had the shrimp supreme which was fried with bacon wrap as well. Servered with fried carrots and what they call, good rice. It is wild grain with a ton of butter.

I had a chicken dish with chorizo , onions and small diced potato. The sauce was a light brown, mostly olive oil. Really good.

Shared the key lime pie. One of the better ones I have had.

Cuban coffee with some steamed milk was great.

The starter salads were just okay. Should have tried some of the many tapas.

Would certainly come back. Lots of good things on the menu.

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1  Thank fnct
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 3, 2012

My wife and I and four friends were looking forward to this restaurant during our visit to Clearwater Beach but were very disappointed. The strip mall location is off-putting at first but the restaurant is separate and the interior décor is quite nice. We chose an outdoor table out on their large deck facing the water. So far so good. However, not long after being seated and wine ordered, I began to notice a sewage smell wafting into the dining area. That persisted for the entire evening, broken only by a customer lighting up a cigar making for a double olfactory whammy at the end of the evening.

I started off with the Gazpacho. The plain tomato soup base was OK and the assortment of diced fresh vegetables presented on the side helped some but a good gazpacho should be packed with flavor and some heat – this was bland and totally forgettable.

My wife and I decided to share the Paella a la Valenciana. What a disappointment. Again, a good paella should be packed with flavor. This bland offering had none of the caramelized fond from the bottom of the paella pan critical to building flavor. Also, real paella should have whole pieces of chicken on the bone that have been chargrilled for flavor before finishing to fork tender in the paella pan. This dish had small diced pieces of bland and dry chicken distributed throughout.

Our friends seemed OK with their dishes but the steaks ordered by two of them came out as a slab of meat on a white plate with no plating detail to speak of or attempt at a sauce. They did not look particularly appealing to me.

Given lots of other good eating options in the Clearwater Beach area, travelers would be wise to avoid heading to Columbia.

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2  Thank Time4RC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
guestservices1905, Public Relations Manager at Columbia, responded to this reviewResponded March 7, 2012

We are sorry to read that you did not enjoy your meal. We stress to our employees that we MUST provide a great experience for everyone who chooses to spend their time and money with us, and I am sorry that got it wrong on your visit.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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