I don't understand the bad reviews some people are giving Malio's. I've been to great steak houses - Peter Lugers, Mortons, Flemings, many more - and while this was not as good as those, it deserves honorable mention.
My girlfriend and I went here with a groupon, and although I kind of expected to be treated like a second class citizen because I was using a discounted certificate at a fancy steakhouse, our service was fantastic. I really should do a better job of remembering my servers' names, or waiting to write a review until I have the receipt in front of me, because some servers deserve special recognition. Oh well, whoever you were, this is the bald guy who went there for his birthday Friday night with the gorgeous brunette for his birthday. Great job!
Moving on, Malio's is located in the bottom floor of an office building in downtown Tampa, kind of hard to find, but worth the trip. I got a 16oz strip steak with a baked potato and some lobster bisque. The bisque wasn't the best I had - it didn't have any chunks of lobster - but it was salty and creamy and very good. The steak was thick and juicy and cooked to perfection. It was a bit fattier than I would have expected, but it was seasoned well and like I said, cooked perfectly. The baked potato was a little overcooked, but I don't mind that and it was filled with butter and bacony goodness.
My girlfriend didn't love hers as much as I did. She got grouper and ate about half of it and then left the to go box in my car - standard operating procedure for her. So perhaps they don't do seafood as well as they do steak, or maybe it was just the grouper.
Price was as you'd expect. A bit cheaper than the top steakhouses, but the steaks were still in the mid 30's to 40's.
Seating was great, as we were in a section with large windows - though it was night, I think it was overlooking the hillsborough river. Not positive about that. The booths have very high backs, which provides some extra privacy. There was a large party of about 20 seated right behind us, and though we could hear them, it wasn't so noisy that we couldn't enjoy ourselves.
Sure, there are better steakhouses out there, but you can't go wrong at Malio's. I don't think I could go here without the groupon since $60+ pp meals are a bit rich for us, but I would definitely come back.
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