Feb 12, 2024 - News

Bite Club: Ponte New American's standout food

Salmon Wagyu is the only thing that can make Yacob smile.

Salmon Wagyu is the only thing that can make Yacob smile. Photo: Yacob Reyes/Axios

My girlfriend, Maya, and I had dinner at Midtown Tampa's Ponte Modern American last week, carrying few expectations and oversized appetites.

The vibe: Ponte pitches itself as "steeped in contemporary luxury," and it lives up to that description. It's got an air of elegance that'll make you second-guess your outfit, more so if you're sporting an Axios half-zip.

Best bites: We started with an order of Salmon Wagyu — four bite-sized pieces of smooth, buttery fish resting on a bed of fried sushi rice. It packs a light kick with a dab of spicy aioli and a jalapeño on each piece.

  • Then came our entrees. I went for the boneless short rib, and Maya picked the Heritage chicken.
  • The rib is earthy and tender, easily pulled apart with a fork. It's paired with a scallion-potato puree, green apple slaw, jalapeños and a chili-peanut crunch.
  • The chicken is served with maitake mushrooms, Japanese fire carrots, spinach, pickled pearl onions and albufera sauce. Each bite offers a rich, juicy texture with a subtle crunch.

The verdict: Ponte is a standout restaurant, perfect for a special night or celebration, but perhaps a touch too expensive for a regular night out.

  • We clocked in at over $100. A 15% tip is automatically added to your bill.
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