The Wine Exchange
1609 W Snow Ave, Tampa, FL 33606
Fax: (813) 258-3738
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
Alcohol: Full Bar
Bike Parking: Yes
Takes Reservations: Yes
Outdoor Seating: Yes
Specialties: American Restaurant, American, American Food
Price Range : Average
Pets Allowed: Yes
12/06/2010Provided by Citysearch -
Keep wallking on to another venue would be my best advice. The quite extensive menu here suggests they are fully prepared to serve lunch items in a timely manner. Au contraire. After waiting for our ordered food for 1 hour + , we were starved and had to leave. The manager claimed the kitchen is small and there is only one oven. A good suggestion would be to limit the menu to items that can be handled by the facility and avoid having to string patrons on with lame excuses. Also, the outdoor seating is extremely noisy. Be prepared to scream to be heard by your dining companions.
I have been going to the Exchange since their days on Swann Avenue. While I think the new restaurant is beautiful in its own right, I do miss the character of the ""French Bistro styling"" of the old. But I am more thankful for what has not changed. The friendly, caring staff; the suberb wine selection; and plenty of outdoor seating. While the food remains (as in the old place) at times suspect, overall the quality has improved...I just wish it had improved enough to match the decor and staff and is the primary reason for 4 rather than 5 stars. The highlight of any visit to the Exchange begins with the staff. They are friendly and hard working. You can tell at once that they truly care for their guests and want everyone to have a great experince. On the occasions when something is not right from the kitchen ( I have yet to have a problem with bar/wine service) the management team has immediately stepped up and solved the problem. I disagree with other reviewers who have had problems with the staff. There are moments (thankfully becoming more frequent in this horrible economy) when this little bistro is filled with customers and the staff is pushed to the limit, but I have never experienced what previous reviewers suggest is unprofessional behavior. The Wine Exchange exudes an eclectic feel and humor that is unique in South Tampa....Alot of which has to do with the great staff. Go there with an open mind and empty stomach, watch the fascinating people walk by, and relish the opportunity to enjoy an outstanding selection of wines. Those with pretense should just walk by and keep going to Restaurant BT down the road.
I live & work in the Hyde Park area. I would say that the WIne Exchange is one of my favorite restaurants in Tampa. I'm not saying that it is impossible for someone to have problem in their dining experience, but the staff & management have always been very friendly & accomadating throughout all my experiences. When asked by my customers where to dine in Hyde Park...I always suggest the Wine Exchange! Many people on their return to my shop have nothing but praise & thanks for the reccomendation.
01/21/2009Provided by Citysearch -
I've been in the hospitality business for many years now. We, as a whole, seem to be even MORE critical than the average person. I've frequented your establishment quite a few times now, and here's what I've observed/overheard from your staff talking. For starters, drinking while working is not a good mix, ESPECIALLY for managers. Managers are supposed to set an example for the rest of the staff!! When things start getting busy, it's the responsibility of a manager to get off their butts, and help...the staff needs to understand that in such hard times, every table needs to be treated like they're the only table in the place! that means giving EACH table, EACH guest, the best possible service. The guests don't want to hear or be aware of the problems going on. The kitchen needs to really work on getting your BASIC menu items out in a reasonably decent time. 30 minutes max, decent. And so many times, the food varies. One day, a cook will make things slightly different than another cook. The food ican be great, depending on who is cooking. And since you're known for wine, being told several times now, that you're ""in the process of changing your wine list"" and that's why you're out of some of the menu, is ludicris! If things go wrong, and they will, be more willing to comp a MEAL...it leaves a good lasting impression, and a guaranteed repeat visit...a dessert in lieu of a 45 minute appetizer, does not suffice. Your foundation is good, but there are defenite cracks appearing. I'd hate to see yet another eatery go downhill, so I say these things in the hopes that things change, and you can have continued success, as a wonderful establishment. A few visits ago, our server told me she had only been there for a couple weeks. I told her that was the best service I ever got, in all the times I've been there. In our conversation, I found myself thankful for the few people left, in this day, who understand the importance of customer service and all that means..I have hope...
This dining fiasco began with our calling in advance to place our party on the wait list. When I asked if she needed my cell number, she told me she had no time to record it & abruptly hung up. The hostess greeted us with equal disdain upon arrival. We fled to the bar for a round of cocktails with a dear friend in town who accompanied us. Thirty minutes later, the hostess curtly informed us, ""I need you to pay your bill so that I cant take you to the table."" This was her way of saying, ""Your table is ready, please pay up and follow me."" We were escorted to a table on the enclosed patio next to a drafty door through which staff repeatedly entered & exited throughout the entire, painful meal. The outdoor heating system was operated by a thermostat behind our table. Throughout the meal, staff reached over our table to adjust it. Unprepared for an outdoor table next to a door, we began adjusting it ourselves, as we were freezing, not properly attired for this bizarre placement. The server was distant, detached & unavailable. The food was not memorable. The Wine Exchange, when located next to the cinema, was one of our favorite places in South Tampa. We'll never return or recommend it. How sad. In this economy, it is imperative to make the patron feel welcomed. We were a pleasant party who deserved better.
Walking up to the Wine Exchange you would think you were in a different city! Until you get in and get told it will be an hour and a half wait! Which only ends up being 30 mins a good thing right! Wrong after getting drinks at the bar we were sat at a table outside by a hostess which was in blue jeans and a t-shirt classy? ""ended up being the manager"" the busser was dressed better and the ""manager"" smelled like liquior! After sitting down we waited I dont know about 15 mins for a server to come to the table which she smelled like an ash tray. So we order 2 apps to start and dinner well after waiting about 45 mins for the apps then the dinners come another 47 mins later we timed it min by min since the apps took so long! The dinner was so nasty we did not even eat it! The bread was cold! We could never get our waters refilled! The worst food we have ever had!!!!! So then after waiting for our check for another 20 mins. We dont even get a thank you! I would never eat their again not even if it was free! It is a waste of time and money to go into the wine exchange! You would be more happy eating dinner at the soup kitchen because atleast you would get something with some heart and soul put into it!
11/12/2008Provided by Citysearch -
When I moved to Tampa 3 years ago I knew I wanted to live in the Hyde Park area because of the close proximity of the movie theater (since closed), the coffee shop and several restaurants - all within walking distance. Over the years I have become endeared to the Wine Exchange. From the modest cozy location I originally frequented to the newer, brighter and livelier spot I have never had a less than optimal experience. Whenever I have guests in town I be sure to bring them to my favorite restaurant and encourage them to try the baked brie appetizer or the delicious crab stacker. Since they acquired a full bar license I will from time to time try out a new martini but still stick to my passion of trying out new wines.
My favorite dishes usually include something that is blackened (scallops, shrimp or the filet) but I will sometimes be adventurous and try one of the nightly specials. My guests or I have never had a meal we didn't rave about. By the way, though the wine list is extensive the prices for the bottles are quite reasonable.
I will agree with a previous reviewer that the Wine Exchange isn't the best place for children in the evening hours.
Love this place, can't wait to go back again!
10/30/2008Provided by Citysearch -
I absolutely love this restaurant and I find its staff not only friendly and welcoming, but knowledgeable. People who give less than stellar reviews to this fine establishment are perhaps not well informed about the type of restaurant it is or have questionable tastes. This is not a very good place to bring children at night. Try coming at lunch instead. Especially on a Friday night, it could be packed and staff could be torn in twenty different directions at once. The food and the wine list are excellent. Any time anything is not 100% to one's liking, one should ask for the situation to be corrected. Never have I had any issue from staff on the very, very rare occasion when I wanted something changed or asked for a modification of a menu item. This isn't McDonald's, people, so please don't expect it to be 100% kid friendly in the evening hours. This is a bar, as well as a restaurant, so adults might not view the presence of small children as a plus. Personally, I don't drink on your child's playground, so don't bring your child to mine!
09/19/2008Provided by Citysearch -
Agree with other ""would not return"" poster on 9-15. Although we have 2 kids and didn't have those issues with the kids, it is the food that was utterly disappointing. The lamb special was served cold (it had obviously been sitting out a while), the meat was fatty, and the vegetables tasted frozen. The salad with bland and boring. The kids pizza was OBVIOUSLY frozen and reheated, it was dry and tasteless. For these prices I expect better. Then whe we complained we were not offered any solution to the problem. We finished the meal and left. With so many other choices available we will not spend money here again. Bleh.
09/15/2008Provided by Citysearch -
I showed up on a Friday at 5 pm to eat with my 3 children, who are generally well behaved. I immediately got ""the look"" that they did not want children there. We were seated, however, as there were many tables available. Once we sat down, my daughter said she would go back outside and move my 2 year olds stroller down the sidewalk so it was right outside the table where we were sitting. She came back in a front facing door (faces the sidewalk, towards the street) and I was quickly approached by a manager who told me very rudely ""that door is not supposed to be used, okay?!"" I must have just stared at him for a few seconds with a blank expression, as he then walked off in a huff. So, why do you have a door that faces the street that is unlocked that cannot be used?
I then noticed another couple in with 2 kids and they finally had to go find someone to wait on them. This is a very not-child friendly place, as well as a not nice place! Food was average; it is too bad it is like this because it is a beautiful setting, in Hyde Park and could be so great! Hyde Park is surrounded by families looking for a good experience out. I wish, as do my other friends, that another place would open up more like Cactus Club used to be; good meeting place, great for a few drinks, kid friendly.
08/24/2008Provided by Citysearch -
My wife and I had not been to the new location and were finally able to go this past Saturday night. The inside seating was full so we were seated outside, fortunately it was a bit cooler than usual and with the numerous fans it was pleasant. Our waitress was very friendly and attentive to her patrons. We ordered several varieties of wines by the glass, appetizers and dinner. The food was fabulous! The service was excellent and we will certainly return!
08/12/2008Provided by Citysearch -
There is no reason that The Wine exchange can't accommodate children. It still is an informal setting, with very basic food, at somewhat reasonable prices. It's odd that a few of the clientele approve of rudeness as long as it is directed at other patrons.
The Wine Exchange is a neighborhood restaurant. Their core clientele has always been mostly parents, not snooty drunks.
06/05/2008Provided by Citysearch -
My friends and I dined last evening (Wednesday) for the third and last time at the new location. The warm service has become indifferent, no more nightly wine ""specials"", higher prices, more limited menu with food that relies on richness instead of flavor (lots and lots of cream sauces and cheese....). The manager seemed to keep things moving (she even delivered some meals to the tables), but even her attention could not overcome the apathy of the wait staff and new entree offerings. We are all quite sad about the experience, remembering what The Wine Exchange used to be. I would not recommend the restaurant.
04/14/2008Provided by Citysearch -
The Wine Exchange, Hyde Park, Tampa, Fl
What a most bizarre experience. We were looking forward to trying the new location of Wine Exchange, as we had been fans of the old location. Arrived about 8:30 on a Friday night and were told we would have a 30-35 minute wait. One in our party sat at the bar to wait, while the others were parking the car. Ordered drinks and appetizer. (wine selection was great). Appetizer of black bean hummus and pita wedges was just ok. No one bothered to finish. After waiting for what seemed to be an eternity, I checked on our table, only to be told it would be about ""another five minutes"". This, after almost an hour of waiting. Meanwhile, my husband was observing that people were coming in after us, and being seated. After another lengthy interlude, my husband went to inquire again about our wait. He was told once again that it would be another five minutes or so, to which he replied, ""why am I seeing people that have come in well after me, but are being seated before me."" At that point the ""host "" retreated, and the manager came to speak with us. When the ""host"" returned, he became quite agitated. He announced to us ""I will not be yelled at on my shift!"" and proceeded to storm out of the room. The manager attempted to persuade us to stay, even ""comping"" our drinks and appetizers. At that point, most of the party was ready to move on due to the obvious oversight of our name, and lack of an appropriate response. It was decided by majority to move on to another restaurant. Strangely enough, as we were having a nice quiet meal in another restaurant, the owner of the Wine Exchange came into the room and yelled at one of the people in our party, telling him never to come into his restaurant again. Huh? I wish I could review the Wine Exchange properly, but not being able to sample the food left me in a quandry. Food could be good, but service????
Obviously, the customer does not come first in this establishment.
03/22/2008Provided by Citysearch -
small dinner party, and we were excited to try the new location and atmopshere...very dissapointed with service, the quality of food was lacking any flavor, and the management seemed oblivious to all that was going on around them during a busy Friday night. Reservations are now being taken unlike before, but that does not mean anything! Great location, but lacking all else.