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'Dolphin Tale' Star Dishes on Dining At Casa Tina

Harry Connick Jr. told the St. Petersburg Times that he ate at the downtown restaurant "50 times."

Casa Tina Gourmet Mexican and Vegetarian Cuisine is a longtime favorite for area foodies.

And apparently the downtown restaurant's and eclectic decor was a short-term favorite for at least one movie star.

Steve Persall, a movie critic for the St. Petersburg Times, reported that Harry Connick Jr. spent time dining at while filming "Dolphin Tale," a movie based on the true story of Winter, an injured bottlenose dolphin rehabilitated at Clearwater Marine Aquarium.

"When he did venture outside his room, it was usually farther north than autograph seekers might expect," Persall wrote.

He quoted Connick saying that he couldn't recall the name of the Mexican restaurant where he dined in Dunedin, but that he "went there 50 times, probably." Persall reported that Connick's "assistant" reminded him of the name.

"Everytime he was in ...somehow every merchant downtown had to use our bathroom!!!," Tina Marie Avilla, owner of Casa Tina, wrote on Dunedin Patch's Facebook post about the Times report.

Daniel Pranther, manager, also commented.

"Harry loved the Ceviche and Casa Tina, he had it almost every time he was here," he wrote, then plugged the restaurant's weekend special. "With that in mind don't forget about the Casa Tina this weekend."

"Dolphin Tale" premiers with at Ruth Eckerd Hall on Sept. 21.


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