Restaurant Reviews

  • The taco trio with chicken, carnitas and blackened shrimp
    Indulge in Tex Mex Delights at Wicked Cantina

    Austin-style Tex-Mex has landed in the Tyrone area of St. Petersburg by way of Wicked Cantina. The restaurant originated in the Sarasota area and has two locations in that vicinity – Anna Maria Island (Bradenton Beach) and downtown Sarasota. The restaurants are locally owned by some folks who are enthusiastic about sharing this cuisine from […]

  • Taylor Sams The Original Taylor Sandwich
    Taylor Sam’s Brings New Jersey Flavors to Downtown St. Pete

    Get your most important meal of the day at Taylor Sam’s in downtown St. Pete. The breakfast menu is top notch and has everything from a quick breakfast sandwich to hearty omelettes, specialty caffeinated drinks and more. Hungry for lunch? No problem. Whatever you’re craving, Taylor Sam’s has it. It’s a casual spot for breakfast […]

  • Burrata-Prosciutto
    Savoring Sea Grapes: Exploring the Flavorful Transformation

    Sea Grapes Eatery, nestled in the heart of St. Pete Beach, has undergone a culinary evolution since my last visit in 2022. Initially known for its wine-forward bar and array of small bites and Cheese & Charcuterie offerings, Sea Grapes has now transformed their menu to Latin-inspired Florida cuisine with the creative help of Chef […]


  • This quiche recipe is the vehicle for any kind of quiche - use any mix-in that you'd like
    Bacon and Spinach Quiche Recipe

    This zero-fuss bacon and spinach quiche recipe should be your new weekend go-to brunch. The effort required to craft this crowd pleaser is minimal and the reward is quite high. Additionally, you can transform this quiche into anything you want with the mix-ins. In my opinion, the bacon and spinach combination are fantastic, but feel free to get creative. I recommend limiting the mix-ins to just two and be sure not to exceed two cups in total. Sausage, onion, asparagus, ham and bell pepper would also work well in this quiche recipe. Another customizable component to this quiche is the cheese. The recipe calls for one total cup of grated cheese, but that’s the only guideline that you need to follow. I used a 50/50 blend of sharp white cheddar and a creamy fontina and it turned out better than expected. I initially planned to use gruyere in place of the fontina, but the fontina is what I came across first at Rollin’ Oats and I simply couldn’t resist it. They carry both cheeses though – they have Finlandia and Emmi brand gruyere and Belgioso fontina. Other types of cheese I suggest using are feta, swiss and even mozzarella. If you’re up for it, you can absolutely make your own pie crust; however, store bought frozen crusts will make your life much easier. Just make sure to allow for 20 minutes or so of thawing time. Rollin’ Oats carries a set of two organic pie shells by Wholly Wholesome brand and they’re delicious. They also have gluten free shells available by the same brand and they’re equally as good. Bacon and Spinach Quiche Recipe Use this quiche recipe as a base for making any quiche. Feel free to get creative with the mix-ins, but don't use too many (I wouldn't go beyond three). 1 pie crust (store bought, thawed)4 eggs1/2 cup heavy cream1/2 cup whole milk1/2 cup bacon (cooked and crumbled)1 1/2 cups spinach (fresh)1 cup cheese (shredded, plus more for serving/topping before baking – I used sharp cheddar and fontina, but feel free to use what you love. )1/2 tsp salt1/4 tsp black pepper Heat oven to 375F. Place a piece of parchment paper on the thawed pie crust and weigh down with pie weights (or small oven-safe utensil – I used a small skillet). Bake for 15 minutes. Remove parchment and weights and poke holes all over the bottom of the crust with a fork. Bake for another 6 minutes or until the crust begins to turn golden.Reduce oven heat to 350F. Combine eggs, heavy cream, milk, salt and pepper in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix on high for one minute.Stir in cheese, crumbled bacon and spinach.Carefully pour quiche mixture into partially baked pie crust. Top with more grated cheese (optional).Bake quiche for 45-50 minutes, or until quiche is set and no longer jiggly and crust is crisp and golden. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving. Slice quiche into 4 even pieces and serve. Breakfast, Brunch, Main DishAmericanBacon and Spinach Quiche

  • Oven Risotto with Roasted Mushrooms & Tomatoes
    Oven Risotto with Roasted Mushrooms & Tomatoes Recipe

    This preparation of risotto removes a whole lot of work and stirring with the use of the oven. The majority of the effort required to make this dish is required during prep. The steps all happen very quickly so it is absolutely crucial that all of your ingredients are prepped, measured, etc. before any of the cooking begins. This risotto is delicious on its own without the mushrooms and tomatoes; however, they really elevate the dish with flavor and texture. The mushrooms specifically are a true delight as they take on a beautiful crisp in the oven – the umami flavor is completely next level. Speaking of mushrooms, you can choose to use whatever kind you can get your hands on. I recommend oyster, shiitake, king trumpet and maitake. Rollin’ Oats carries a superfood mushroom mix that would be great for this recipe. Definitely don’t skip nor skimp on the lemon juice or zest as both add the perfect amount of acidity and brightness. Dill as a garnish also breathes a bit of freshness into the risotto which is composed with richer-leaning ingredients like parmesan, butter, vegetable broth and the mushrooms and tomatoes. If you don’t want to purchase a bottle of white wine just for this dish, use some dry vermouth that you already have on hand. Though, I’m willing to bet that Rollin’ Oats will have a nice bottle of white wine that won’t break the bank and you can enjoy after using it for this recipe. I suggest seeking out something like a sauvignon blanc, vinho verde or pinot grigio. Oven Risotto with Roasted Mushrooms & Tomatoes Recipe This method for preparing Risotto simplifies the process by minimizing all of the stirring. The roasted mushrooms and tomatoes taste like an explosion of umami. Tomatoes1 cup cherry tomatoes (cut in half)1 tbsp olive oil1/2 tsp salt1/2 tsp garlic powderMushrooms1 lb mushrooms (cut or torn into 1-2" pieces – use any mushrooms like shiitake, oyster, king trumpet or whatever you can find)2 tbsp olive oil4 garlic cloves (minced)6 thyme sprigs1/2 tsp saltRisotto & Assembly2 tbsp olive oil1 white onion (medium in size – diced)1 cup arborio rice1/2 cup white wine (dry vermouth will also work)1/2 tsp salt (plus more to taste)1/4 tsp black pepper (cracked)3 cups vegetable broth1 cup parmesan (grated)1 tsp lemon juice1 tsp lemon zest2 tbsp unsalted butter1/4 cup fresh dill (chopped)lemon wedges ((optional)) TomatoesMake the tomatoes first. Heat the oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss all tomato ingredients together in a bowl. Place the tomatoes, cut side up, on the prepared baking sheet. Roast tomatoes for 30-35 minutes or until the edges start to take on a little color. Add tomatoes to a plate and set aside until ready to plate. Reserve baking sheet for mushrooms.MushrooomsPlace one oven rack on the bottom and the other more towards the middle. Heat oven to 350F. Toss all mushroom ingredients together in a bowl and place them in a single layer on reserved baking sheet. Roast on the bottom rack for 30 minutes or until the mushrooms crisp up a bit.Risotto & AssemblyPrepare risotto while mushrooms are roasting. Heat oil in a dutch oven or other oven-safe pot with a lid over medium-high heat. Add in onion and cook for 4-6 minutes, or until onion softens.Add in rice and stir constantly for about 2 minutes until some of the rice begins to turn translucent.Pour in the white wine or vermouth and cook while stirring until most of the liquid is absorbed – about 2 minutes. Add in 1/2 tsp salt and pepper.Carefully pour in 2 1/2 cups of the vegetable broth and set remaining 1/2 cup aside (we will use this later). Bring pot to a simmer, place the lid on the pot and put into the oven on the middle rack for 18 minutes until most of the broth has been absorbed.Carefully take pot out of the oven, remove the lid and heat risotto over medium heat. Add in the remaining 1/2 cup broth and cook risotto while stirring constantly until rice is almost done and sauce has a creamy consistency, 3-5 minutes.Turn off the heat and stir in parmesan, lemon juice, zest and butter. Stir to combine and taste for salt. Add in more if needed.To plate, add risotto to bowls, top with tomatoes and mushrooms and garnish with dill. Serve with more lemon wedges if desired. Main CourseAmerican, ItalianOven Risotto, Oven Risotto with Roasted Mushrooms & Tomatoes

  • The Panko Crusted Pickled Deviled Eggs
    Panko Crusted Pickled Deviled Eggs Recipe

    My most recent restaurant review was centered around Sonata Restaurant at the Mahaffey Theater. For this month’s recipe, Kevin presented a brilliant idea of reverse engineering an item from Sonata’s menu. A few ideas were tossed around and ultimately, we landed on this one – Panko Crusted Pickled Deviled Eggs. We, of course, ordered these during our recent visit to Sonata and we absolutely loved this unique spin on a classic. Kevin informed me that the Panko Crusted Pickled Deviled Eggs from Sonata were carried over from The Mill by Chef Ted Dorsey who is now the executive chef at Sonata. These deviled eggs boast a tantalizing contrast with a crisp exterior giving way to soft, tangy center that delights the palate with each bite. The brightness of the avocado cream and the subtle kick of the spicy aioli serve as ideal complements to the eggs. I made some notes whilst first trying these at Sonata and when it came time to make my own rendition, I worked backwards and tried to keep each detail as close to the delicious original as possible. I started with the aioli and the avocado cream, which tasted like classic versions of themselves. The pickling of the eggs proved to be the most challenging, as there are at least a few ways to go about this. The concoction I used with red onions turned out spot on to how I had envisioned them. I have used beets in the past, but knew that a lot of people aren’t fond of them and the onions worked quite well in their place. Plan to make this recipe at least 24 hours before you plan to serve them, as the pickling process requires at least one full day. The ingredients required for this grown up version of deviled eggs are really quite simple – you’ll be able to pick them all up at Rollin’ Oats Natural Food Market. When picking out your eggs, opt for cage free and/or organic, like Vital Farms or Utophien. Rollin’ Oats even has organic breadcrumbs by Edward and Sons. As for the mayo, they also have organic options which makes me more than happy. I recommend Woodstock or Cadia. Recreating the plating of these eggs was so enjoyable as the presentation of them is quite gorgeous at the restaurant and I love the plating process. Serve these at your next dinner party, or perhaps for the upcoming Super Bowl – your guests will be more than impressed. Panko Crusted Pickled Deviled Eggs This recipe was inspired by the Panko Crusted Pickled Deviled Eggs on the menu at Sonata Restaurant in St. Petersburg, FL. They're a sophisticated and delicious spin on classic deviled eggs and are perfect for a party or gathering. Pickled Eggs6 eggs (or more/less depending on how many people you are serving – preferably cage free and organic)1 1/2 cups rice wine vinegar1/2 cup water6 garlic cloves (peeled and smashed)1/2 red onion (medium in size and sliced thin)1 1/2 tbsp sugar1 tbsp salt1 tsp black peppercornsAvocado Cream1/2 avocado (ripe and medium-large in size)1/2 lime (medium in size – about 2 tbsp)1/2 cup plain greek yogurt1/2 tsp salt (plus more to taste as needed)1/2 tsp olive oil1/4 tsp black pepper (cracked)Spicy Aioli1 cup mayonnaise3 garlic cloves1 tbsp lemon juice1 1/2 tsp cayenne (if you really like heat, add as much as you'd like.)1/2 tsp salt1/4 tsp black pepper (cracked)Panko Crusted Deviled Egg Assemblypickled eggsavocado creamspicy aioli1 cup panko breadcrumbs2 cups vegetable or canola oil (use any other frying oil of your choice)2 eggs (whisked together)1 cup all purpose flour3 tbsp mayonnaise1 tsp dijon mustard2 dashes hot sauce (like Diamond Crystal (optional))salt1/2 tsp paprikafresh dill (chopped, for garnish (optional)) Pickled EggsMake the pickled eggs at least 24 hours before you plan to serve them. Bring a large pot of water with enough water to cover eggs to a boil. Carefully add eggs to pot and boil for 10 minutes. Prepare an ice bath while the eggs boil. After the 10 minutes are up, add eggs to the bath to stop the cooking process. Leave for at least 10 minutes.In a medium pot, add all pickling ingredients with the exception of the eggs and onions. Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat and add the onions. While pickling solution cools a bit, carefully peel the eggs, discard ice bath water and place peeled eggs into the bowl used for the bath. Carefully pour pickling mixture with the onions over the eggs in the bowl used for the ice bath and place in the fridge for at least 24 hours.Avocado CreamThe day that you're going to assemble your eggs, make the avocado cream. Add all ingredients to a high powered blender and blend until well combined. Mixture should be similar to a yogurt-like consistency. Add water, 1/4 tsp at a time, if mixture is too thick. Season with more salt as needed and refrigerate until ready to assembleSpicy AioliAfter the cream is complete, make the aioli. Add all ingredients to a high powered blender and blend until well combined. Season with salt as need. Optionally, you can add this mixture to a squeeze bottle or piping bag for plating purposes. Refrigerate until ready to assemble.Panko Crusted Deviled Egg Assembly24 hours later, remove eggs from pickling mixture – they should be slightly pink. You can optionally reserve onions and pickling mixture in a jar for another use. Cut Eggs in half and carefully scoop out the cooked yolks and add them to a bowl. Mash them and then mix in the mayo, dijon, hot sauce (if using) until smooth. Season with salt as needed.Add flour, whisked egg and panko to three separate bowls and have a plate ready. One at a time, coat eggs in flour, next egg (allowing excess to drip off) and then panko. Set on reserved plate.Heat oil in a medium pot over medium high heat. Line a separate plate with a paper towel. One at a time, fry […]

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    Best Upscale-Casual Restaurants in St. Petersburg FL 2023

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    Best Taco Places in St. Petersburg FL 2023

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  • Chicken Taquitos
    10 Best Mexican Restaurants in St. Petersburg FL 2023

    Must Eat Mexican Treats in St. Pete If you search this site for “Mexican”, you may notice that I do all of the Mexican restaurant reviews. Why? It’s because I love Mexican food so much that I could literally eat it every day for a week straight. (I actually have done that before.) Two and […]

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