A Secret Rendezvous with the New Menu at Tryst

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Tryst Adds Over 25 New Menu Items for Dinner & Brunch

We're not sure how many restaurants do this, but it sure is a great idea. When Tryst updates their menu, which happens 2-3 times a year, they have a two hour meeting with all of the employees where Chef Jon Robben cooks and explains every new item, and the staff gets to taste all of them. They are also nice enough to include St. Petersburg Foodies and Photographer Barry Lively so we can report on the new menu while eating about twice as much as we do on Thanksgiving. (It's a tough job, but ... sometimes we have to buy bigger pants.)

Tryst is a great place for people watching on trendy, touristy Beach Drive in Downtown St. Pete. It's a popular place to imbibe, see, and be seen. What is sometimes forgotten is that they have scrumptious eats from little snacks to burgers to full-blown gourmet entrées. We had a taste of every new snack (Bar Bites on the menu) and Dinner items. We didn't have time to go back a couple of days later for the new brunch items, but we have photos and menus for you to drool over. As soon as we get back from Christmas vacation, I'm making a beeline for Shrimp & Grits at Tryst.

We'll start with the dinner menu, and then brunch.

The best edamame in St. Pete is not at an Asian or Japanese restaurant. It is at Tryst. Why? Because they add a couple of extra ingredients that makes it more interesting than the usual stuff. It has garlic, lime and shaved Parmesan.

Blistered Edamame

Blistered Edamame

Brussels Sprouts sometimes get a bad rap, but that's because you may have had them from someone that didn't know how to cook them right. Tryst's Brussels Sprouts “on the barbie” with champagne vin and crispy shallot are quite tasty.

Brussels Sprouts “on the barbie” - champagne vin, crispy shallot

Brussels Sprouts “on the barbie” - champagne vin, crispy shallot

It might sound dumb to get so excited over potato chips, but these babies are homemade and the dipping sauce is so good, that we would kill for these. I love deviled eggs, so the Dueling Bread is a favorite, and the Calamari Fries - Yum! Here are the rest of the Bar Bites we had.

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“Za” Flavored Chips

“Za” Flavored Chips - sriracha ranch

Dueling Bread

Dueling Bread - house pesto on crostini and devilled egg spread on grilled sourdough

Chorizo, Olives and Toothpicks...

Chorizo, Olives and Toothpicks...

Calamari Fries - mom’s marinara, pesto mayo

Calamari Fries - mom’s marinara, pesto mayo

There are a lot of items here, so we won't comment on all of them. In general we loved almost everything. We'll comment on the major standouts, and a couple that were least favorites. If there is no comment, assume we liked it a lot or loved it.

From the "Mids" section of the menu

Beets - bulbs and greens, roasted fried and pickled, house pesto, blood orange vin

Beets - bulbs and greens, roasted fried and pickled, house pesto, blood orange vin

One of my favorites that I would eat all day every day is the Frisee and Brussel Sprout Salad - crispy poached egg, applewood bacon bits, shaved onion, blue cheese vin. The photo shows the egg after we broke it. (Lori wasn't fond of it as she is not a fan of bleu cheese.)

Frisee and Brussel Sprout Salad - crispy poached egg, applewood bacon bits, shaved onion, blue cheese vin

Frisee and Brussel Sprout Salad - crispy poached egg, applewood bacon bits, shaved onion, blue cheese vin

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The Spaghetti Squash “Hashbrowns” weren't bad, but also didn't "wow" us. I liked the mushrooms on top the best.

Spaghetti Squash “Hashbrowns” - wild mushroom ragu, sweet pea puree

Spaghetti Squash “Hashbrowns” - wild mushroom ragu, sweet pea puree

Crispy Sweet Pork Tacos - avocado, cucumber-carrot salad, blood orange mojo, garlic crema, pickled jalapeno

Crispy Sweet Pork Tacos - avocado, cucumber-carrot salad, blood orange mojo, garlic crema, pickled jalapeno

It's starting to seem like octopus is the new black. It makes me wonder if the city of St. Petersburg has made it a law that every restaurant has a mandate to have octopus on the menu. When it comes to Tryst's Grilled Octopus though, there's no eye roll required. They have one of the best octopus dishes we've tasted in awhile. They are probably in the top 3-5 in St. Pete, and even a contender for #1.

Grilled Octopus - blood orange, grated chorizo, frisee, garlic crema

Grilled Octopus - blood orange, grated chorizo, frisee, garlic crema

Bison Carpaccio - porcini crusted, cured yolk, house pesto, baby potato chips, garlic horsey sauce, chives

Bison Carpaccio - porcini crusted, cured yolk, house pesto, baby potato chips, garlic horsey sauce, chives

The new "Mains" on the Tryst Menu

The Burger - prime angus beef, tillamook cheddar, candied applewood bacon, tomato pepper sauce, arugula, crispy onion, brioche bun, truffle fries or arugula side salad

The Burger - prime angus beef, tillamook cheddar, candied applewood bacon, tomato pepper sauce, arugula, crispy onion, brioche bun, truffle fries or arugula side salad

Pumpkin and Pea Risotto - LOVED IT!

Pumpkin and Pea Risotto - parmesan, pepitas

Pumpkin and Pea Risotto - parmesan, pepitas

The Spaghetti Carbonara was too rich for us. Lori is a "saltaholic" and puts it on almost everything. She would not put salt on this.

Spaghetti Carbonara - pork cheek confit, parmesan and pecorino cheeses, cured yolk, crispy poached egg

Spaghetti Carbonara - pork cheek confit, parmesan and pecorino cheeses, cured yolk, crispy poached egg

The Chicken is outstanding! IL Ritorno is the #1 best chicken in St. Pete. Tryst's is #2.

Butter and Thyme Roasted ½ Chicken - crispy fingerlings, sauté greens, truffle au jus

Butter and Thyme Roasted ½ Chicken - crispy fingerlings, sauté greens, truffle au jus

Shoulder Tender Steak - peppercorn sauce, buttermilk smashed potatoes, roast brussels sprouts

Shoulder Tender Steak - peppercorn sauce, buttermilk smashed potatoes, roast brussels sprouts

The Fresh Grilled Cobia was a nice hearty dish for a seafood item. It looked like meat, and was seasoned like meat. We liked it, and it is fresh and local.

Fresh Caught Grilled Cobia - roasted butternut squash, ginger coconut quinoa, curry coulis

Fresh Caught Grilled Cobia - roasted butternut squash, ginger coconut quinoa, curry coulis

Espresso Rubbed Tuna - crab and cucumber relish, crispy sweet potatoes, sweet pea puree

Espresso Rubbed Tuna - crab and cucumber relish, crispy sweet potatoes, sweet pea puree

New Drinks at Tryst by Kung Fu Bartender Pat Lee

Amatista - muddled lime, sage, cucumber, jalapeno, blueberry, don julio, mathilde creme de casis

Amatista - muddled lime, sage, cucumber, jalapeno, blueberry, don julio, mathilde creme
de cassis

Beach.Drive.Dier - ricard wash, bulleit rye, campari, amaro, limoncello, lemon zest

Beach.Drive.Dier - ricard wash, bulleit rye, campari, amaro, limoncello, lemon zest

Bouquet D’Hiver - nolets, egg white, st germaine, fugets violet liquor, lemon, sage

Bouquet D’Hiver - nolets, egg white, st germaine, fugets violet liquor, lemon, sage

Build Your Own Highball - scotch, ice, soda, that’s it, choose 1 of 4 select scotch

Build Your Own Highball - scotch, ice, soda, that’s it, choose 1 of 4 select scotch

Cosmic Blush - titos, grand marnier, squeeze and toss lime, pama, black rock candy stick

Cosmic Blush - titos, grand marnier, squeeze and toss lime, pama, black rock candy stick

Winter Bramble - muddled mint, blackberries, cognac, top with champagne

Winter Bramble - muddled mint, blackberries, cognac, top with champagne

New Brunch Comestibles at Tryst for the Winter 2017 Menu

Several of the new items above are also available on the brunch menu.

Gingerbread Spice Dutch Baby – a golden brown baked pancake, crisp edges, soft center, served with maple whipped cream

Gingerbread Spice Dutch Baby – a golden brown baked pancake, crisp edges, soft center, served with maple whipped cream

Sweet Potato Biscuits and Sausage Gravy - made from scratch, this southern classic is served with 2 eggs and sauteed spinach

Sweet Potato Biscuits and Sausage Gravy - made from scratch, this southern classic is served with 2 eggs and sauteed spinach

Chorizo and Fingerling Potato Hash - roasted bell peppers, crispy poached egg, garlic crema

Chorizo and Fingerling Potato Hash - roasted bell peppers, crispy poached egg, garlic crema

Croque Madame – open-faced sandwich on grilled sourdough with ham de paris, comté cheese béchamel sauce and two over-easy eggs

Croque Madame – open-faced sandwich on grilled sourdough with ham de paris, comté cheese béchamel sauce and two over-easy eggs

Grilled Shrimp and Grits - aged cheddar and Parmesan grits, roasted tomatoes and fennel

Grilled Shrimp and Grits - aged cheddar and Parmesan grits, roasted tomatoes and fennel

The Wrap - roasted chicken salad, frisee, pickled veg, avocado, cherry tomato, house made spinach wrap, truffle fries or arugula side salad

The Wrap - roasted chicken salad, frisee, pickled veg, avocado, cherry tomato, house made spinach wrap, truffle fries or arugula side salad

Kevin Godbee, Jon Robben, Lori Brown

Kevin Godbee, Jon Robben, Lori Brown

(All Photos by Barry Lively - Courtesy of Tryst)

Click on the menus for a larger version

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Tryst
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  • Tryst
  • 727-821-4567
  • American, Eclectic
    • Mon - Fri 4:00pm - 3:00am
    • Sat - Sun 11:00am - 3:00am
  • View menu
  • Take Reservations: Yes!
  • 240 Beach Drive, St. Petersburg, FL 33701, US

Hot spot on Beach Drive with great people watching, and delectable food.

DISCLAIMER: Kevin, Lori, Abby, & Haley do not dine anonymously (this would be impossible) and we sometimes get free food (though never expected). However, we dine with the locals and we support our own. You will always get honesty in a respectful manner.
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