Creative Grape Unites Wine with Cuisines of the World

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Creative Grape Unites Wine with Cuisines of the World

Hidden in an inconspicuous shopping center just a few blocks north of Central Ave in Historic Kenwood is an artsy wine bar called Creative Grape. We drove in from the north and didn’t cross Central to get to the restaurant, so it truly gave off a great neighborhood vibe. I honestly didn’t even realize how close Creative Grape was to Central Ave until I later looked at the map to see exactly where I was. I couldn’t believe I was just steps from all the action but felt so far away.

Creative Grape is a wine bar, small plates restaurant and art gallery all in one. When you walk in, you’ll quickly be taken aback by how beautiful the bright and colorful artwork is. The goal is to curate a space to feature local artists’ work for all to enjoy while sipping on wine and nibbling on some good food.

Creative-Grape-Artwork
Creative Grape Artwork

The night I decided to check it out they had live music, which really set the mood. My friend and I chose our seats and were quickly greeted by a friendly server. The wine menu has plenty of options without being too overwhelming. I chose the Librandi Critone Val di Neto, a crisp tropical white wine, and my friend chose a Pinot Noir. Then we quickly decided to order the entire menu (sans dessert) since it was a small and affordable menu.

The menu consists of a variety of cuisines from around the world, including Asian, French and Mediterranean while using as many local ingredients as possible. It may seem odd to have that many different cuisines on one menu, but I was not put off by the variety. You have the option to try any or all cuisines while enjoying your wine and the art around you.

Cheese-and-Charcuterie
Cheese & Charcuterie

First to come out was the cheese & charcuterie board. It is seemingly your basic board with a couple meats and cheeses, but the mushroom pâté set this apart from any cheese board I’ve ever had. I was close to begging the chef for the recipe, I could have eaten spoonfulls of it.

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Shrimp-Ceviche
Shrimp Ceviche

The Shrimp Ceviche was classically prepared with lime juice, tomato, red onion, cilantro and jalapeños served with tortilla chips. You could tell the ceviche was marinating just long enough for the perfect balance of flavor.

Pork-Gyoza
Pork Gyoza

The Pork Gyoza was served with a traditional gyoza dipping sauce and the option for a side of hot chili oil. I forgot to ask for the hot chili oil until after I started eating it, so it’s not pictured, but I was glad I remembered before finishing them. It added that extra kick and pumped up the flavor of the gyoza. The gyoza itself was simply stuffed with flavorful pork and cabbage and then steamed and slightly crisped.

Neapolitan-Meatballs
Neapolitan Meatballs

I was a little hesitant when I first read the ingredients of the Neapolitan meatballs. The meatballs are made with a mix of beef, pinenuts and pecorino served with a spicy tomato sauce. The pinenuts are what initially what threw me off. I expected full pinenuts in the meatball, but that was not the case. The meatballs were a great consistency – not too dense and not falling apart. The flavor was just as good as the consistency, a little nutty from the pinenuts and pecorino and then balanced with the spicy tomato sauce.

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Ratatouille
Ratatouille

Ratatouille is a classic French dish made up of stewed vegetables. Typically, I have seen it made with vegetables thinly sliced and baked. Creative Grape chopped their veggies, including eggplant, bell pepper, zucchini, tomatoes, green beans and pinto beans and then stewed them in a tasty tomato broth. The tomato broth was worthy of taking a bath in, but I didn’t think anyone in the restaurant wanted to see that.

Chicken-Souvlaki
Chicken Souvlaki

The Chicken Souvlaki is prepared with thin pieces of marinated and well-seasoned chicken, skewered and grilled, then served with a house made tzatziki sauce. The chicken was juicy, tender and full of flavor and paired effortlessly with the tzatziki.

Lamb-Pastitsio
Lamb Pastitsio

Last, but not least, was my favorite dish of the night. The Lamb Pastitsio. It is made with pasta, ground lamb, mornay sauce, topped with ricotta and pecorino then baked. What separates pastitsio from other standard pasta dishes is the seasoning used in the sauce. I like to describe the seasonings as “warm”, so think cinnamon, clove, nutmeg. This is a heartwarming dish that I will be coming back for!

Creative Grape is a great neighborhood spot to avoid all of the hullabaloo that is typically going on in downtown St. Pete. Take a quick jaunt north and enjoy a relaxing, welcoming environment with delicious wine, good food, beautiful artwork and great vibes.

Creative-Grape-Artwork
Creative Grape Artwork
Creative-Grape-Dining-Room
Creative Grape Dining Room with Live Music
Creative Grape
  • Readers Rating
  • Rated 4.9 stars
    4.9 / 5 (14 )
$$
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  • Creative Grape
  • (727) 803-6004
  • Wine Bar, Art Gallery, Small Plates
    • Tue - Thu 4:00pm - 10:00pm
    • Fri - Sat 4:00pm - 12:00am
    • Sun - 4:00pm - 10:00pm
  • 3100 3rd Ave N , St. Petersburg, Florida 33713, US

Art Gallery & Wine Bar serving small plates in Kenwood, St. Petersburg

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