FOOD BITES – Restaurant News

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FOOD BITES

It’s hip, it’s funky, it’s so un-stuffy and cool that it’s almost hard to believe you are chilling at the distinguished Renaissance Vinoy.  Paul’s Landing, the hotel/resort’s  new pool-front indoor-outdoor restaurant, officially opened Feb. 19. The vibe is Caribbean colorful and casual, and the small Florida food menu focuses mainly on lunch items such as fish tacos and sandwiches,  salads, smoked beef brisket and burgers.  “The menu is all about locally-sourced  … seafood, citrus, smoked fish and meats,” said executive Chef Mark Heimann. The Paul’s Landing name pays homage to  pioneer William Paul, who allegedly brought the first smokehouse to a tiny settlement which later became St. Petersburg.

The new eatery has an entrance from the sidewalk alongside the Vinoy Yacht Basin, making it easily accessible to the public.  “We believe this will be a welcome addition to the community and especially to boaters,” added Heimann. But it’s the open-air bar and wrap-around patio seating offering  a stunning view of the  marina and downtown skyline that caught our eye. A dozen craft beers are on tap, including a refreshing Paul’s Landing Orange Wheat produced locally by 3 Daughters Brewing.

 Kudos to Chef Lauren Macellaro of the highly-touted  Reading Room in St. Petersburg for her nomination as a semifinalist chef in the South division of the prestigious James Beard Awards.

 More yummy news:  These Burg restaurants  received recognition by Florida Trend magazine in the 2018 Golden Spoon Awards, considered the best in the state. The honorees are:

FarmTable Cucina – Farm to Table
Il Ritorno – Contemporary Italian
Marchand’s Bar & Grill (at the Vinoy) – Contemporary
Parkshore Grill – American
Reading Room – Contemporary
Sea Salt – Contemporary

The Historic Manhattan Casino, 642 22nd Street S., is set to reopen with two restaurants in late March. The  large event space on the second floor  is currently open and ready to host any kind of special event. 

On the ground floor of the historic building, Callaloo will feature a unique regional cooking style, highlighting the variety of flavors of foods indigenous to Florida and the Caribbean. “Floribbean” dishes such as Crab and Callaloo Stew will dot the menu, along with Southern favorites like fried chicken, collard greens, and macaroni and cheese. Also housed on the ground floor within the footprint of Callaloo will be a Pipo’s Cafe, serving up the traditional Cuban food that Tampa Bay has enjoyed for decades from other Pipo’s locations. Guests in the dining room will be able to order from either the Callaloo or Pipo’s Cafe menu and both concepts will be equipped to handle off-site catering for special events. For a full review, check  our May-June issue.