The downtown St. Petersburg area features an eclectic mix of independently-owned restaurants, providing a true reflection of St. Petersburg, Florida culture, and making it a fabulous destination for a “night on the town.” Enjoy these four restaurants, which all provide exciting atmosphere and some of the most delicious fare in town!
Offering some of the area’s very best service, it’s no wonder Parkshore Grill, located on Beach Drive, has become one of the area’s most popular fine date-dining and family-dinner destinations. Entrees include Pecan Crusted Tilapa in vanilla butter sauce (my mother’s personal favorite) and the Roasted Heritage Chicken with spinach, sundried tomatoes, and boursin cheese in wine sauce (my favorite). Sides are served family-style, which means you get to have a little bit of everything (if you’d like), including Buttermilk New Mashed Potatoes, Sharp Cheddar Mac and Cheese, Fresh Asparagus Hollandaise, and more. Afterwards, head on over to see a movie at Muvico Baywalk.
Red Mesa Cantina
If you’ve been to the area before, you may have heard of “Red Mesa,” on fourth street north, formerly Seabar, which has operated in the area since 1981. Then, two years ago, owners Peter and Shawn Veytia decided to extend their Southwestern cuisine to downtown by opening Red Mesa Cantina. Featuring an extensive taco menu with items like Ahi Tuna, Pork Carnitas, and Baja Fish, and dishes like Shrimp Al Mojo and my personal favorite, creamy Chicken Fernandez, Red Mesa Cantina offers something for everyone. Afterwards, make your way upstairs and enjoy a night of dancing at Push Ultra Lounge.
Ceviche Tapas Bar & Restaurant
If you’re looking for Spanish-style tapas, go to Ceviche, located in the historic Ponce de Leon Hotel at the corner of Beach Drive and Central Avenue. They offer a large menu of reasonably-priced tapas for plenty of sharing, but you can also order a full meal as well. Favorites include the Churrasco Al Cabrales with tender New York-style strip steak and shiitake mushrooms or the Pollo Al Ajillo in Spanish sherry sauce. For dessert, try the Torta Valenciana, an ultra-rich chocolatey cake served with vanilla crème, raspberry sauce, and fresh berries topped with powdered sugar. It’s out-of-this-world delicious! Just don’t get too full…there’s always live music here and plenty of dancing!
St. Pete Brasserie
A classic European brasserie formerly known as “Table,: this is the newest of trendy dining destinations to open up in downtown St. Petersburg. J. Ward, Executive Chef, has created a French-inspired menu that includes classics like Confit of Duck, Cassoulet, and Moules Frites Du Jour, which in French means “mussels.” Diners have a choice of eleven side dishes, including Cous Cous, Grilled Asparagus with Béarnaise, Cassoulette, or Mac & Cheese, to name a few.