Tuesday, November 21, 2017


Laura Reiley, Times food critic

Laura Reiley, Times food critic

Laura Reiley is the Tampa Bay Times' restaurant critic and a former critic for the San Francisco Chronicle and the Baltimore Sun. She is the author of four books in the Moon Handbook series: Florida Gulf Coast; Walt Disney World and Orlando; Tampa and St. Petersburg; and the Paradise Coast. She has cooked professionally and is a graduate of the California Culinary Academy.

Red Mesa Cantina in downtown St. Petersburg. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]

St. Petersburg’s Red Mesa Cantina expands to top two floors

The Red Mesa group has grown again.It’s been in the works for a while: downtown St. Petersburg’s Red Mesa Cantina expanded vertically, annexing the space that belonged to Push Ultra Lounge and DeSanto before that. With no grand opening, not...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Pelagia at the Renaissance Tampa International Plaza Hotel, as it does every year, offers a prix-fixe menu that is a selection of Thanksgiving favorites and less traditional temptations, all the handiwork of executive chef Brett Gardiner.

No Thanksgiving plan? Head to one of these Tampa Bay restaurants for traditional feasts and more

You realize Thanksgiving is just a week away, right? No pressure. If you don’t have a holiday game plan for Nov. 23, let’s do this thing. There are still a bunch of options, many traditional Thanksgiving repasts and some a little less conventional.
Published: 11/16/17
Oak & Stone with self-serve beer coming to St. Pete, South Tampa’s Byblos to reopen

Oak & Stone with self-serve beer coming to St. Pete, South Tampa’s Byblos to reopen

COMING SOON: OAK & STONEBeen to Oak & Stone in Sarasota? In early 2018 we’ll get one in St. Petersburg at 199 Central Ave., next to the newly constructed Hyatt Place. The concept is wood-fired pizzas mated with a self-serve beer wall...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/20/17
Georges Duboeuf hires a new artist to design labels every year, and in 2017 that artist is St. Petersburg mixed media artist Ari Azzopardi Robinson. Azzopardi Robinsonâ\u0080\u009A\u0080\u0099s work, â\u0080\u009A\u0080\u009CCandy Coated,â\u0080\u009A\u0080\u009D was selected from hundreds of submissions in a social media contest this spring.

A St. Petersburg artist created the labels for this year’s Beaujolais Nouveau wine release

Every year, there are bad things we can count on: taxes and death. And good things: Thanksgiving Day on the fourth Thursday of November and on the Thursday before, the Beaujolais nouveau arrives. What is less predictable is just how this vin de...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/17/17
CHERIE DIEZ   |   Times
Enchiladas at NuMex Chile,  2710 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, Fla., October 26, 2017.

Restaurant review: NuMex needs to tell its story better to stand out among St. Petersburg’s taco scene

ST. PETERSBURGI seldom have been so perplexed about a new restaurant. The prospect of NuMex’s opening in the Grand Central District swirled more than a year ago and I watched the hip little building come together. The spelling of the name...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Patrons enjoy Park & Rec as Proper Kitchen & Cocktails is seen to the left Friday in St. Petersburg. Park & Rec will expand Nov. 17 into a second building. It will take over the space that has been Proper Kitchen & Cocktails. (CHRIS URSO   |   Times)

Proper in downtown St. Pete to close as Park & Rec takes over its space

ST. PETERSBURG — Next week, something almost unprecedented is happening in St. Petersburg’s restaurant scene.Park & Rec, the game-oriented concept from Stephen Schrutt’s Hunger + Thirst Restaurant Group, will expand Nov. 17 into a second...
Published: 11/10/17
Big Storm Brewing in Clearwater approached Bill Brown, the owner and chief chocolatier at the justly famous William Dean Chocolates in Belleair Bluffs. What if the two companies teamed up to make a chocolate-inflected specialty beer? Bill Brown, not a huge beer drinker, was intrigued. And then, he thought, what if I produce chocolates that are infused with Big Storm Brewing beers?

Help name Big Storm’s new toffee chocolate stout, made with William Dean

Collaborations between brewers are not new. Nor are collaborations between brewers and distillers. Or beer brewers and coffee brewers. It makes sense: Use a barrel for one thing, then it in turn imparts interesting flavors to the next thing that’s...
Published: 11/09/17
Ryan O'Neil's winning cocktail, the Out of the Skye, contained Drambuie, Monkey Shoulder scotch, a cranberry ginger syrup, meyer lemon juice, Angostura bitters, egg white and an oloroso sherry rinse.

Local mixologists tackle Drambuie, a whiskey with ties to Bonnie Prince Charlie and Prohibition

ST. PETERSBURGIn July 1746, John MacKinnon helped Bonnie Prince Charlie escape from the Isle of Skye in Scotland. In thanks, the prince gave MacKinnon the secret recipe to his personal liqueur, later known as Drambuie. An aged Scottish malt...
Updated: 1 hour ago
You can order a turkey for Thanksgiving at many places in Tampa Bay.

Don’t want to cook on Thanksgiving? Where to pick up every part of the meal in Tampa Bay

Some years you’re feeling it. The peeling of the pearl onions, the procuring of the chestnuts, that one creepy moment when you’re nearly elbow-deep trying to locate the bag of giblets. Thanksgiving is the most important cooking holiday of the year,...
Published: 11/08/17
EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times
Chef Jason Goddard mans the mozzarella bar at Barbatella in Naples on Monday, October 30, 2017. Barbatella is the sister restaurant of Sea Salt.

Naples is a dining destination worth visiting, rich with newcomers and long-standing favorites

Updated one month ago