Clementine Café sits within the Ybor Daily Market space on Seventh Avenue.
As Ybor City's open-air Clementine Café finalizes the menu for its January opening, owners Brian and Misty Sommers shared a few highlights with CL.
With grass-fed beef and poultry, along with organic produce, the offerings — cooked up by Brian inside an old-school Airstream trailer — will have a clean eats vein. But the simple yet elevated dishes fall under what one might classify as "porch grub," comfort food diners could see themselves chowing on at home with loved ones.
The Wicked 'Wiches restaurant-bar will serve local beer and a revolving menu.
On Thursday, Jan. 29, the region's 5-year-old Wicked 'Wiches food truck will launch Wicked 'Wiches & Brew, its brick-and-mortar restaurant-bar, in Tampa.
Operating until midnight during the week and 'til 3 a.m. on the weekend, 'Wiches & Brew will offer a rotating lineup of gourmet sandwiches, carried over from the mobile kitchen, in Urban Cantina's former space at 223 S. Howard Ave.
Items like the signature Fatt, Toast and Wood Fired Flat sandwiches will anchor the new restaurant's menu alongside house-made pickles and several kinds of hand-cut fries (and dipping sauces).
A proper Cubano, as you know, consists of roast pork, ham, salami, Swiss cheese, yellow mustard and dill pickles. And while some of us happen to be fans of fusion Cuban sandos — like the Stone Soup Company’s Jueban or the West Tampa Sandwich Shop’s Honey Cuban — purists don’t want none of your hybrid-ness.
As determined by this year’s four-stars-and-up reviews by CL Restaurant Critic Jon Palmer Claridge.
Quail and sweet potato waffles.
When it comes to Creole gumbo, “the proof, as they say, is in the ‘roux,’” opined Claridge. “And Roux’s roux rocks.” He also cheered the tasty Abita-battered alligator bites in a spicy cayenne rémoulade, and the wood-grilled trout meunière with flavorful maque choux.
GLORIOUS SPARKLERS: Explore an array of bubblies to discover one that fits your fancy.
With the holidays upon us, my thoughts turn to sparkling wine. The king of sparklers is obviously Champagne. But all sparkling wine is not created equal, and real Champagne only comes from that particular region in northeast France centered in Reims and Epernay. Because of the cool northern climate, these wines made from chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier are high in acidity and extremely crisp and dry, with tiny pinpoint carbonation. Most of the bubbles that you are familiar with are produced as non-vintages — meaning the grapes are blends from different years. Each well-known Champagne house produces its own style so that what you buy from year-to-year has a similar taste, unlike most wine, which will vary due to the growing conditions for grapes during a particular season.
Real Champagne from France is going to set you back around $40 (give or take) for popular U.S. brands, including Veuve Cliquot, Moët & Chandon and Perrier-Jouët. I happen to also be a fan of Mumm Cordon Rouge (with the distinctive red stripe on the label) and Lanson Black Label. They both have yeasty notes that remind me of great vintage champagnes like Dom Pérignon. The key is to try a range and see what fits your personal taste. The bubbles help cleanse your palate between bites, so Champagne goes with a wide range of foods, but most notably caviar, lobster, smoked salmon, oysters and fried foods.
Drinkers may order A Taste For Wine's beverages by the glass, bottle or case.
A Taste For Wine owners Rochelle Smith and Erin Shim will transition their downtown St. Pete wine bar to new owners after the holidays, "as it is time for new pursuits," according to a newsletter sent to patrons Tuesday.
Housed in a charming upstairs space, with a balcony that overlooks Central Avenue, A Taste For Wine has been owned by Smith and Shim since 1995.
"We thank you for 19 years of wonderful times, tasting wine, great conversations, friendships and learning from so many of you," the email continued.
Have you heard? Craft beer is huge in Tampa Bay — so huge that approximately 98.3%* of all local businesses opened in 2014 were breweries. Just take a look at that map! But what else sprang to life around the area this year? Let’s take a look.