Alma, formerly Café Alma, held its official grand reopening at John's Pass Wednesday. A VIP gathering from 5 to 7 p.m. gave CL
a taste of the eatery's Madeira Beach offerings, which haven't changed much.
Those who frequented Scott and Thorn Vogel's restaurant during its 12-year run in downtown St. Petersburg will be pleased with how well the menu at Alma reflects the café's. Scott, who's also Alma's executive chef, kept the regulars happy.
The invite-only sampling brought tapas, of course, including ground sirloin and chorizo sausage meatballs, chorizo and chick pea empanadas, fried sweet shrimp and chili aioli-topped new potatoes, to a room of more than 50 guests.
While many chowed with brews and wine from the bar in hand, others drank complimentary champagne. Vogel and general manager Kristine Vogel, Scott's wife, didn't stand in one spot for long throughout the evening. They both made their rounds about the room.
This reporter heard that finding Alma might be a challenge, but it wasn't.
Although nestled among a number of other restaurants like the Friendly Fisherman and Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., Alma's got a big ol' sign and a staircase along Boardwalk Place to help diners reach its new second-floor digs. (I parked in the John's Pass parking garage and walked over.)