Sunday, March 6, 2011

Parkshore Grill

There is a fun place in downtown St. Petersburg that I'd love to tell you about!  Right on the beautiful Beach Drive across from Straub Park is a great place to enjoy great American cuisine. What impressed me the most was the warm welcome and the beautiful interior; we chose to sit in the back of the restaurant. From there, we admired the curvaceous lines of the decor, the hubbub of the busy kitchen, and the comings and goings of the eclectic crowd.

Parkshore Grill offers an array of sustainably fished seafood, organic salmon, and organic produce. I don't know why, but that just makes me feel good about what I'm eating. On the first visit, since we had such a hard time deciding what to choose, we already knew we'd be back for a second visit. So, this time we decided to try the Mixed Grill which had filet mignon, Berkshire pork belly, and lamb chops, and for the second entrĂ©e, I chose the Seafood Risotto with lobster, mussels, shrimp, cobia, and saffron risotto. I cannot begin to tell you how good they were, of course, we also had the crab avocado salad. I haven't had lumps of blue crabmeat like that since I visited Maryland a couple of summers ago! Not only did that salad taste great, but the presentation was beautiful.

Now back to that mix grill; I guess you could say that filet mignon and lamb chops are on my favorites list, but it was the Berkshire Pork Belly that was the biggest surprise. It was like a heavenly square of the best bacon in the world. There's no real way to describe it except that it is chock full of flavor – a mix of scored crackling and tender bacon. (See links below.) I'm not sure if I could resist ordering that every time I go... maybe I could talk Chef Grant into having that as an appetizer! Anyway, I can also recommend the sides. Oh yeah, we saw those crispy ale battered Vidalia onion stacks go by, and the special scallop potatoes, but nevertheless, we still enjoyed our buttermilk mashed potatoes with our meal.

The grand finale, and it was, was a special sampler of Parkshore grills classic cheesecake, decadent chocolate bar with hazelnut brittle, and a few fresh seasonal berries. Need I say more? Add to that, a couple of wonderful cappuccino coffees, and you will have one of the best dining experiences around.

I was lucky enough to meet their renowned Chef Tyson Grant and our Patissier, Chef Delgado.  It was an exceptional dining experience. Since that evening, we've returned a couple of times and to eat brunch there on a Saturday morning. Nothing like cheese blintzes with fresh berry compote or banana stuffed French toast with maple butter, candied spiced pecans, and applewood smoked bacon. Be sure to start with a mimosa or one of the best bloody Mary's in town. Top that off with a little shopping in downtown St. Petersburg's trendy boutiques, a visit to the Dali Museaum, or Chihuly:   and that's a weekend to hang your hat on! 

Mixed Grill

Executive Chef Tyson Grant and chef Delgado