With its plates of homemade pasta, sautéed marinated chicken, and seafood dishes lit by streaks of neon and sided with martinis, Primi - under new ownership - evokes the image of both a homey Italian restaurant and a swanky nightclub. That's because executive chef Tony Macaroni spent years not only mastering the cuisine of his native Italy, but also working in the kitchens of high-class hotels cooking for celebrities such as Evander Holyfield, Scott L. Schwartz, and Bob Newhart. Together with sous-chef and baking specialist Kenneth Kopcsik, Chef Macaroni whips up elegantly plated dishes such as a thin-sliced tenderloin carpaccio, wild-mushroom ravioli in sage butter reduction, and a slowly braised lamb shank served with broccoli and homemade croquette. An extravagant selection of wines from the Americas and Europe complement the flavors of mussels in garlic butter while four-course chef's table events allow guests to experience the luxury of having their own personal chef.
Emilio's is one of St. Petersburg's newest additions, offering denizens a sampling of fine coffee, pastries, paninis, burgers, and more. Light the flare on flavor landing strips with Emilio's bottomless cup of blend roasted coffee ($1.50) and the morning-making berry parfait similar to earth's interior of layered crunchy granola and berries atop Greek yogurt and honey ($4.99). The baguette blanche treats midday diners to a medley of savories masked in the makeup of stacked turkey, grilled mushrooms, caramelized onions, cream cheese, and pesto ($7.99), and the roasted red-pepper and goat-cheese panini adds a dash of zest with fresh basil, red onions, and a zigzag of balsamic vinegar ($9.99). Unlike stuffed animals, stuffed burgers won't fight back when bit and can be filled with a variety of tasties such as applewood smoked bacon, sundried tomatoes, pesto, and brie ($10.99). Pair meals with one of the restaurant's many wines or craft beers.
With more than 30 sweet and savory olive oils and vinegars to choose from, Kalamazoo Olive Company may overwhelm the shrewdest gourmand. That?s why the shop?s expert staff members happily lead customers on tasting tours, pouring small samples from the gleaming fustis that line wooden shelves. Customers can taste oils infused with exotic ingredients such as chipotle peppers or persian limes and lap up sweet, syrupy dessert vinegars. Oil experts are also happy to recommend complementary food pairings from their shop?s selection of Italian pastas, antipasti, and stuffed olives. Once customers have honed in on their ideal oil or vinegar, staff will bottle and seal them onsite to ensure they stay fresh and free of genies.
Ruby's speakeasy-style cantina slings frothy brews and heady cocktails against the velvety melodies of live jazz and blues crooners. Jazz jams on Monday nights highlight some of the area's most notable brass blowers, providing a stellar soundtrack for sipping on a slew of bottled beers ($2.95–$5.95), voluptuous vinos ($6.95 / house wines, $10.95 / upper-level varietals), and craft suds and ciders from Magic Hat, Stella Artois, and Strongbow ($4.95). Air-trumpet along to the infectious melodies bursting from Lounge Cat's weekly sets while raising a spiced-pear or espresso martini ($8.95) to the Ruby's pin-up style décor and bronzed collection of discarded mouthpieces and pork-pie hats.
At Crowley's Downtown, traditional Irish meals commence with an authentic plate of Irish bangers ($6.50), paired with a side of mashed potatoes and gravy. Go entreeing with the slammin' cod sandwich ($9), with Guinness-battered fried cod gently hugged by bread. After 4 p.m., the traditional Irish stew ($13.50) quiets grumbling tummies with a brimming mix of lamb, potatoes, and carrots. For dessert, liquor and cheesecake combine superpowers like Captain Planet receiving an eye transplant from Cyclops to form the unstoppable Bailey's Irish cheesecake ($5). Barley buffs can comb the pub's page-turning beer list, which includes Irish specialties like Magners Irish Cider and Murphy's Irish Stout, as well as a few American variations, such as Rogue Shakespeare Stout, a creamy, mellow beer.