With 40 different ales and lagers on tap, Willard's is a craft-beer haven for brewthusiasts and amateur appreciators alike. A giant chalkboard that spans the length of the bar displays the expansive menu of pourable pleasures and includes information about each beer's alcohol content. Kick off the summer with a smooth glass of Bell's Oberon—wheat ale with a spicy hop character and a mild fruity aroma ($4.50), or savor the flavor of organically grown hops with a classic pale ale such as Peak Organic's Simcoe Spring ale ($6.00). Major labels, including Lagunitas and Cigar City provide patrons with reliable standbys, and a diverse selection of beers, ciders, and stouts take adventurous taste buds on a flavor rollercoaster. The average price per pour runs between $4 and $7, and on certain nights brews can be downed to the beat of live music.
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.
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.
The Moon Under Water's kitchen is helmed by executive chef Michael Crippin, who was born in England and received his culinary training in London. Mr. Crippin has gone on to whip up artful sustenance for a variety of celebrities, including Madonna, Bruce Willis, Prince Charles, and William Howard Taft. His culinary style intermingles British and Indian flavors, which can be found on The Moon's menu.
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.
Max & Sam's Bar & Grill carries on a classic neighborhood-chophouse tradition with hand-cut steaks and seafood served within dark-wood-paneled walls built in 1924 and brushed against by the likes of Al Capone, Marilyn Monroe, and Joe DiMaggio. Under the gaze of jazz-age crooners swirled onto framed canvases, soaking up aromatic inspiration for their next musical meditation on cheese grits, the five-course meal kicks off its culinary set list with parmesan-crusted beef tips or calamari. Bowls of the chef's french-onion or soup du jour, depending on whether jour is in season, set the scene for a simple house salad of mixed greens and veggies.