Leafy Greens ON THE move again
Leafy Greens, one of the Tampa Bay area's only vegan-raw-vegetarian restaurants, is moving again. Briefly in North Redington Beach, then even more briefly at 409 Central Ave. in St. Petersburg, it's now heading to 1431 Central Ave.
Lease problems prompted the move, but owner Denise Becknell is excited about the new space: "This spot is tiny but warm, with great outdoor space and a special outdoor deck . . ." She anticipates being open in the new location next to Booker Creek by the end of the month.
Free pancakes to benefit children
IHOP Restaurants nationwide will offer guests a free short stack of buttermilk pancakes in an effort to raise awareness for Children's Miracle Network on National Pancake Day, Feb. 24. The offer is good all day, from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. IHOP served 1.5 million free pancakes on National Pancake Day 2008. IHOP hopes free pancake day will also raise money for the effort as patrons buy coffee and other menu items.
Chef finds new home at Shackleton's Folly
Domenica Macchia, former chef at MJ's Martini Jazz and Tapas Lounge and at Redwoods before that, will head the kitchen at Shackleton's Folly, a new venture at St. Petersburg's Coquina Key Shopping Plaza, 4300 Sixth St. S.
Pinellas County's first gastropub (a concept popularized in England, it's a pub with ambitious culinary aims, often involving house-cured meats and charcuterie) is expected to be open in early March.
Kids' menus changing — and it's about time
According to Technomic, a food service consulting firm in Chicago, independent restaurants are appealing to children's increasingly sophisticated tastes by adding more adult-style foods to their kids' menus. Technomic's 2009 Kids' Marketing & Menu Report says regular entrees (ethnic food, steaks, seafood, etc.) are being offered in smaller portions for children.
Great news. The chicken nugget ghetto is bad on so many levels — unhealthy, sure, but also likely to promote culinary timidity and bland palates.
"You have to recognize that kids have increasing appetites," said Darren Tristano, executive vice president at Technomic. "As kids are maturing faster, their taste palates are evolving faster. So they're looking for something beyond macaroni and cheese, pizza and chicken tenders. Items like barbecue ribs, sushi and seafood are becoming more common."
Yin & Yang martini is a winner at Melting Pot
Another reason to head to this chain for Valentine's Day (as if molten chocolate isn't enough): Melting Pot Restaurants has been awarded the "2008 best signature drink of a national chain restaurant" by Cheers magazine for its Yin & Yang martini, above.
Here's what's in it: Godiva White Chocolate liqueur, Stoli Vanil vodka, Crème de Cacao and ice cream topped with chocolate shavings.
Laura Reiley, Times food critic