The long-anticipated Cassis American Brasserie held its soft opening over the weekend at 170 Beach Drive NE in St. Petersburg at the base of the Ovation tower. In a series of invitation-only events, servers and kitchen staff got their sea legs while invitees enjoyed the stunning bar (it looks like zinc, and they had it fabricated in France), dining room and generous sidewalk dining.
Designed by local firm Wannemacher Jensen Architects and built by JMC Development, the restaurant seats 155 inside and another 125 outside on the terrace.
Executive chef Jeremy Duclut, who worked in Philadelphia with George Perrier from Le Bec Fin for 12 years, is still tinkering with the affordable French-American brasserie menu. Duclut was recently awarded the title of Chopped champion on the Food Network show presided over by Ted Allen.
Cassis will open to the public on Monday for dinner only, with the aim of adding a weekend brunch, then weekday breakfast and lunch soon. In May, a bakery and ice cream parlor will be added adjacent to the restaurant, serving house-made breads, pastries, cakes, ice cream and coffee drinks.