Monday, June 18, 2018
Features and More

The Kitchen, Samba Room among several restaurant openings coming this spring

Spring is hopping, with a number of new Tampa Bay area restaurants opening in upcoming weeks.

The two most anticipated openings on the horizon are The Kitchen (200 First Ave. N, Suite 226, St. Petersburg) and Samba Room (1502 S Howard Ave., Tampa).

According to executive chef J. Sean Squires, the Kitchen, adjacent to MacDinton's Irish Pub and Jannus Live (it will provide food for both venues), hopes to open its doors early to midweek next week. With the restaurant's open-kitchen concept and a huge patio, Squires will oversee a menu that draws on his experience at local institutions such as Island Way Grill and Marlin Darlin'.

And in Tampa, Gordon Davis (founder of Ceviche, owner of Boca Kitchen Bar Market) and partner Kevin Enderle will revive the defunct E-Brands Nuevo Latino concept at the site vacated by Ceviche (St. Bart's Island House before that). The target opening date is the second week in April.

Other food news:

The Icot Center in Clearwater is poised for a reinvigoration. After last year's Tuscon's closure, Cafe Ponte has been keeping the home fires burning on its own. According to its Facebook page, Gunslinger's (formerly of Largo) is poised to open at 13563 Icot Blvd., for lunch, dinner and late-night revelry in a country/western theme. In addition, the old Yuki Japanese Steakhouse is under construction at 13505 Icot Blvd., Suite 207. No word yet on an opening date.

• From Stockholm, Sweden, Chris Orrung is opening Parts of Paris at 146 4th Ave N in Safety Harbor next to Green Springs Bistro. Set in a traditional 1936 Florida bungalow that until recently housed a yoga studio, the new restaurant will be a classic French bistro with bouillabaisse, beef bourguignon, beef tartare and steak and moules frites, with a large wine list weighted to French wines. Orrung, most recently of the Tampa Marriott Waterside, hopes to open his doors by April 12.

• Aiming to open by April 15, Simply Delicious comes to 4601 66th St. N in the Kenneth City area of St. Petersburg. According to owner George Creel, it will be a paean to New York deli, with housemade pastrami and corned beef, knishes and decor reminiscent of a classic NYC delis. The new restaurant opens in a diner space that endured some serious screen time on Dirty Dining, so the clean-up and renovation efforts have been substantial, and the exterior has been painted to look like a New York subway stop.

• The South Florida-based Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza adds another location in our area at 1901 S Dale Mabry Hwy just south of Henderson in South Tampa. It's the 33rd location for the super-dark-crust giant and the fourth location locally, opening to the public March 28. Heads up, sports fans: NFL Hall of Fame legend Dan Marino is involved in the project, and will attend a media event at the new location the day before the opening. But perhaps he'll be a regular there for the high-heat pizzas (or the unusual Italian-style coal-fired chicken wings). For more information, call (813) 258-2625.

Comments
Restaurant review: Chile Verde is serving up very solid tacos in an unlikely spot

Restaurant review: Chile Verde is serving up very solid tacos in an unlikely spot

ST. PETERSBURGThere are a lot of decommissioned gas stations across the country. Some have been reinvented, cleverly made over as upscale restaurants. There’s Big Star in Chicago, Elaia & Olio in St. Louis, Red Truck Bakery in Warrenton, Va., even Bi...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Taste test: Chocolate chip cookies

Taste test: Chocolate chip cookies

When we started seeing ads for Nestle Toll House cookies already baked and prepackaged, I knew it was time for our tasters to get involved. They are cookie lovers, and one even has his own cookiemaking business. We found the Nestle brand and had hope...
Published: 06/18/18
Irish boxer brings his dream to St. Petersburg

Irish boxer brings his dream to St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG — In his vision for this weekend, Connor Coyle is standing in the ring at the Coliseum, and the referee is raising his gloved fist.He’s got a National Boxing Association middleweight championship belt around his waist, the first of sev...
Published: 06/15/18
With over 40 years between the birth of my two daughters, I am two different fathers

With over 40 years between the birth of my two daughters, I am two different fathers

Still shaken by Bobby Kennedy’s assassination six days earlier, I sat in the hospital waiting room mindlessly thumbing through a May 1968 Rolling Stone while my wife, Fran, gave birth to our daughter Elle. As was customary, when everyone had been fre...
Published: 06/15/18
Puerto Vallarta is a dreamy Mexican getaway within reach

Puerto Vallarta is a dreamy Mexican getaway within reach

LOREN ELLIOTT • Times CorrespondentPUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICOThe third-floor balcony attached to our rented apartment served as a peaceful refuge above Puerto Vallarta’s bustling central district streets. Below us, taxis honked, people crowded bus ...
Published: 06/15/18
How Tampa's Cole and Marmalade got famous, beat cancer and helped save more cats

How Tampa's Cole and Marmalade got famous, beat cancer and helped save more cats

Here's how to make your cat famous on the internet, according to the owners of some famous felines.
Published: 06/15/18
Irish boxer brings his dream to St. Petersburg

Irish boxer brings his dream to St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG — In his vision for this weekend, Connor Coyle is standing in the ring at the Coliseum, and the referee is raising his gloved fist.He’s got a National Boxing Association middleweight championship belt around his waist, the first of sev...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/16/18
High-tech nighttime lagoon show coming to Universal Orlando this summer

High-tech nighttime lagoon show coming to Universal Orlando this summer

A gliding, wraith-like figure of a Dementor from the Harry Potter films enters Central Park, and the exteriors of the surrounding buildings immediately are covered in a layer of ice, a sign of their power to drain happiness out of the air around them...
Published: 06/14/18
Why this ballet dancer is skipping college in favor of her own St. Petersburg Ballet Conservatory

Why this ballet dancer is skipping college in favor of her own St. Petersburg Ballet Conservatory

GULFPORT — Brianna Melton is as serious a ballet student as they come.By her junior year at St. Petersburg High’s International Baccalaureate program, she had already spent four summers training with ballet companies across the country and had narrow...
Published: 06/14/18
Frito and Cheeto: How rescued seahorses found webcam fame

Frito and Cheeto: How rescued seahorses found webcam fame

Smile for the camera, Frito. The world is watching, and you have a story to tell. The tiny seahorse came to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium on Sunday with fishing line wrapped around her neck. By Wednesday, she became the CMA’s newest internet ...
Published: 06/13/18
Updated: 06/14/18