New in St. Petersburg
Childhood chums Philippe Theodore and Jason Rappaport are bringing the hugely successful Westchase pub concept World of Beer to 5226 Fourth St. N in St. Petersburg at the end of this week. According to Theodore, they have hired a local St. Petersburg staff and have just finished an intensive training program. Adding a new twist to the Westchase flagship store (500 beers, live music and a professional crowd), the new location will offer a limited menu of bar-friendly foods like flatbread pizzas, mojo chicken wings and sliders.
• Domenic D'Angelo is in lease negotiations to bring Gratzzi to the recently vacated Pacific Wave space at 211 Second St. S in St. Petersburg. He closed his fine-dining Italian restaurant, Gratzzi, last month after nine years in BayWalk. D'Angelo feels that the smaller, cozier Pacific Wave space may suit the times better: "Fine dining is not in vogue anymore, so we're going to scale it back a little." Assuming lease negotiations go smoothly, D'Angelo aims to open Gratzzi before the holidays, after some renovation.
On the horizon
Ovation, the condo tower at the corner of Beach Drive and Second Avenue NE, has announced that it will have a new restaurant called Cassis, a Brasserie, on its ground floor. Coincidentally, St. Petersburg's Table is reworking its concept with the aim of bringing downtown a classic French/Belgian brasserie, complete with duck confit, cassoulet and steak frites. Its new name: St. Pete Brasserie.
Dinner in the field
Harvesting and preparing a six-course dinner with wine in a greenhouse overlooking the garden, Gateway Organic Farm hosts its second annual Dinner in the Garden on Nov. 22 at 3 p.m. Nine chefs: Tyson Grant of Parkshore Grill; Matt Tracy of St. Petersburg Yacht Club; Chris Knowles of Sea Sea Riders; Gui Alinat; Peter Leonavicius of Toasted Pheasant; Cathleen Ryan, pastry chef and Gateway farm's consultant; Bobby Mayo of SideBern's; and two guest chefs return to make this a unique dining experience. The dinner will feature fresh organic vegetables, along with local and organic meat, sustainable fish and fine wines. Featured sponsors include Johnson Brothers Wines and Bay Coffee and Tea.
Proceeds from the event will benefit the farm's Ed-U-Kitchen, an outdoor educational classroom emphasizing the benefits of eating local, seasonal and organic foods. Gateway Organic Farm, 6000 150th Ave. N, Clearwater, $150 per person or $250 per couple (vegetarian option available). Call (727) 244-0724.
Andy Huse, author of The Columbia Restaurant: Celebrating a Century of History, Culture, and Cuisine (University Press of Florida) is assistant librarian of the special and digital collections department at the University of South Florida. He was misidentified in a story last Wednesday.
Laura Reiley, Times food critic