Make us your home page
Baltic Amber restaurant

Polish restaurant opens on Clearwater-Largo Road


A recently opened restaurant offering authentic Polish dining is surprising some customers with new taste sensations.

With a Lithuanian/Russian background, Sherri Sanders grew up enjoying potato pancakes, stuffed dumplings and other eastern European foods. But she's experienced some new twists to traditional dishes at the Baltic Amber restaurant.

At the restaurant's opening July 27, Sanders sampled a cold fruit soup.

"I never had anything like it," she said. "It was fantastic."

She ordered stuffed cabbage at the restaurant's weekly all-you-can-eat event.

"Instead of a tomato base that I'm used to, it had a lemony mushroom sauce," she said. "It was really good."

Baltic Amber is an expansion of Richard and Eva Sikorski's Polish Deli business that opened last fall on West Bay Drive in Largo

"There was a need for the restaurant," Richard Sikorski said. "People were asking us why not serve food. We think the restaurant will give us an opportunity for the future and to satisfy our customers."

Some 180,000 Polish-born and people of Polish descent live in Pinellas County and many of their deli customers are Americans of Polish descent, as well as Hungarians, Germans and tourists from Slavic countries.

Polish food is familiar to most people, Sikorski said.

"Everyone knows pierogi, stuffed cabbage and kielbasa," he said.

The deli is in the process of moving next door to the restaurant and will re-open Friday.

"We wanted to create a little Polish corner with a restaurant and deli next to each other," he said.

The 2,500-square-foot restaurant can seat 120 and inside has a small bar serving beer and wine. It has four dining rooms, each painted to represent one of the four seasons. The rooms can be made private for parties and meetings.

Outside, a deck with seating for 40 is surrounded with trees and plants and overlooks a small lake.

In April, the couple signed the paperwork to lease the building and began renovations. Opening the doors for business took an investment of $147,000, Richard Sikorski said.

"It was a bigger step than we expected, especially with all the expenses," he said.

Both Sikorskis were born in Poland and came to the United States when their parents immigrated to Chicago. The couple derived the restaurant name from his hometown, Szczecin, which is on the Baltic.

The menu features a view of the ancient part of the city of Szczecin. Some of the world's amber, a hard yellowish to brownish translucent fossil resin that takes a fine polish and is used chiefly in making ornamental objects (as beads), comes from the Baltic countries.

The staff includes 13 full-time employees and all but two servers speak Polish.

Alfredo Galindo, a chef for 20 years, and manager Bo Chrzaszcz, who has owned and operated Polish restaurants, worked together to create many of the restaurant's ethnic dishes. The pastries come from a popular Chicago bakery, Eva Sikorski said. "Everything else in the kitchen is made from scratch," she said.

In September, the restaurant will feature the Alex Band with music for listening and dancing. Alex Conrad and Ela Juraszek perform tunes from the '50s to today's popular songs, as well as an international repertoire.

if you go

Baltic Amber restaurant

Where: 552 Clearwater-Largo Road, Largo.

Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; all-you-can-eat 2 to 4 p.m. from a fixed menu Tuesday-Friday; brunch 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; regular Saturday and Sunday hours 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Closed Monday.

For more information: Call (727) 286-6111.

Polish restaurant opens on Clearwater-Largo Road 08/14/10 [Last modified: Saturday, August 14, 2010 12:29pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. A long-awaited vision for Tampa's Westshore Marina District

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — More than a decade after plans to develop a vacant waterfront tract were first announced, a new rendering finally gives a hint of what Westshore Marina District will ultimately look like.

    Rendering of Marina Pointe, a condo project overlooking Tampa Bay as part of the Westshore Marina District. [Courtesy of Masterfile Corp.}
  2. Buddy Brew Coffee to open downtown Tampa location


    TAMPA — Buddy Brew Coffee plans to open a new location in downtown Tampa at Park Tower. The specialty coffee craft roaster, which was founded in 2010, has five other locations throughout Tampa including the Oxford Exchange, Sarasota, Hyde Park Village and Terminal F inside the Tampa International Airport.

    A cappuccino is displayed at Buddy Brew in Tampa in January 2017. [CHARLIE KAIJO | Times]
  3. Where to pig out for National Bacon Lovers Day

    Food & Dining

    That's right: Sunday is the national day devoted to all things bacon, National Bacon Lovers Day. Which, really, isn't too different from the other 364 days of the year. But here's a little roundup of some special places to celebrate everyone's favorite meat snack (seriously, even vegans have a grudging respect …

    A creme-filled doughnut topped with maple frosting and bacon at Dough on MacDill Avenue in Tampa.
  4. The Penny Hoarder tops 79 fastest growing Tampa Bay companies on Inc. 5000


    ST. PETERSBURG — The Penny Hoarder today further cemented its reputation as one of the country's fastest growing companies. The personal finance web site business ranks 25th nationwide and tops in the Tampa Bay market for growth on the just released 2017 Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing businesses.

    One of the fastest growing startups in the country is St. Petersburg's The Penny Hoarder, a financial advice web site aimed at helping readers save money. Playing a game in the office is (right to left) founder and CEO Kyle Taylor, vice president of business operations Vishal Mahtani and executive editor Alexis Grant. [Courtesy of The Penny Hoarder]
  5. Here's what it's like inside a writhing, growling Howl-O-Scream audition


    TAMPA — At Busch Gardens, a Howl-O-Scream manager is hunting zombies.

    Auditioner Natalie Rychel, 20, of Tampa, Fla., high fives director of atmosphere Morgan Malice after being selected for a job for Bush Gardens' Howl-O-Scream during an audition at the theme park on Friday, August 11, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. (From left) Auditioners Jared Shipley, 20, of Lakeland, Fla., and Lincoln Scott, 41, of Riverview, Fla., look over. This year, Howl-O-Scream will take place from September 22 to October 29 at Bush Gardens. ALESSANDRA DA PRA  |   Times