SEMINOLE HEIGHTS — Locally grown products, fresh from farms and gardens, will have diners crowing about the Rooster & the Till, opening in early December on Florida Ave and Lambright Street in Seminole Heights.
The restaurant's small plate menu emphasizes charcuterie, house-crafted sausage and ham, and artisanal cheeses. "Humanely raised goat, lamb, duck, pork, beef and chicken will be sourced locally," said co-owner chef Ferrell Alvarez. "Cooked with love and care."
One speciality of the house is Rabbit Ballotine, accompanied by goat milk grits, pork-belly braised collards, chicken livers and raisins.
A chalk board announces the daily raw bar deliveries of shellfish, oysters, clams and other pesce crudo.
Expect moderate prices, Alvarez said, from $2 oysters to $13 to $19 for shared plates.
Rooster & the Till partners met while working at Mise en Place when Alvarez was chef de cuisine, Ty Rodriguez was general manager and Brian Lampe was a sous chef.
Café DuFrain on Harbour Island was the next stop for the three men who worked there about four years.
In March, they set out to create their own farm-to-table restaurant in Seminole Heights, where they all reside.
The 36-seat building, designed by Jaime Rogers of Doxa, displays their commitment to sustainability of natural resources.
"One wall is built of old wood fencing we gathered ourselves in the neighborhood," Alvarez said. A 16-foot bar made of reclaimed cypress and pine faces into the open kitchen.
Boutique wines and craft beers are offered, including after-work and late-night happy hour specials.
Rooster & the Till, 6500 N Florida Ave., will be open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. weekdays, later on weekends. Visit roosterandthetill.com or call (813) 374-8940.
Pitas, pizza and wings at Lala's
Lala's Gyros brings quick-service pita sandwiches, pizza, wings and salads to Kennedy Boulevard near Howard Avenue. It's not a big stretch for owner Salim Sorathia, nicknamed La La, who also owns Salem's Gyros & Subs, seven blocks east.
LaLa's short menu features gyros, subs and salads loaded with a choice of chicken, steak, turkey, ham, tuna and such. Boneless chicken wings are 50 for $29.99, with Buffalo-style offered on Fridays. A platter of 25 Cuban sandwich bites costs $19.99.
Lala's Gyros, 2618 W Kennedy Blvd., is open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Thursday; 6 p.m. to midnight, Friday and Saturday; call (813) 877-LALA (5252).
Newest Firehouse Subs opens
Right across the street from LaLa's, the fast-casual Firehouse Subs opened Thursday in a former after-hours pediatric office on Kennedy Boulevard. The franchise, founded nearly 10 years ago by firemen in Jacksonville, is know for submarine sandwiches piled with a half-pound of premium meats and cheeses and for its nonprofit public safety foundation supporting emergency service providers.
Favorite subs are named for fire trucks: the Hook & Ladder (smoked turkey and ham smothered in Monterey Jack cheese) and the New York Steamer, corned beef brisket and pastrami topped with provolone.) Salads and chili round out the menu. Catering is also available.
Firehouse Subs, 2617 W Kennedy Blvd., is open 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday to Thursday; until 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Visit firehousesubs.com or call (813) 443-0998.
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