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Birch & Vine at the Birchwood

Editor's pick

Categories: Restaurant, Bar

Cuisine: American upscale, New American

Features: Outdoor seating, Upscale

Cost range: 20.01-100.00

Payment options: Credit cards accepted

Alcohol: Full bar

Parking: Street

More in this neighborhood: Downtown St. Petersburg

Wander from the white-curtained cabanas to the edge of the rooftop with its sweeping views of Tampa Bay and Straub Park and you'll hear people all saying the same thing: "Why doesn't every place on Beach Drive have a rooftop bar?" Still, the main attraction is the ground-floor 225-seat fine-dining Birch & Vine, open for lunch and dinner. The menu is ambitious, with lots of culinary buzzwords: There's compressed watermelon, there's sous vide, there's pork belly. Think butter-poached lobster on a bed of truffled grits with a swirl of vanilla rum butter and a frizzle of fried leek, to crispy fried Blue Point oysters nestled back into shells that have been filled with little scoops of chorizo-chipotle polenta, or thick discs of pan-seared foie gras married with a spoonful of star-anise-fragrant blueberry compote, a dribble of balsamic reduction, Parmesan crisps and a Gorgonzola fritter. It’s suave, and the setting parries step for step. Caveat: Prepare for a wait to get up to the thronged rooftop deck.

Hours: Lunch 11 a.m.-3 p.m., limited menu from 3-5 p.m., dinner from 5-10 p.m. daily.

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Birch & Vine at the Birchwood - Downtown St. Petersburg