Sunday, December 10, 2017
Restaurant News

Chef Domenica Macchia heading to Tampa's Datz Dough

TAMPA — Tampa Bay chef Domenica Macchia, celebrated and controversial, has another new home.

Starting next week, Macchia heads to South Tampa to Datz Dough, the recently launched bakery project of Datz owners Suzanne and Roger Perry. Macchia has been hired to re-envision Datz Dough's food, with carte blanche to come up with a new menu.

Macchia has done stints in kitchens at Redwoods, MJ's, Diner 437, BellaBrava, Shackleton's Folly and Three Birds Tavern, all in St. Petersburg.

The longer commute is no accident: Due to a noncompete contract she signed with Three Birds owners Robin and Jack King, she is legally prohibited from working in Pinellas County restaurants until February 2014.

In fact, Hans Klenke, owner of Primi Ristorante Italiano in St. Petersburg, hired Macchia three weeks ago under the mistaken understanding that the legal injunction had been lifted. According to Klenke, Macchia was nearly thrown in jail last Thursday and the Kings' lawyer threatened Klenke with a lawsuit.

While Klenke tried to negotiate her settlement with the Three Birds owners, Macchia met with Suzanne Perry and signed aboard.

"She took the job before she had a chance to tell me," said Klenke. "I wish it had turned out a little differently, but it is what it is. This has been a hard time for her."

So how did the Perrys agree to take on this notoriously itinerant chef?

"It's a curious story," says Suzanne Perry. "I'd been reading all these stories about her for a year. But I asked around, 'Do you know this girl?' And everyone said they loved her and she was the best chef. At Dough, we've been focused on the baking part but the savory food part has really struggled. I had the idea to give it to her."

A straight talker, she added: "I flat-out like her."

For her part, Macchia asserts with equal candor, "I am so grateful for Suzanne."

Her aims, once on the payroll, are a little esoteric: "To cook like I've never cooked before in my life because they have the resources. I'm thinking elegant but homey. After the crazy year I've had, I feel like I have angels. I want to make it shine, and I want to shine."

In a bit of Twitter banter Wednesday afternoon, when asked more specifically what the future holds, Suzanne Perry tweeted coyly: "I'm pretty sure it holds duck-fat fries. That's all I know. @dmacchia keeps secrets."

Laura Reiley can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 892-2293. Follow @lreiley on Twitter.

Comments
Food news: Byblos reopens in South Tampa, Arab food festival this weekend

Food news: Byblos reopens in South Tampa, Arab food festival this weekend

REOPENING: BYBLOSYou know that hour before people show up for a dinner party where you think, "Holy smokes, I’ll never be ready in time. What was I thinking?" Nearly every restaurant opening, or reopening, is like that. I scooted by Byblos, a long-st...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/08/17
These Tampa Bay restaurants took honors in the Golden Spoon Awards

These Tampa Bay restaurants took honors in the Golden Spoon Awards

Florida Trend’s annual Golden Spoon awards were announced last week, honoring Florida’s best restaurants. Although Florida Trend serves the state’s business community, the Golden Spoons are a valuable consumer tool. Because Florida restaurants seldom...
Published: 12/04/17
Updated: 12/05/17
Free iced coffee Monday as Dunkin’ Donuts offers #CupOfThanksFlorida

Free iced coffee Monday as Dunkin’ Donuts offers #CupOfThanksFlorida

Dunkin’ Donuts is giving thanks to Floridians with a free small iced coffee on Monday.The #CupOfThanksFlorida promotion is aimed at thanking customers for weathering Hurricane Irma as some locations had to close or change their hours, according to br...
Published: 12/04/17
Restaurant review: Clear Sky on Cleveland Global Bistro tries to cover every food on the planet

Restaurant review: Clear Sky on Cleveland Global Bistro tries to cover every food on the planet

CLEARWATERAll three of the Clear Sky restaurants read like the work of someone who’s been paying attention to what folks want.Co-owner Dan Shouvlin has got the proper curriculum vitae (a background in TGI Friday’s, Chi Chi’s, Olive Garden and then a ...
Published: 11/30/17
Updated: 12/04/17
This week’s food news: Clearwater Beach Uncorked, happy 25th birthday to Guppy’s

This week’s food news: Clearwater Beach Uncorked, happy 25th birthday to Guppy’s

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: GUPPY’STwenty-five years for a restaurant is a stupendous achievement in an industry with a two-thirds failure rate. So let’s bake a cake for Guppy’s on the Beach, or at least go there and eat cake. It opened its doors at 1701 Gulf Bl...
Published: 11/29/17
Lolita's Wine Market in St. Pete is tasty, but good luck deciphering your bill

Lolita's Wine Market in St. Pete is tasty, but good luck deciphering your bill

So much charm packed into so little space. Lolita’s Wine Market is the latest in a string of endearing cheese-and-charcuterie-centric restaurants to open in St. Petersburg. It’s a tiny, adorable thing. There are grape-purple flower boxes...
Published: 11/21/17
Updated: 11/27/17
Dining news: More poke coming, Frogman Feast raises money for SEALs and Gold Star families

Dining news: More poke coming, Frogman Feast raises money for SEALs and Gold Star families

FUNDRAISER: FROGMAN FEASTLast year, the first celebrity chef charity event called Frogman Feast raised more than $12,000 for Navy SEALs and their Gold Star families. Ken Bowen is spearheading the effort again this year from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday at 3 Da...
Updated one month ago
No Thanksgiving plan? Head to one of these Tampa Bay restaurants for traditional feasts and more

No Thanksgiving plan? Head to one of these Tampa Bay restaurants for traditional feasts and more

You realize Thanksgiving is just a week away, right? No pressure. If you don’t have a holiday game plan for Nov. 23, let’s do this thing. There are still a bunch of options, many traditional Thanksgiving repasts and some a little less conventional. C...
Updated one month ago
Oak & Stone with self-serve beer coming to St. Pete, South Tampa’s Byblos to reopen

Oak & Stone with self-serve beer coming to St. Pete, South Tampa’s Byblos to reopen

COMING SOON: OAK & STONEBeen to Oak & Stone in Sarasota? In early 2018 we’ll get one in St. Petersburg at 199 Central Ave., next to the newly constructed Hyatt Place. The concept is wood-fired pizzas mated with a self-serve beer wall highlighting cr...
Updated one month ago
A St. Petersburg artist created the labels for this year’s Beaujolais Nouveau wine release

A St. Petersburg artist created the labels for this year’s Beaujolais Nouveau wine release

Every year, there are bad things we can count on: taxes and death. And good things: Thanksgiving Day on the fourth Thursday of November and on the Thursday before, the Beaujolais nouveau arrives. What is less predictable is just how this vin de l’ann...
Updated one month ago