Tuesday, September 25, 2018
Dining

Dining Planner: Hyde Park Village gingerbread house winner crowned and the Eatery debuts

Tis the season: Home decorating

This week, merchants in Hyde Park Village are creating and displaying some majorly impressive gingerbread houses (tiny homes, but with more icing and zero closet space). A final judging in the cutthroat and gumdropped competition takes place Friday. Guests are encouraged to "vote" for their favorite gingerbread house through a charitable donation (each participating merchant picks his or her own). From CineBistro to Goody Goody and Buddy Brew, the merchant with the most money raised on the last day wins. While judging, enjoy holiday carolers, princesses, a life-size gingerbread house for the kids to decorate, games and crafts. The winner will be announced at 5 p.m. in Village Circle at the Hyde Park Village Stage, 742 S Village Circle, Tampa. Admission is free. For more information, visit hydeparkvillage.com/event.

Your oyster: Jewelry with cause

In case you're still looking for the perfect Florida gift for the foodie on your list, here's one that gives back. New Orleans designer Ashley Porter has just launched a new collection of jewelry made with oyster tong teeth hand-forged by traditional blacksmith Rodney Richards of Apalachicola. Rolled out as a Kickstarter campaign, the Torchbearers Collection is a tribute to Gulf Coast oysters and the hard-working men and women who bring them from the ocean to our plates. Each piece is assembled by Porter in New Orleans using Richards' materials; the result is a combination of elegant, contemporary design and rugged, timeless craftsmanship.

For a pledge of $95 you get a men's or women's long pendant necklace featuring an oyster tong tooth as well as a hand-written thank you and an invitation to the collection launch party in New Orleans on Jan. 7. In addition to raising awareness about the plight of Gulf Coast oyster fisheries, the project raises money for the Apalachicola Riverkeeper organization. The Apalachicola River Basin is among the most ecologically diverse natural systems in the Southeast and supports a $7 billion seafood industry in the Gulf of Mexico. kickstarter.com, search for Torchbearers.

New eats: BREW BUS eatery

The Brew Bus Terminal, which houses a microbrewery and tasting room and serves as a hub for bus tours to local breweries, has opened an on-site kitchen called, wait for it, the Eatery. With the opening of the new casual dining concept, the brewery joins the ranks of microbreweries across the country that have asked that question: "What goes with beer? Hey, how about food?"

Newly retrofitted with a 400-square-foot kitchen, the venue now offers a menu by chef Kasia Lavigne, right, who crafted starters, sandwiches, sliders and flatbreads. Locally sourced ingredients and house brews like You're My Boy, Blue! Blueberry Wheat Ale and Last Stop IPA are used to create menu items, says Lavigne, a classically trained chef and graduate of the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco.

"I have always enjoyed wine, but beer offers some new opportunities and new flavors for pairing with food. I also love exotic flavors like those found in Indian and Thai foods and want to incorporate those spices and balance those flavors in the dishes I create."

Initially the kitchen schedule will coincide with the tasting room operating hours with lunch service added soon. The tasting room is open 4 to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, noon to midnight Fridays, 11 a.m. to midnight Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays. The Brew Bus Terminal is at 4101 N Florida Ave., Tampa. (813) 990-7310.

   
Comments
Restaurant review: Elevage has made some smart changes to its restaurant and Lobby Bar menus

Restaurant review: Elevage has made some smart changes to its restaurant and Lobby Bar menus

Checking out the changes at Elevage, which opened five years ago as the first Bern's sibling to offer breakfast and lunch.
Published: 09/25/18
Joe and Son's Olive Oils, a legacy Ybor business, finds new roots in Carrollwood

Joe and Son's Olive Oils, a legacy Ybor business, finds new roots in Carrollwood

Andrea Gebbia grew up in Carrollwood, and now she is bringing the family business to the neighborhood of her youth.In late fall, Joe and Son’s Olive Oils is slated to open a second location."I feel so blessed having the ability to grow my...
Published: 09/21/18
Updated: 09/22/18
Chi Chop + Kung Fu Tea looks to succeed where others failed

Chi Chop + Kung Fu Tea looks to succeed where others failed

RIVEVIEW – Amy Lin knows that her newest Chi Chop + Kung Fu Tea store is in a location where previous businesses have not lasted.The short-lived Tap’s Brewhouse & Deli and even shorter-lived Top Shelf Sports Bar and Grill tried to r...
Published: 09/21/18
New restaurants: Olivia from Chris Ponte, Crabby Bill’s Off the Hook

New restaurants: Olivia from Chris Ponte, Crabby Bill’s Off the Hook

COMING SOON: OLIVIA Chris Ponte, right, has been a steady and notable culinary leader in our area for more than a decade with his flagship restaurant Cafe Ponte in Clearwater. A couple of years ago he mixed things up a bit by debuting On Swann in Hy...
Published: 09/19/18
Restaurant review: The Local doesn't stand out enough above its Tampa neighbors to make an impact

Restaurant review: The Local doesn't stand out enough above its Tampa neighbors to make an impact

TAMPA Do you have this debate? "Florida is not in the South." "Um, look at a map." I guess I am in the former camp: It seems Florida gets more Southern the more north and west you go, accents only creeping in as reliably as boiled peanuts up on the ...
Published: 09/17/18
Updated: 09/18/18
Chefs offer up a taste of what’s coming to Sparkman Wharf

Chefs offer up a taste of what’s coming to Sparkman Wharf

TAMPA — On Wednesday night, about 60 people got a sneak preview of what Tampa diners soon will experience at Sparkman Wharf, part of the $3 billion Water Street Tampa neighborhood that Jeff Vinik and Strategic Property Partners are developing in what...
Published: 09/14/18
What’s new in food: Clearwater Beach Restaurant Week, National Cheeseburger Day

What’s new in food: Clearwater Beach Restaurant Week, National Cheeseburger Day

DINE AROUND: CLEARWATER BEACH RESTAURANT WEEKPromoted by the Clearwater Beach Chamber of Commerce, Clearwater Beach Restaurant Week is celebrating its ninth year Friday through Sept. 23. The culinary celebration offers foodies an opportunity to exper...
Published: 09/12/18
Restaurant review: Part fish shack, part high-end cocktail bar, Trophy Fish in St. Petersburg thrives on a fresh approach

Restaurant review: Part fish shack, part high-end cocktail bar, Trophy Fish in St. Petersburg thrives on a fresh approach

ST. PETERSBURGI value restaurants and people the same way, I suppose. I like those with a take. They don’t have to be the smartest or the prettiest, but the ones I like have a unique perspective, something that differentiates them from everybody else...
Published: 09/10/18
Updated: 09/11/18
Tampa’s Fly Bar and Restaurant will move locations

Tampa’s Fly Bar and Restaurant will move locations

TAMPA — Restaurant announcements for Sparkman Wharf and Strategic Property Partners’ 50-acre Water Street Tampa project have come fast and furious the past couple weeks. With a price tag of more than $3 billion and reading like a who’s who of Tampa B...
Updated one month ago
James Beard winner Anne Kearney to open Oak & Ola in Armature Works

James Beard winner Anne Kearney to open Oak & Ola in Armature Works

TAMPA — It was always part of the plan for the 22,000-square-foot Heights Public Market at Armature Works to have two anchor restaurants in addition to the fourteen quick-serve vendors. The developers debuted Steelbach, a sprawling steaks and chops b...
Updated one month ago