Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Restaurants

Mazzaro's owner plans to open Annata Wine Bar this month in St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG — Kurt Cuccaro aims to open his Annata Wine Bar on Beach Drive before the end of the month, tentatively shooting for Aug. 21 or 22 as the launch date.

In the space at 300 Beach Drive NE formerly occupied by AnnaStella Cajun Bistro, he hopes to do something that bears only a faint resemblance to Mazzaro's Italian Market, his family's longtime St. Petersburg institution.

"I'd say the only menu item that will resemble Mazzaro's will be the cheese and charcuterie part of the menu. We'll be featuring a lot of hard-to-get cheeses."

Cuccaro's goal was a casual "sit and nibble" concept to complement Beach Drive's array of full-service restaurants, from Parkshore and Cassis to the Birch & Vine at the Birchwood. He also believes that a wine bar concept will dovetail nicely with downtown's dense concentration of craft beer bars.

He worked with Urban Innovation on a design that "completely redid the space."

"I handed them a lot of photos of places I really like around the country. Then I threw in some ideas of my own and they threw in some of theirs. So it evolved. There are a lot of different textures going on in the design: There's brick and steel and marble and a lot of walnut in the bar and cabinetry. The overall effect is rustic modern, with clean lines. It's unique, but a style that I think is pretty hot in any big city right now."

The design incorporates repurposed wine boxes and barrels, which fits with Annata's mission: After tasting more than 500 wines, Cuccaro settled on 30 wines by the glass, ranging from $7 to $19, with 90 bottle selections, most under $75. Some Old World and some new, the varietals and wine styles show breadth, something echoed in the menu.

"The menu is quite a variety of different small plates and bar snacks, more European and Mediterranean than anything, priced from $7 to $18. Our plan is to change the menu quite often."

For now, Cuccaro is staying coy about a firm opening date for the 50-seat enoteca (Italian for "wine bar").

"We're training staff right now, and we're really trying to focus on service and wine knowledge."

Contact Laura Reiley at [email protected] or (727) 892-2293. Follow @lreiley.

Comments
Review: Platt Street Borough is casual Tampa dining with high standards

Review: Platt Street Borough is casual Tampa dining with high standards

TAMPAIt wasn’t that long ago that Platt Street was a bit of a conundrum for restaurateurs: Not exactly downtown, without the dense auto traffic of Kennedy, and far enough off the South Howard main drag that it didn’t entirely qualify as part of SoHo....
Published: 02/19/18
The Reading Room’s Lauren Macellaro and Columbia’s Richard Gonzmart are James Beard semifinalists

The Reading Room’s Lauren Macellaro and Columbia’s Richard Gonzmart are James Beard semifinalists

It’s almost a sick joke. On the morning after Valentine’s Day, the second-busiest restaurant day of the year, chefs all over the country are hauling themselves out of bed early to find out: Did I make it onto this year’s James Beard Foundation list o...
Published: 02/15/18
Blind Tiger Coffee Roasters opens in South Tampa, plus learn how to roll sushi at Kelp

Blind Tiger Coffee Roasters opens in South Tampa, plus learn how to roll sushi at Kelp

LOVE STUNT: SUSHI ROLLSIf you dropped the ball Wednesday and did bubkes for your sweetie, here’s a tip: Through Sunday at Kelp in South Tampa, couples can dive into a reservations-only chef-led art of sushi rolling class that comes with bottomless sa...
Published: 02/14/18
Out of time this Valentine's Day? Five ways to still have a romantic meal

Out of time this Valentine's Day? Five ways to still have a romantic meal

Valentine’s Day is Wednesday, and that means your odds of scoring a reservation at a popular restaurant are roughly equal to the odds of you opening your own restaurant in time for dinner. Thinking about showing up somewhere with no reservatio...
Published: 02/13/18
Review: 2nd & Second will serve you 24/7 in St. Petersburg

Review: 2nd & Second will serve you 24/7 in St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURGAn older couple sits at a booth, hunched over mugs of coffee, occasionally murmuring in a way that seems more soliloquy than conspiracy. Outside at a table, two travelers pay their tab, plates streaked with cold yolk. They ask for direc...
Published: 02/12/18
Review: Maybe the Lure can beat the odds at this unlucky South Tampa location

Review: Maybe the Lure can beat the odds at this unlucky South Tampa location

TAMPA - This will be my fourth review of restaurants in this space, all of them more or less favorable: Bistro Bleu (a sophisticated New American charmer), Marrakech (Yay! We have almost no Moroccan food here! Bring on the tagines!) and Catrinas Taco...
Updated one month ago
Here's what you can eat at the Armature Works' new Heights Public Market

Here's what you can eat at the Armature Works' new Heights Public Market

TAMPA — "This project will change the DNA of Tampa." Bold words from Ferdian Jap, co-owner of Zukku, one of 14 vendors who began selling their food and drink to the public Thursday at the anticipated Heights Public Market at the Armature Works...
Updated one month ago
Valentine’s Day ideas for Tampa Bay foodies: wine and chocolate, berry picking and more

Valentine’s Day ideas for Tampa Bay foodies: wine and chocolate, berry picking and more

PICKING: BERRY FASTLooking for something fun, yet competitive, to do with your sweetie in advance of Valentine’s Day? Wish Farms and Monte Package Co. are collaborating on the fifth annual Strawberry Picking Challenge this weekend.The main event Satu...
Published: 02/01/18
Updated: 02/07/18
A salute to Tampa Bay's Top 50 restaurants of the year

A salute to Tampa Bay's Top 50 restaurants of the year

Every year, I cull through thousands of words about the local restaurant scene from Times food critic Laura Reiley. I edit her weekly restaurant reviews, salivating over the best of them and making note when she leans over and says, "Oh yeah, you wou...
Updated one month ago
The list is here: Our 2018 edition of the Top 50 Restaurants of Tampa Bay

The list is here: Our 2018 edition of the Top 50 Restaurants of Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay’s Top 50 Restaurants has arrived, and so has the Tampa Bay food scene. The highly-anticipated annual list from food critic Laura Reiley contains some surprises this year, in restaurants that made it and ones that didn’t. Our foo...
Updated one month ago