Thursday, May 24, 2018
Dining

Popcorn shows up as an ingredient on these local menus

Popcorn as an ingredient. It's a thing. Chicago mad scientist-chef Grant Achatz of Alinea famously served liquid popcorn with caramel froth. (There's a YouTube video. Look it up.) Locally, the kernels make a showing from time to time:

At Ulele Native-Inspired Foods & Spirits you'll find white cheddar popcorn mashed potatoes on a number of dishes. It seems unlikely that the Seminole or Calusa tribes were rocking the cheddar corn, but what do I know? It makes a nice accompaniment to Strickland Ranch Florida-raised beef, especially when preceded by buttery, cheesy hot oysters right from the barbacoa. 1810 N Highland Ave., Tampa; (813) 999-4952.

At Jeannie Pierola's Edison: food+drink lab, rock star pastry chef Erin Kelley draws all kinds of inventive flavors and textures into her short lineup of desserts. For a while she featured popcorn pots de creme with cheddar ice cream, a dish so surreally logical that Edison served it at the Enjoy Arts and Tastes St. Pete festival at the Dalí Museum a couple of years ago. (Still, my fave of Kelley's concoctions remains the sugar-crusted butter cake.) 912 W Kennedy Blvd., Tampa; (813) 254-7111.

Haven, the newest sibling to Bern's Steak House, burst onto the scene this year with the most ambitious cheese program and broadest American whiskey lineup this town has ever seen. Chef Chad Johnson has clearly had fun putting together this menu, many of the dishes intriguing riffs on a single ingredient. Case in point: a dish described simply as sweet corn, which marries corn in every guise from ears of caramelized baby corn to corn sprouts, roasted corn niblets, corn nuts and popcorn brought together with grassy-caramely Zamorano cheese and a hint of chile heat. Wowza. 2208 W Morrison Ave., Tampa; (813) 258-2233.

Dough and Datz get in on the corn a couple of ways: In the ice cream case at Dough right now you'll find smoked popcorn ice cream. At Datz, there's a dish called What's Poppin: agave/tequila-marinated shrimp served over a bed of greens with deconstructed guacamole, pickled red onions, red peppers, Sriracha-flavored popcorn and corn nuts. If you fall in love with the spicy kernels, they sell the popcorn by itself at Dough. 2602 S MacDill Ave., Tampa; (813) 902-1979.

And while it's not precisely used as an ingredient, Ciro's Speakeasy and Supper Club (2109 Bayshore Blvd., Tampa; (813) 251-0022) makes a very cocktail-friendly popcorn dusted liberally with black truffle oil and truffle salt (how could double truffle be unwise?), as does Annata Wine Bar (300 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg; (727) 851-9582), while Cask Social Kitchen (208 S Howard Ave., Tampa; (813) 251-0051) mixes things up with a changing popcorn of the day that comes gratis as you sift through the Southern-inflected menu and cocktail list.

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

Comments
Birchwood owner will open a three-story restaurant and bar at St. Petersburg pier

Birchwood owner will open a three-story restaurant and bar at St. Petersburg pier

ST. PETERSBURG — Chuck Prather, owner of the Birchwood in St. Petersburg, returned from his daughter’s Maine wedding this week with an exciting announcement of his own. On June 7 the St. Petersburg City Council is expected to sign off on him being on...
Updated: 10 hours ago
New restaurants on the horizon: Metro Diner and Zoes Kitchen in Tampa, Trophy Fish and Oak & Stone in St. Pete

New restaurants on the horizon: Metro Diner and Zoes Kitchen in Tampa, Trophy Fish and Oak & Stone in St. Pete

OPEN NOW: BAHAMA BUCK’SFeel a shiver? Just in time for Florida’s sultry summer, Bahama Buck’s opened this week in Trinity with an avalanche of sno. The 2,346-square-foot island-inspired shop opened at 8815 Mitchell Blvd. with more than 91 flavors of ...
Published: 05/23/18
Restaurant review: Baytenders Oyster Bar & Steamer is a low-key, friendly spot to gather

Restaurant review: Baytenders Oyster Bar & Steamer is a low-key, friendly spot to gather

ST. PETERSBURG Brian Storman has had a long and colorful career in the Tampa Bay area. In the 1980s he had the insanely popular Storman’s Palace in Feather Sound, which in 2008 became the grownup playground "ultralounge" called the Venue (25,0...
Published: 05/21/18
Walt’s Fish Market, a Sarasota institution, to celebrate its 100th anniversary

Walt’s Fish Market, a Sarasota institution, to celebrate its 100th anniversary

A Sarasota seafood fixture is celebrating its 100th anniversary.Walt’s Fish Market, Restaurant and Tiki Bar, 4144 S Tamiami Trail, will host a party at noon on Sunday complete with a mechanical shark, live music, live auctions, silent auctions, an al...
Published: 05/18/18
Food events this week: St. Pete Taco and Beer Fiesta, Brunched 2018, Sweet Corn Festival

Food events this week: St. Pete Taco and Beer Fiesta, Brunched 2018, Sweet Corn Festival

TACOS: AND BEER You can get the weekend started Friday evening at the St. Pete Taco and Beer Fiesta from 6 to 11 p.m. at Albert Whitted Park. It’s a serious all-star cast of food trucks: St. Pete Taco Lady, I Wanna Wok, Fiesta Bowls, Boom Boom...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/17/18
McDonald’s has ditched frozen patties for fresh beef, and we tried them

McDonald’s has ditched frozen patties for fresh beef, and we tried them

LARGO — Ray Kroc, fast food’s founding father, was a quotation machine. One of his doozies was, "We’re not in the hamburger business. We’re in show business." This month, McDonald’s show got a little more sizzle. In the...
Published: 05/16/18
Tarpon Springs culinary school graduate nabbed coveted spot on U.S. team for Bocuse d’Or, the culinary Olympics

Tarpon Springs culinary school graduate nabbed coveted spot on U.S. team for Bocuse d’Or, the culinary Olympics

TAMPAWhile the James Beard awards are the culinary Academy Awards, the Bocuse d’Or is the culinary Olympics. It’s a biennial world chef championship historically dominated by France and other Western European countries. In 2017, the United States won...
Published: 05/15/18
Review: At charming C House in Tampa, all food starts with the letter C

Review: At charming C House in Tampa, all food starts with the letter C

TAMPARemember that game? "My father owns a grocery store and in it he sells something that starts with C?" All sexism aside (my mom could have owned a grocery store, no sweat), I killed at that game. Yes, it was because my family was cheap and did a ...
Published: 05/14/18
Need a last-minute Mother’s Day reservation for Sunday? We got you covered.

Need a last-minute Mother’s Day reservation for Sunday? We got you covered.

How do we express our love and gratitude to the women who brought us into this world? Clearly it’s with brunch and bottomless mimosas. Many big brunch buffet go-to’s are already fully booked by now, but here’s a potpourri of options that are still li...
Published: 05/09/18
Edison chef Jeannie Pierola will take over iconic Pach’s Place location

Edison chef Jeannie Pierola will take over iconic Pach’s Place location

TAMPA — Al Pach, wearing a signature loud vest, would sit at the counter corner nearest the entrance and greet every regular by name. He was a fixture for years, since Pach’s Place was established in 1992. Pach died in 2005 but Pach’s Place lived on ...
Published: 05/09/18