Make us your home page
Instagram

Restaurant news: Cassis chef to open new spot; Locale Market bringing in guest chefs

ST. PETERSBURG

Downtown, like the universe, keeps expanding.

Jeremy Duclut, the executive chef at Beach Drive's Cassis, has announced he will open something new near the end of this month. He stays on as exec of Cassis, but with wife Liset debuts the Wooden Rooster at 104 Second Ave. NE on the ground floor of the Ovation condo tower. The 1,400-square-foot space will be devoted to healthy, casual fare, says Duclut.

"Growing up in France, I've always loved crepes. So that's where we started. We will also serve fresh sandwiches, soups and salads to make it a better and more rounded venue."

The savory menu will consist of signature combinations tucked into a choice of buckwheat, gluten-free or regular crepes (those same combos are available as sandwiches on baguette, multigrain or gluten-free bread). And creative types can concoct their own savory or sweet crepes from a list of ingredients.

The Wooden Rooster, with approximately 30 seats inside and another 16 outside, will serve brunch on the weekends and lunch and dinner daily, with breakfast added down the pike.

Although nearby Cassis has a French-inspired menu, Duclut doesn't see the dense competition along Beach Drive as daunting.

"Many restaurants have been opening in the past months, which is a great thing. The more, the better! It means more customers, business and opportunity for everyone."

This spirit of "coopetition" is alive and well at nearby Locale Market. The two-story dining/retail/foodie dreamscape has recently undergone a bit of shuffling, bringing much of the retail downstairs and re-envisioning upstairs as the dining/restaurant component (although the bakery will remain on the second floor).

As part of this new push, they will debut a guest chef series on Thursday, with Z Grille's Zack Gross helming an eight-course intimate dinner for 10 guests for $105 per person at FarmTable Kitchen. Gross, having recently lost 50 pounds through dietary change, is in the process of overhauling his Z Grille menu with a more health-forward paradigm. His "chef's table" dinner is the maiden voyage for a guest program at Michael Mina/Don Pintabona's celebrated collaboration. Locale chefs Jeffrey Hileman and Matt Dahlkemper welcome Haven/Epicurean chef Chad Johnson on Nov. 19, with other chefs to follow.

Billed as a "celebration of food, wine and friendship," this new effort underlines the fact that, despite boom times for new businesses in St. Petersburg, early fall is rough for local restaurants. In the past few years European tourists and a new market, affluent Brazilians, have buoyed traditionally meager sales numbers. This year, because of the strength of the dollar, European tourists haven't flocked, and because of the Brazilian economic crisis, they've stayed home as well.

Thus, September/October were perseverance months for a lot of restaurants downtown and along the beaches: Hold on until high season. And so creativity and new allegiances blossom.

Contact Laura Reiley at lreiley@tampabay.com or (727) 892-2293. Follow @lreiley on Twitter.

Restaurant news: Cassis chef to open new spot; Locale Market bringing in guest chefs 11/02/15 [Last modified: Monday, November 2, 2015 2:10pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Five recipe ideas for cooking with sparkling wine

    Cooking

    With high school and college graduation season upon us, you might find yourself stocking up on sparkling wine (if you don't normally). Though the obvious choice is to drink it all, you may find yourself with leftovers after all the parties are over. These five recipe ideas will use up that grad-friendly bubbly so …

    Sparkling Wine Risotto takes risotto up a notch.
  2. Portobello Mushrooms With Tuscan Kale and Sweet Potato work as main course or appetizer

    Cooking

    I've made no secret of my mushroom love. As I've written, I like to divide them into two categories: the interesting varieties (oysters, shiitakes, morels, puffballs and the like) that I find at the farmers market or forage; and the less-interesting ones (buttons, creminis) I buy at the supermarket. The former I …

    Portobello Mushrooms With Tuscan Kale and Sweet Potato will work as a main course or an appetizer.
  3. Will Brad Culpepper win it all on Wednesday's 'Survivor' finale?

    The Feed

    Heading into Wednesday's finale of Survivor: Game Changers, former Tampa Bay Buccaneer Brad Culpepper said his fans need to know there are still plays to make before the end zone.

    "The Tables Have Turned" - Brad Culpepper, Tai Trang and Hali Ford on the fourth episode of SURVIVOR: Game Changers on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Jeffrey Neira/CBS Entertainment
  4. Spaceballs 2 could really happen, Mel Brooks says

    Blogs

    When Mel Brooks talks about a sequel to Spaceballs, ‘80s fans are tempted to politely smile and nod our heads. It’s a joke, we figure, because how can you possibly recapture the magic of the 1987 Star Wars spoof, especially since John Candy has passed away. 

  5. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for May 23

    Events

    Frankie Valli And The Four Seasons: The original Jersey boy himself has produced hits like Sherry, Walk Like A Man, Rag Doll, December '63 and Grease during his long-lasting career both solo and with the Four Seasons. 7:30 p.m., Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, …

    Saint PAUL, MN - JULY 25: Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons perform at the 2010 Starkey Hearing Foundation 10th Annual "So the World May Hear" Gala at Saint Paul RiverCentre on July 25, 2010 in Saint Paul, Minnesota.   (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images for Starkey Hearing Foundation) *** Local Caption *** Frankie Valli