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  1. Arts & Entertainment
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Popup restaurant opens at downtown St. Petersburg inn for limited time

The Kitchen at Watergarden is led by former Sea Salt chef Kenneth Tufo.
Downtown St. Petersburg's Watergarden Inn at the Bay houses a new popup restaurant called the Kitchen at Watergarden. [Courtesy of the Kitchen at Watergarden]

One local chef has shifted his focus to a different kind of downtown St. Petersburg dining experience.

Kenneth Tufo, who spent the past five years as the executive chef at Sea Salt, is behind the recently opened Kitchen at Watergarden. Part of the Watergarden Inn at the Bay on Fourth Avenue NE, the popup restaurant allows Tufo to showcase his modern prix-fixe menus for a limited time.

“The Watergarden Inn is the ideal location for my pop-up,” the chef said in a news release announcing the Kitchen at Watergarden. “The inn is an oasis in the heart of downtown St. Petersburg and the perfect setting for guests to enjoy my intimate, market fresh menu.”

Chef Kenneth Tufo. [Courtesy of the Kitchen at Watergarden]

A lineup dated Feb. 9 brought dishes like black truffle risotto and pappardelle pomodoro, while pan-roasted black sea bass and apple fritter pudding were among the Feb. 20 offerings.

The menus are inspired by Tufo’s culinary career. He has cooked in Boston and New York City restaurants and at the legendary James Beard House, and he developed a love of French and Mediterranean cuisine in the kitchens of acclaimed chefs Daniel Boulud and Gordon Hamersley.

Tufo left Sea Salt earlier this month to pursue a few passion projects. The Kitchen at Watergarden is one of them.

Featuring indoor and outdoor seating, the Kitchen at Watergarden operates 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday to Saturday. The popup will remain open for season, tentatively through May.

Reservations are required and can be made by calling (646) 732-1758.