ST. PETERSBURG — Roam, a new restaurant from the duo behind Red’s BBQ, is opening this week in St. Petersburg.
The restaurant, which chef and owner Joshua Jackson describes as a “steak-forward” spot with dishes that utilize classic techniques and global influences, opens Thursday at 3405 34th St. N.
Jackson, 30, is launching the restaurant with his brother, Christian Jackson, 37. Though this is their first brick-and-mortar, the duo are well-known around town for their popular barbecue catering business and food truck, which for the last few years was parked near the intersection of Fifth Avenue N and 34th Street.
Having worked in restaurant kitchens since the age of 14, and later as a corporate executive chef in New York, Joshua Jackson said opening a restaurant of his own has been a dream long in the making. The idea for Roam was to create the type of place he and his brother like to dine at and hang out with friends and family — a steakhouse with a higher-end beverage program that still felt welcoming and casual, but never stuffy.
“Those are the places that I like to go,” Jackson said. “That’s the type of food that I like to eat — I just want to do the same thing for other people.”
At Red’s BBQ, the emphasis was heavy on smoked meats and comfort staples inspired by their father’s Cajun and Creole cooking — smoked turkey legs, pulled pork and St. Louis-style ribs, collard greens, and mac and cheese. Now, at their new restaurant, Jackson said he plans on going more upscale (though not necessarily more restrained) with an evolving, seasonal menu and a strong emphasis on classic steakhouse fare.
On any given evening that could include a rotating selection of cuts — ranging from filets to New York strips, rib-eyes and tomahawks — as well as pork and lamb chops, along with classic steakhouse add-ons like lobster tail with drawn butter, garlic shrimp and caramelized onions.
So far, the opening menu of carnivore-friendly items includes dishes like a tomahawk ribeye for two, served with garlic butter, green beans and two glasses of Champagne ($110); a 14-ounce prime New York strip steak, blackened and served with gorgonzola fondue, fried onions and hand-cut fries ($46); New Zealand lamb chops served with a honey garlic sauce and a citrus salad ($7 each, with a minimum of four per order); and spiced pork chops draped in a mushroom cream sauce and served with a baked potato ($21).
Beyond the meatier dishes, a menu of decadent-sounding entrees runs the gamut from a cavatelli alfredo featuring caramelized onions, spinach and sun-dried tomatoes in a Parmesan cream sauce ($15) to a mac and cheese topped with lobster and black truffle ($24) and a salmon filet served with a Cajun garlic butter sauce, garlic green beans and risotto ($24).
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A “luxury” Champagne and wine program, coupled with signature cocktails, will round out the drink menu, Jackson said, though that menu is still being finalized.
Although their sophomore effort is considerably more upscale than their mobile barbecue operation, Jackson said to-go and delivery options — through several third-party applications — will be offered at Roam, too.
Jackson opened Roam on a whim last week, for a soft-opening period. That evening, with his brother Christian out of town, Jackson ran the spot himself, acting simultaneously as a chef, server, bartender, food runner and dishwasher.
“It was a lot of running around, but it worked,” he said.
This week, Jackson is hoping things will be a little less hectic as he hires more staff and his brother returns. Hours are still in the works, but once settled, Jackson expects to be open Thursdays through Sundays for dinner and late night and eventually for Sunday brunch.
If you go
Roam, 3405 34th St. N, St. Petersburg. instagram.com/roamresturantstpete