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Sonata, the new restaurant at St. Petersburg’s Mahaffey Theater, is open

It is helmed by chef Ted Dorsey and serves coastal cuisine.
 
Charred calamari with jicama, roasted corn, chorizo, cilantro, yuzu and edamame is on the menu at Sonata, the new restaurant at St. Petersburg's Mahaffey Theater.
Charred calamari with jicama, roasted corn, chorizo, cilantro, yuzu and edamame is on the menu at Sonata, the new restaurant at St. Petersburg's Mahaffey Theater. [ TRICIA O'LEARY | Courtesy of Sonata ]
Published Dec. 1, 2023|Updated Dec. 1, 2023

Just about six weeks after it was announced, the new restaurant at St. Petersburg’s Mahaffey Theater is opening today.

Sonata specializes in “coastal cuisine rooted in Southern hospitality” and is helmed by executive chef Ted Dorsey.

“I would like to say it’s a local version of Ocean Prime,” Dorsey told the Tampa Bay Times in October. Dorsey was formerly the executive chef of now-closed St. Petersburg restaurant The Mill.

Among its specialties are grilled oysters, charred calamari and braised pork belly.

Opening a restaurant at the theater was the vision of Bill Edwards, chairperson and CEO of Big3 Entertainment, the company that operates the Mahaffey Theater. Edwards said he wanted to make better use of the space.

A stunning installation depicting the moon by artist Luke Jerram hangs near the restaurant’s space. It’s there through a collaboration between the Bill Edwards Foundation for the Arts and St. Petersburg’s Imagine Museum.

A stunning installation depicting the moon by artist Luke Jerram hangs in St. Petersburg's Mahaffey Theater near its new restaurant, Sonata.
A stunning installation depicting the moon by artist Luke Jerram hangs in St. Petersburg's Mahaffey Theater near its new restaurant, Sonata. [ Courtesy of Sonata ]

The restaurant’s name is inspired by the musical term that refers to an instrumental composition of several movements. It’s fitting for the concert venue where The Florida Orchestra performs.

Sonata is open to the public, meaning you don’t have to have theater tickets to dine there. It’s open from 4-10 p.m. Tuesday–Thursday and Sunday, and 4-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday.

Reservations can be made at opentable.com. For more information, visit sonatarestaurant.com.