THE LURE TAMPA
The Lure opened in downtown St. Petersburg in January 2016, one of a raft of new casual, mid-price restaurants to debut in town. Fifteen months later, partners Tom Golden (formerly of the Rack in Tampa) and Michael Stewart (Ava, 717 South) announce that they will open a second outpost of the Lure in Tampa at the site of Catrinas Tacos and Tequila Bar at 2402 S MacDill Ave., opened in 2012 by Karol Ortiz and Tisbeth Mejia. The Lure in St. Pete has come to be known as a good-times place for playing some pool and tucking into a mess of tacos (including jerk seasoned and sauteed "chapulines," or grasshoppers, shown right — which some say is the food of the future). Grasshoppers will hop the bay over to the Tampa side not far from Datz, in a freestanding building that has housed Marrakech, Bistro Bleu and others over the years. No date has been set for opening and the space is currently under renovation, says Stewart.
URBAN IN THE TROP
Urban Restaurant Group (Urban Brew and BBQ, Urban Comfort, Urban Deli and Drafts, Urban Creamer) has announced it will expand into Tropicana Field for the 2017 Tampa Bay Rays season. Look for chicken and waffles (chicken tenders in a waffle cone from Urban Creamery) as well as pulled pork, ribs and fried chicken.
Hyde Park Village continues to be in a dramatic state of flux, with construction begun on the block that will house the upscale Meat Market. Meanwhile, across the street, one of the anchors, Piquant Epicure and Cuisine will close on March 30. Owners Ricardo Castro and Rosana Rivera have been in a dispute with building owner WS Asset Management and have decided it's time to look elsewhere for their French-inspired bakery and restaurant, with a focus on possibilities in the Westshore area or at International Plaza. Meanwhile, the duo have debuted Petit Piquant at 1704 N Howard Ave. in Tampa, a retail and wholesale bakery trafficking in fresh bread and classic pastries.
At the Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club, ground has been broken for a new 200-seat restaurant called Paul's Landing. Set to open by the end of the year and joining Marchand's and Alfresco, Paul's Landing will have marina views and will feature a collaboration with St. Petersburg's 3 Daughters Brewing.
FOOD FESTS ON THE HORIZON:
TAMPA BAY JEWISH FOOD FESTIVAL
Carnegie Deli may have breathed its last in New York City, but the first Tampa Bay Jewish Food Festival at Temple B'Nai Israel in Clearwater is bringing it back April 2. In addition to Carnegie Deli corn beef and pastrami sandwiches, there will be matzoh ball soup, bagels and lox, noodle kugel, rugelach and all the other hard-to-pronounce Jewish delicacies. Admission is free to this community-wide event and includes live entertainment, a wine-tasting room, kids' play area and local arts and crafts vendors. 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., 1685 S Belcher Road, Clearwater. (727) 531-5829.
LOS VINOS DE DALÍ
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The annual Los Vinos de Dalí also returns 4-7 p.m. April 2 with a variety of fine wines paired with tastings from area restaurants (including Castile, Michael's on East, FarmTable Kitchen and Sea Salt). This year the festivities on the plaza between the Dalí Museum and the Mahaffey Theater include Florida wineries, craft beer breweries, distilleries, a specialty cocktail and non-alcoholic beverages. Guests can stroll the "avant-garden" as well as the current exhibit, "Frida Kahlo at the Dalí," and proceeds benefit the Museum and its educational programs. $90, $75 for museum members. thedali.org.
INTERNATIONAL CUBAN SANDWICH FESTIVAL
And from March 31 to April 2, the sixth annual International Cuban Sandwich Festival in Ybor City takes on an all-new international component as Hyunmin Cho and Geunmin Kang journey all the way from their Tampa Sandwich Bar in Seoul, South Korea, to compete for the title at Hillsborough Community College's Ybor City campus. Read more about their shop at tbtim.es/11y0. Attended by thousands of people, the smackdown features contestants from all over Florida seeking the answer to whose Cuban is best. It's a pressing issue. thecubansandwichfestival.com.