New Pub's Roots
Tampa Bay Brewing Co.’s brew system
Reinventing pub fare has a few precedents. A few American brewpubs, notably the Tampa Bay Brewing Co., have chefs who put craft in food to match the beer (and beers in vinaigrettes, pizza crust and ice cream). When Downtown Disney rebuilt Raglan Road Irish Pub on Pleasure Island, it also imported Kevin Dundon, a New Irish celebrity chef.
The cooking’s true roots are in the barnyard once close to the public house; local ingredients are slowly coming back in central Florida thanks to a new generation of chefs, from Norman’s in Lake Buena Vista, The Ravenous Pig and Greens & Grille (run by Brian Petrakis, brother of James Petrakis of The Ravenous Pig) to Harmoni Market, K Restaurant Wine Bar and Nonna Trattoria ed Enoteca in College Park. At the Pig, you can eat pork from Avon Park, bison sausage from Citra and herbs and tomatoes from Sanford.
That’s a taste of the future as well as the past, whatever you call it.
» The Boca Bacchanal has its grand feast and auction at the Boca Raton Resort and a grand tasting of 140 wines and 25 favorite Boca bites at Mizner Park March 1-2.
» Washington state’s winemakers will join the annual Abilities of Florida tasting March 8 to pour their newest releases on the Rays infield at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. Look for home run rieslings and syrahs from the visitors.
» Coral Gables Wine & Food Festival takes over a stretch of Giralda Avenue March 27.
» Great reserve and aged rum at tastings, dinners and judgings at the International Rum Festival in Clearwater and Ybor City, March 27-29.