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Oaks on 4th is bringing classic comfort foods back with a twist in St. Pete

Oaks on 4th is bringing classic comfort foods back with a twist in St. Pete

Plates of food at Oaks on 4th
Photos courtesy of Oaks on 4th

It’s been decades since Oysters Rockefeller, Meatloaf and Lobster Thermador ruled the comfort food game. At Chef Tony Bonanno and partners’ new restaurant Oaks on 4th, however, all of these classic dishes (and more) are making a comeback.

“When my business partners and I decided to open Oaks on 4th,” Bonanno said, “We wanted a refined, rustic restaurant. We wanted to bring old-school comfort dishes back — like the ’70s and ’80s ones you used to get when you were younger — but with new flavors, new twists and new style.”


Prior to opening Oaks on 4th, Bonanno and his team were responsible for Clearwater’s crowd-favorite steak destination Bacsom’s Chop House. After years of turning out 500-600 high-end steaks a night, though, the Chef was longing for a change.

Serving “old-school comfort dishes” with a “refined” twist

“We can do tons of steaks a night at Bascom’s,” Bonanno said, “but I’ve always wanted the freedom to try new things and create the foods I really wanted to create. Oaks is more intimate and more relaxed, so I can do that. The concept here was always to be unique and different. We get to do things here that no one else around is doing.”

Bascom’s continues — under a chef Bonanno trained — to be as great as it ever was, but, intrigued by the idea of elevated, redesigned comfort classics, we decided to stop into Oaks on 4th and give the group’s newest venture a shot.


Photos: Oaks on 4th

From the nostalgic wooden décor of the endeavor to its menu of quiche, crab cakes and salmon-infused chowder, we found the spot to be just as cozy as its golden-age theme suggested it should be. Oaks on 4th, we determined, might be St. Pete’s next great neighborhood, bring-your-kids-out-to-dinner restaurant.

Oaks on 4th is St. Pete’s newest family restaurant

Unlike many establishments in the family-friendly genre, Oaks on 4th actually has good food. As Bonanno explained, the team was shooting for a “refined” menu. The whole nostalgia, comfort effect just kind of happened after the fact. That organic love and passion, though, is our favorite thing about the spot, so we can’t overstate it.

Heart aside, however, we know you ‘Burgers love to eat, and the new restaurant has some pretty cool dishes. So, before we keep you waiting too long, here is everything we ate at Oaks on 4th.

The menu

Photo: Kara VanDooijeweert

Deviled Eggs

Whether at an ’80s block party or someone’s grandmother’s Easter dinner, everyone’s tried a deviled egg at least once. Oaks on 4th elevates that familiar dish, however, with tajin spice, blistered corn, shredded queso fresco and pickled chili peppers. If we were to rename this plate, we’d call it “Eloté Eggs,” because it totally reminds us of Mexican street corn.

Photo: Oaks on 4th

Steak Tartare

Perhaps Oaks on 4th’s most photogenic dish, Chef Bonanno’s Steak Tartare comes topped with a vibrant yellow egg yolk and accompanied by house-made kettle chips. Dip one of those crunchy potatoes into the tender beef mixture and you’ll uncover layers of green apples, fried capers, sriracha and more.

Spicy Shrimp

Bonanno and team’s Spicy Shrimp is one of the best appetizers Oaks on 4th currently offers. Featuring a ½ pound of Cajun-seasoned jumbo shrimp in a thick garlic sauce, we weren’t surprised when restaurant manager KC Howard named this popular plate his favorite on the menu.

Photo: Oaks on 4th

Lobster Thermador

Name the last time you’ve seen Lobster Thermador on a restaurant menu. We’ll wait.

If you’re drawing a blank, that’s because this dish hails all the way back to the 1800s when it was invented in a famous restaurant in Paris. By the early 1900s, the plate was popular across America, but — by 2000 — it was rendered nearly obsolete. Today, however, Oaks on 4th is breathing new life into the 20th century’s cheesiest dish.

Complete with garlic parmesan cream, seasoned bread crumbs, drawn butter and chives, this seafood delicacy is not only a fun nod to the past, but also one of the best plates on the menu.

‘Deep South’ — aka, Deep Fried Meatloaf

Though the Lobster Thermador was top-tier, the “Deep South” fried meatloaf was easily our favorite dish of the day. With a gooey, almost paté-like filling surrounded by a thin and crispy layer of flash-fried edges, this triangle shaped loaf eats like a crab cake or a potato latke — just made of meat, bread crumbs and sweet onion, of course.

To best enjoy this innovative entrée, we suggest topping it with Chef Bonanno’s sherry pepper cream gravy.

Photo: Kara VanDooijeweert

Mahi Mahi

Looking for something a bit lighter than deep fried meatloaf or cream-soaked shellfish? This may be the dish for you.

Featuring a char-grilled cut of fish topped with olive tapenade, roasted garlic, shallots and capers, this fresh plate is both healthy and tasty alike.

Ready to dine?

If you’re ready to take a step into the past and warm your soul with some old-school comfort classics, Oaks on 4th is open for lunch and dinner six days a week (Tues-Sun) beginning at 11 a.m. Reservations can be made by calling (727) 502-0060, or by clicking here.

And, if you’re craving a good old-fashioned brunch? With crab cake benedict and alpine cheese quiche, St. Pete’s newest family-friendly restaurant is doing that, too — six days a week.

Oaks on 4th is located at 4351 4th Street N. To learn more about the restaurant, prospective guests can click here, or follow the spot on Instagram and Facebook.


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