One of St. Pete’s most celebrated chefs has teamed up with St. Pete Beach’s best wine bar to create one of the most exciting new concepts to open this year. Beginning today, a group led by Chef Alex Rodriguez and Kelly Rodriguez-Laureano from Lolita’s and Julie Featherston and John Barkett of Sea Grapes Wine Lounge are debuting Sea Grapes Eatery and Wine Lounge at 6390 Gulf Boulevard on St. Pete Beach.
Today, March 9, marks the official grand opening, with operating hours of 5-9 pm Wednesday and Thursday, 4-10 pm Friday and Saturday, and 4-8 pm on Sunday. Sea Grapes Eatery and Wine Lounge is can be reached by phone at 727-500-0052. The restaurant accepts reservations for parties of six or more, as well as day-of call ahead seating for parties less than six.
The new restaurant and lounge is the first of its kind for Rodriguez, the beloved chef not only behind Lolita’s, but of longtime Grand Central favorite Sophia’s Cucina + Enoteca. The menu he has curated for Sea Grapes Eatery represents a passion project for him and a return to his roots, with culinary offerings showcasing South Florida food with Latin flair.
Inside the building, guests will have an open sight line from the bar and lounge areas to watch their meals being beautifully crafted. There is also an exquisite new wine room showcasing rare and high-end curated bottles. Sea Grapes will, of course, offer the incredible selection of wines that made it such a popular place for local winos, with a deep and unique roster of wines from across the globe.
Sea Grapes Eatery and Wine Lounge anticipates a March 9 grand opening, with operating hours of 5-9 pm Wednesday and Thursday, 4-10 pm Friday and Saturday, and 4-8 pm on Sunday. Ownership tells us they anticipate launching a Sunday brunch in the future, as well.
Rodriguez crafts a menu unlike any other
I Love the Burg got a sneak peek at the new food menu, and we’re thrilled to get our first taste of what Chef Alex has planned. Small plates like crab cake croquettes, wagyu beef carpaccio, and whipped peppercorn feta already have our attention. Meanwhile, we may not be able to pick among the entrees, where diners will find Sea Grapes paella, jerk lamb lollipops, beef short rib, lobster mac and cheese, and a Cuban-inspired guava-chipotle pork belly.
Just reading the descriptions has our mouths watering. The beef short rib, for example, comes with baby potatoes, shishito peppers, coffee-spiced mole`, and chimmichurri. The crab cake croquettes include Spanish rice, cilantro yogurt, sofrito, and pimento oil. The lobster mac? Lobster escabeche, orecchiette manchego fondue, dehydrated black caviar, and sea salt. Yeah, sign us up.
And of course, what would a Rodriguez menu be without great desserts? The debut menu will feature two specialties that come with his expected flair and twists. The key lime brulee is topped with coconut foam and ginger cookie crumble, while the chocolate tres leche comes decadently served with rum-spiced banana praline, Chantilly cream, and crumbled pecan.
Meanwhile, we’re also excited to try the new cocktail menu, as we’re told the team running the drink program has crafted some truly delicious takes on classics, such as the blood orange mule, French 75, espresso martini, and Aperol spritz, as well as some refreshing and beachy options like the Sea Grapes margarita, passion fruit mai tai, and even red and white sangria.