Why The Station House Is The Next Big Thing In The Burg

The Station House is 5,200 square feet of foodie heaven. The basement lounge restaurant located in the former Cafe Alma spot at 260 1st Ave S. is bringing American-Cocktail Cuisine to the Burg.

Owner/Founder Steve Gianfilippo along with partner Ro Patel and Chef Justin Sells collectively harbor a vision for a unique, avant-garde dining experience.

What can you expect from St. Pete's latest bastion of culinary innovation?

 

Classic cocktails with contemporary twists.

Bitter Betty (A take on the Manhattan w/ a lavender ice block)

El Diablo

You can still get your Old Fashioned and your Rhino drinks but pay attention to their ever-changing chalkboard wall of specials. The bartenders are persistent in chasing after the next great flavor. Might we suggest the El Diablo (fresh lime juice, creme de cassis, espolon reposado tequilia, ginger beer with a candy ginger garnish over ice made and chopped in-house).

 

A menu inspired by, and in tribute to, their signature cocktails.

Tuna Poppa (roasted garlic raita, tamarind, cumin cracker, scallion salad)

Falafel Fries

Chicharones

Cauliflower Taboule

Chef Justin Sells describes it as "seamless alchemy of food and spirit." Their small plate menu includes popular items such as Falafel Fries, Tuna Poppa, Chicharrones, Cauliflower Taboule and decadent bell-ringers (bacon wrapped medjool dates, chorizo, apricot and pink peppercorn).

 

While the Station House has items you won't find anywhere else, their menu also hosts simple favorites.

We suggest Bell and Evans Farms chicken breast. It perfumes a scent so divine you'll be transplanted to your Grandma's busy kitchen on Thanksgiving. The chicken is charmoula roasted, served over chickpea stew and braised market greens.

 

Beyond the plate, the Station House is fully connected and tech-friendly. 

There are USB adapters and power outlets underneath almost every table and at their hand-built bar area. This inclusion sticks true to the owner's philosophy of engaging both sit down diners and quick, casual patrons looking to a have a good drink.

 

Their private dining section is nothing to sleep on.

The private dining section was formerly used for storage. During the buildout Gianfilippo decided to expand the options larger parties would have. The private dining area provides patrons with complete access to the prep kitchen in case they want to store a cake in the fridge, or hide presents in the back. The private dining area also features a gramophone you can hook up your iPhone to.

 

There's luxury and then there's pure comfort.

We'd say the Station House is somewhere beyond the latter. Their chairs and booths are upholstered with green, royal blue and orange velvet. The ambience of Station House might trick you into thinking Ella Fitzgerald is on the stage.

 

Even the bathrooms are decorated to reflect the Station House's keen attention to detail.

The bathroom walls are covered in inspirational, philosophical quotes. The bathroom doors are designed to reveal the restaurant's insignia and facade.

 

The Station House isn't finished with its space just yet.

Gianfilippo plans to add a section in the back equipped with large TV screens and video games for children. The space will also include a kids menu. For parents who want a night out and can't find a sitter this addition is clutch.

 

The Station House is the perfect blend of casual and up-scale. The menu is uniquely designed to compliment the restaurant and lounge's list of signature cocktails. This allows for a deeper connection between the kitchen, the bar, the staff and the customer.

Rather than push you to order any item in particular, the staff at Station House hopes you'll refine your palate through exploratory tasting. The Station House are:

Tue-Thu: 4pm-1am

Fri & Sat: 4pm-3am

The Station House will hold its Grand Opening Celebration on January 29 at 4pm. That weekend the Station House will introduce its brunch beginning at 11am. 

The Station House, 260 1st Ave S. 

 

Photos by RKC.me

Written by Dex Fabian

Dex Fabian is the co-founder of I Love the Burg and That's So Tampa. A graphic designer by trade, Dex has been witness to Tampa Bay's explosion to become one of the hottest regions in the nation. In 2009, he helped develop the brand for I Love the Burg and in 2014 developed the branding for That's So Tampa and has been a regular contributor to both ever since.