Thursday, April 16, 2015

Locale Market

After our stellar meal at Farmtable Kitchen, the missus and I returned to Locale Market a few weeks later for lunch at the upstairs wine bar with some friends. The market's main entrance is via the mall's expansive courtyard, but patrons can also enter through an entrance along 2nd Avenue N.

Once inside, you'll encounter wall-to-wall shelving and cases of products ranging from fresh pasta, craft beer, produce, sandwiches to-go, seafood, meats, cheese, bakery goods, prepared salads, ice cream, coffee - the list goes on and on.

We coincidentally timed our walkthrough while Chef Matt was performing surgery on another swordfish, this time downstairs at the seafood counter to the delight of onlookers (I nearly backed into the pointy bill when I was contemplating various flavors at the gelato bar - fortunately, the safety lemon prevented me from having to make an awkward and unscheduled visit to the proctologist).

Piscine crisis averted, I ended up choosing the Nutella gelato. It was smooth, creamy, and refreshing.

Our food at lunch was delectable as well (no, I didn't have dessert first - I'm going slightly out of sequence). The table all shared an appetizer plate of what's described as "malfatti" on the menu (which translates to "poorly made" from Italian), gnarled and crispy fried sheets of fresh pasta sprinkled with parmesan and local Anna Maria Island bottarga, then served with a dollop of herb foam. My suspicion is that the pasta sheets used in this dish are discarded, off-spec orphans (hence the name), but you certainly can't tell from the taste that anything went awry in the kitchen.

The bowl of dark tagliatelle with Key West shrimp and Two Docks clams in a wine-butter sauce that I had for my entree was definitely ON spec. Nothing to see here (I mean, my plate was empty in a hurry).

I promise that the next blog posting will not involve Farmtable, Locale Market, or anything remotely related to St. Petersburg. I don't want to get into a rut...

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