Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas Eve Dinner Part 2

Dinner at the Loft

The Main Course  
Tuna Tartare

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Greetings

A very Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukah to everyone. 

Frank and I created another lovely meal last night, for our traditional Christmas Eve dinner. Fortunately I took the day off from work so I had plenty of time to shop at Mazzaro's and prep for dinner. The menu:
  • Tuna Tartare with cucumber salad, and orange glazed crispy shrimp with a scallion cream sauce. (inspired by a dish I had at Todd English's Bluezoo - see earlier post)
  • Duck breast with cherries in port wine sauce
  • Seared sea scallops
  • Eggplant Napoleon with a basil olive oil
  • Parsley new potatoes
  • Lemon Panna Cotta with fresh raspberries and raspberry coulis. 
Christmas day dinner was a family affair at my niece Cherie's home in Sarasota. She prepared a wonderful standing rib roast with green beans and potatoes Au gratin (compliments of my nephew, Biff)

Now I need a rest from all the great food.

Peace to all !

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Mr. P is in Trouble

Mr. P, aka Paolo - the handsome, aka P-Butt, is in trouble tonight. Yes, my boy cat is in trouble. Well, not serious trouble to the point of being confined to kitty jail or anything like that. Here is the deal. 

Last night I stopped at Petsmart to pick up a few Christmas gifts for Paolo and Lucia. This is the time of year they are treated for being such "good" children. I tossed the bag of toys on top of the refrigerator (OK, you can see this one coming, can't you?). In the bag was a small canvas bag of catnip. Well, when I arrived home tonight, the bag was on the floor, ripped open and the catnip bag was removed from the bag and laying in the kitchen, and it was saturated with cat saliva. 

Now, you might ask why I accused Mr. P of this criminal deed. Easy, his chin was still wet from salivating all over the catnip bag. And I also know from prior experience, that he has a fit when he and catnip are mixed.

Right now, he is sitting on my lap, checking every word I write about him. So much for being in trouble. The bag of toys, including the soggy catnip bag are safely stored in a place he cannot access. He will just have to wait until Christmas Eve to open his gifts.

Meow !

Friday, December 19, 2008

A Free Day

I am taking one of my few remaining vacation days today, for no reason other than I have to use it or lose it. Since it is a lovely sunny day in St. Pete, I went for a long walk, had lunch at a new vegetarian place on Central and wandered the streets for a while. 

Here is a brief update on my health situation: The pathology reports came back good, no cancer in the lymph nodes. However the melanoma was deep - 7mm thick, and the oncologist is concerned about recurrence of cancer. So I will be starting interferon infusions in January to decrease the chance of a recurrence. 

The downtown restaurant scene continues to change, with a new Z Grill opening, and a soon to open Red Mesa Cantina only blocks from the loft. Frank, him Mom and I tested Marchands at the Vinoy last week. We had a very nice meal in a nice setting. I had a lamb tenderloin that was cooked perfectly medium rare. It was very good, but not as good as the "best ever" lamb tenderloin at Bayona in New Orleans. 

Finally, Straub Park is aglow with Christmas and Holiday decorations. The weather has been perfect for evening strolls through the park to enjoy the festive environment. If you live in the Tampa Bay area, come on by for a walk in the park.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Santa Fe Album

Click --> Santa Fe to see some photos from the trip.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Where Have I Been

... you might ask due to the lengthy time between posts. Well, I was in Santa Fe, NM for a long weekend this past weekend, and had a great time. The weather was between the high 20s and the low 50s, with clear blue skies almost every day. The cool weather is exactly what Frank and I were hoping for, however the only snow we saw was on the high road to Taos. Hey, I am not complaining... it was still a great time.

I ate (no surprise), everything from Roasted Acorn Squash filled with a chipotle cream vegetable stew (Cafe Pasqual's), to duck breast in a cherry sauce on a potato gallette, (315 Restaurant and Wine Bar), to an eggplant and tomato pasta, (Osteria di Assissi), to a juicy medium rare steak (Railyard Restaurant), to breakfast crepes (twice - Cafe Paris and  French Pastry Shop & Restaurant), and wonderful tamales (Tia Sophia's). 

and... we were "cultured" by a visit to SITE Santa Fe 2008 Biennial, a very interesting exhibit of "art" created by an international collection of artists who were give a budget of $7,500 to create their installation which included everything an interactive "touch the wall" exhibit, video presentations, an elevated ramp that ended in an optional jump to mats below, and a bronze sculpture based on Roswell UFO sightings, to name only a few. 

We also attended a performance of the Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra at the Lensic Theatre (build in 1931) to hear BartokHungarian Sketches, Dvorák, Cello Concerto, and Brahms, Symphony No. 1.

Santa Fe... good food, good shopping, very nice people... go if you get the opportunity

Friday, November 28, 2008

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Actually it is gone today... as of 10AM this morning, the hair that remained on my head is gone; buzz cut gone, just like the bad parts of a "B" Movie, laying on the cutting room floor. It feels very strange, but looks good, if I do say so myself.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

"Food, Glorious Food"

Frank and I prepared a truly wonderful Thanksgiving Eve dinner, as is our long standing tradition. Last nights menu included:

Oysters on the half shell with champagne

Fig, goat cheese and arugula salad

Roasted Cornish game hens
Butternut squash risotto and 
Sauteed Brussels sprouts with pancetta
and a few glasses of St. Supery Elu wine

Cranberry bread pudding

I must say everything came out perfect... what a meal !!! Oink!
And a nice way to share an evening with a special friend.


It is Thanksgiving Day morning and as I sit here contemplating the day and the past year, I realize I have a lot to be thankful for. So, just to name a few.
  • I am thankful that I sold the cute "Little Bungalow on Suwanee" considering the current state of the real estate market.
  • I am thankful that I landed in downtown St. Petersburg; I really enjoy the urban environment and the opportunity to walk to restaurants, shops and museums. This fits me !
  • I am  extremely thankful for my health especially considering what I have experienced the past couple of months. It was a scare and a lesson learned for me and hopefully others - don't wait, get any unusual growth evaluated promptly.
  • I am thankful that I have two wonderful feline kids, Paolo and Lucia. Every day they do something to make me smile (OK, and occasionally a few things to make me cringe). 
  • And most of all (isn't there always a "most of all"): I am very thankful for my friends and family. I am very fortunate to have a close and supportive family and so many caring good friends. THANK YOU ALL
So, for me, every day is a Thanks - giving day!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Beach It!

My friend Bob, introduced me to  Beak's Old Florida, a beach bar-esq place on Central Avenue. The walls and tables are covered with enough beachy knick-knacks to keep a feather duster busy for months. The menu is diverse and very well prepared. From the sandwich menu, I selected the Center Stage Beached Nude, a char grilled fillet of Mahi-Mahi. What made this grilled fish sandwich swim above any other "just your ordinary beach/sports bar grilled fish sandwich" was the toasted multi-grain artisan bread, and the grilled tomato slices. The side of basil mayo was a nice addition. All in all a nice treat and a fun place. And it was great being out and about again after a week of limited activity.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Designer Caps

After my Doctor visit yesterday, I was issued a lovely mesh cap to wear over the non-adhesive bandage that I apply daily to the surgery location. This cap is not fashionable, but could be once I post a picture of it on this blog. However, I haven't reach the point of acceptance of the new item enough to share - but stay tuned, you never know what I might do. I have received a number of requests for pictures of this lovely fashion statement. 

With all that said, the post-op visit went well, although the pathology report had not arrived yet. Everything is healing as expected, and my surgeon was confident that Mel and his little cancer carrying buddies had been eliminated.

I will breathe better once I get the final pathology report, but my doctor's confidence was a big boost for me. I have one more follow-up visit next Wednesday. Until them I will rest, read, do some "work-from-home", and listen to my cats sing with joy that I am home with them all day.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Not all Sunshine in St. Petersburg

It has been a while since my last post, and while I want this blog to have a positive bent, life isn't always that way. And since this blog is about my life I must tell you a little story. 

A few weeks ago, I learned that I had a little "friend" (and that term is used very loosely) who had been tagging along with me where ever I went. I never realized the true intent of this "friend" and when I did, I had to get rid of him. His name was Mel A. Noma, and as of last Friday, he is no longer a part of my life. 

As many of my family and friends already know, I had a melanoma and a few lymph nodes removed on Friday by the great doctors and staff at Moffitt Cancer Center. So, Mel is gone and I am recovering from the surgery and a skin graft. I have my post-op appointment tomorrow (Wednesday) where I will get the pathology results. I expect good news and that I can close this chapter.

I will not dwell on this experience except to encourage everyone to monitor their skin and if you find an unwanted "friend" get the medical attention as soon as possible.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Cultured, I Am

I know this is getting to be repetitive, but it was another lovely day in St. Petersburg. Under another cloudless sky, I wandered down to the Saturday Morning Market for a light lunch, and some wonderful cheese and fresh produce. 

This evening I attended The Florida Orchestra's performance at The Mahaffey Theatre. And, yes, I walked to the theatre. Tonight's program included Debussy's "Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun" and "Nocturnes" and Holst's: "The Planets". It was a great program, with "The Planets" being the featured composition. It opened with a rousing "Mars, the Bringer of War" and ended with "Neptune, the Mystic" with the voices of the Women's Chorus of the Master Chorale of Tampa Bay fading into silence. BRAVO !

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Oh Yes !

Barack Obama did it,

 Pins%20and%20Buttons make a difference. 

The times they are a changin'... and it is about time!

Sunday, November 2, 2008


I continue to have problems receiving home delivery of the Sunday New York Times. Since I have moved to downtown St. Petersburg, I have only had one successful delivery. Every other week, I had to call and report a missed delivery. Repeated phone calls and emails have not resolved the problem. Hey, NYTimes, I live in "downtown" St. Petersburg, not in "nowhere" USA. How about a paper? So what's up with that, eh?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Saturday in the Park(shore)

But first, another trip back to the Saturday Morning Market, this time with my friend Bob. It was another lovely day in St. Petersburg, with cool temperatures and clear skies as we walked to the market. Bob had to cover some of my purchases as my wallet seemed to be empty of cash. The market was fun as always and yielded some great produce purchases.

Shorty after noon, Mrs. C. (Frank's mother) and Frank arrived for her initial viewing of the loft. Loved it, she did ! We then had lunch at Parkshore Grill on Beach Drive across from the Museum of Fine Arts. Give it a try if ever in downtown St. Petersburg. My hanger steak was very tasty, although it arrived with the fries that I had asked them to hold, (0ne demerit). Frank enjoyed the Tyson Trio (soup, pulled-pork sandwich and salad) and Mrs. C had a "Build-a-burger" with onions and mushrooms. It must have been good since she finished the whole burger, which is unusual for this tiny lady.

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Flaneurs went Flaneur-ing

Sunday it was, and it was a beautiful day, clear, slightly cooler, low humidity with a light breeze off the bay. So after breakfast at the loft, complements of Frank, we headed out for a walk, Other than wanting to go to the waterfront, we had no destination in mind, so these two flaneurs did what flaneurs do, wandered aimlessly but always on the lookout for something of interest. We walked by the Vinoy Hotel and captured the pink hotel against the deep blue sky, then on to Vinoy Park for a shot of downtown across the harbor. We continued our stroll of the sidewalks of St. Petersburg for a while and stopped at the Museum of Fine Arts to see two special photography exhibits, one of "The History of Photography" with prints from the mid 1800's. The other was a collection of Ansel Adams and his contemporaries, which are always very impressive.

After the museum, more walking... oh, look, we are at Pincho y Pincho, let's stop for a glass of sangria and a couple tapas. Yum... 

Back at the loft, after champagne and appetizers with Carol and Lois (thank you both for the champagne and flowers), the four of us headed to Chappy's on Central Ave, for some Creole cooking. My shrimp and grits was very good.

Frank and I finished off the evening at L'Olivier Bistro, a little French creperie, for a couple dessert crepes and coffee. 

That concluded another wonderful day walking the streets of "my city". 

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Saturday - Part Two

Voting completed, I headed to Central Ave to find a lunch spot. I am now sitting at an umbrella shaded sidewalk table at Zurrito's, waiting for a fish taco to arrive.

Life is good.
(Sent form my smartphone)


10:10 AM in downtown St. Petersburg, standing in a line of a couple hundred people waiting to VOTE... Early.

It is a slightly overcast breezy Saturday, with a 30% chance of rain. Not bad for a short walk from the loft to the voting booth.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Go Rays!

Yes, St. Petersburg is hosting the first game of the World Series tonight, only blocks from my loft. How cool is that. Not that I am attending, but I can still hope for a victory and ultimately a World Series Championship for the Tampa Bay Rays. 
And to my good friend, Deirdre, who works in Philadelphia, just send the money now. 

Saturday, October 18, 2008

So zoo me !

Last Thursday, the night before attending the Food and Wine Festival at EPCOT, Frank and I dined at Todd English's bluezoo in the Dolphin Resort at Walt Disney World. This has a very high WOW factor in my opinion, from the sleek blue and copper decor, to the service, and most importantly the food. Every item was superb. 
I started with the Yellowfin tuna tartar; a lovely circular presentation of diced fresh tuna served on top of fried rock shrimp wrapped in a thin cucumber slice. Frank enjoyed his chilled poached jumbo shrimp with an avocado puree, bloody mary sauce, and fennel salt. We both knew that if the rest of the meal was a good as the appetizers we were in for a real treat.
We both selected the "simply fish" item on the menu which allows you to select from one of three or four fish, and pair it with one of three sauces. Frank and  I opted for the triple tail fish, but I had the warm crabmeat, dijon mustard, and chives sauce and Frank selected the red curry coconut sauce. The fish was light, flaky and perfectly grilled. Both sauces were tasty and complemented the triple tail nicely.
We accompanied our entrees with a shared order of tempura haricot vert. The beans were lightly battered, fried and served in a conical chrome french fry basket. They were seasoned with a course salt that added another dimension of flavor and texture to the dish. 
With our meal we enjoyed a truly wonderful bottle of Rex Hill Willamette Valley (Oregon) Pinot Noir
Dessert was "almost" a no brainer. Our server raved about the zweet burger during his review of the dessert offerings.  So we decided to split the zweet burger, and zweet it was. So, what is a zweet burger you might ask. It looked like a small hamburger even with two slices of cheese. But looks can be deceiving. The bun was made of lemon pound cake, the cheese was thin slices of orange flavored gelatin and the "meat" was citrus cream custard with an edge of dark chocolate. The burger was served with a side of ketchup (raspberry sorbet) and fries (strips of fried beignet). The plate was decorated with a splash of raspberry puree that looked like a streak of ketchup against the white plate.
In my book, this ranks as one of my best meals ever. 

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Bistro 523

Bistro 523 had a grand opening this weekend and served eleven "customers", in two seating. On Friday, I hosted the MOW Book Club for a discussion of "Suite Francaise" by Irène Némirovsky and a dinner of pasta with an eggplant and tomato sauce. On Sunday, the chalkboard with the Menu du Jour was placed outside the door when my niece, Cherie and her husband Mike, my nephew Biff and his partner, Butch joined Frank and me for a bistro dinner. The meal included the house specialty (or soon to become a specialty) of Bistro 523 Short Ribs, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, and Green Beans with Pancetta. Biff provided a wonderful Salmon en Croûte appetizer, and Cherie provided a tasty lemon and gingerbread trifle. Everything was yummy.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

If you knew Sushi, like I knew Sushi...

This is not just another fish tail (or is that tale). There is a small building on the west side of 9th Street, just a tadpole north of 12th Ave N, where you can get some very good sushi. Hook's it is, and hook you it will, if you like sushi. 

That is my 2¢.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Oh, What a Busy Day

It was a lovely Saturday morning in St. Petersburg. (That is about as bad of an opening line as "It was a dark and stormy night"). Let me try this again:

 "There is so much to tell. After a leisurely cup of coffee and a quick read of the morning paper, I strolled down 4th Ave under sunny skies to the reopening of the Saturday Morning Market." As I reached 1st Street, I crossed the race course of the runners and walkers from the Race for the Cure. There were hundreds (OK probably more than that) of participants supporting this excellent cause. This Saturday was also the grand opening of the Pinellas Trail extension into downtown St. Petersburg which brought additional walkers to the market. 

The market was a collection of food, art and 
crafts spread across the Progress Energy Field parking lot. The food vendors ranged from British Meat Pies, and French crepes to Jamaican Jerk meals, pastries, fresh artisan breads, to name only a few. It would be very easy to double your weight in a day tasting all the tempting food. The fresh produce stands were always crowded and all the produce looked great. 

My purchases today included an Olive Boule, Garlic and Chive Papparadelle, a collection of spices, and a lovely wedge of Mobier cheese, all the way from France. But the highlight of my shopping was not food related, but the opportunity to add to my small collection of art glass; this time from a local (Hillsborough County) glass artist, Virginia Spalter. (Any underlined text is a link to additional information). It is a wonderful, colorful, collection of various glass fragments incorporated into a 12" x 12" plate. Virginia said it represented our society with all the various ethnic and cultural backgrounds. I like that! 

I have rambled on far too long - my intent with my blog was to keep each post brief, but I get carried away when I experience something like the Saturday Morning Market,  which will become a regular part of my Saturdays. 

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Market Opens

This Saturday, October 4, The Saturday Morning Market opens in downtown St. Petersburg. Watch for a review of the market in a future blog.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Food is an important part of a balanced diet.
Fran Lebowitz

Toasted in Tampa

Seven glasses of wine, full stomachs, and almost three hours after arrival, Frank and I departed Toasted Pheasant Bistro on (far) North Dale Mabry. The special wine dinner was one of the restaurant's monthly events and the first we have attended. The chef prepared a five course meal with a different wine selected for each course. We arrived a little early, so we had our first glass of wine at the bar; not included in the fixed price menu. The first "official" glass was on the outside patio followed by the dinner and wine inside. The menu is included, just click on the menu to enlarge. The meal was proceeded by an overview of the menu by the chef and a discussion of the wines by the wine merchant.

My favorites: 
White: Remy Pannier Vouvray - light refreshing with just a hint of sweetness - it was a nice aperitif.
Red: Stormhoek Pinotage from South Africa - a medium bodied fruity wine which paired nicely with the Petite Osso Buco.
Food: All good, but the Petite Osso Buco was my favorite. It was fall-off-the-bone tender, served in a nice light broth over a small bed of mashed potatoes and carrots. The chef, during his introduction of the menu, encouraged us to toss our manners away and pick up the osso buco and eat it with our fingers. 

This was a lovely evening, with good food, good wine and good service. I will return to Toasted Pheasant Bistro. 

... and we both made it back safely to our respective residences.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Food: (Part 2) Tap Tap Tapas

Tonight I walked (yes, walked) about 10 blocks to Ceviche, the St. Petersburg location of the Tampa based Spanish tapas restaurant. I actually dined at a sidewalk high-top table at Pincho y Pincho, their adjacent coffee shop and bar. The menu is the same, and it was a beautiful night with cool (yes, I said cool, but that is relative to the temperatures earlier in the day) breezes coming off the bay. With my two glasses of sangria, I enjoyed two tapas: grilled salmon with leeks in a saffron cream sauce and fresh (don't think canned) anchovies with minced onion and tomato on toasted baguette slices. Yes, they were very good, thank you very much! 

I then enjoyed a leisurely stroll home, up Central Avenue, people watching along the way. It was another nice day in my new city.

Food: Shrimp in the Wild

While running errands today, I stopped for lunch at the Wild Shrimp Company, a small walk-up stand on the corner of Central Avenue and 20th Street at the edge of Haslam's Book Store parking lot. It would be easy to miss, and even if noted, you may not be tempted to stop. If you drive on by, you are missing one of the "Best of the Bay" restaurants, using that term loosely. Walk up to the window, place your order, and enjoy the food at one of the two umbrella topped plastic tables fronting Central Ave. 

I had the po' boy loaded with lighted breaded, deep fried, sweet wild gulf shrimp. It was served on a fresh hoggie roll with lettuce, tomato, and a tangy grainy mustard and mayo sauce. Yummy, I say. 

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Art in the Loft

This is a closeup of a favorite painting that I am fortunate to own, titled "Embers of Venice" The artist, Peter Stilton, was a high school classmate of mine, who I reconnected with last year when I learned he lived in Tampa. To see more of Peter's work, check out Stilton Studio. And by the way, Peter's wife, Jill, makes the all time best dark chocolate fudge sauce.

"Essentially this is an abstract work in gold and copper leaf squares and rectangles of burnt sienna, orange, and blue paint. Almost like the Plexiglas overlays I used in earlier paintings, black silhouettes of peopled gondolas and Venetian buildings float over the under-painting. With a bamboo stylus I depicted St. Mark’s, Sta. Maria Maggiore, S. Simeon Piccolo, the Ca d’Oro, and the Rialto Bridge. Venice is a voyage, and here the viewer can float over its domes and campanile" - Peter Stilton

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Art and Food

... or is it Food and Art. Well tonight it was both. The Downtown Arts Association hosts the Second Saturday Gallery Walk where a number of galleries stay open until 9 PM on the second Saturday of each month. So, gallery walk I did, stopping at only three of the locations; Florida Craftsmen, The ArtLoft, and Glass Canvas. The latter was my favorite since I love art glass. This gallery carries all types of glass work from artists around the country. I found a number of pieces I liked, including a twelve to fifteen inch stack of multi-colored fused glass rectangles that changed color and appearance as you walked around the art. But alas, a purchase was not to be (at least not right now). I then walked to Straub Park and the Fine Arts Museum for a quick look in the Museum Store, before heading back home. 

On the way up Central Ave, I decided to stop in Bella Brava for a glass of wine and a artisanal cheese platter. My Echelon Pinot Noir paired nicely with the four cheeses and cranberry compote. It was a lovely way to finish an evening in my new city.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Food: St. Pete Sushi

Dinner tonight was at 9 Bangkok Thai Restaurant 571 Central Ave, St. Peterburg. I have been there three times since I moved here, so I must like it. Tonight was sushi, fresh and tasty. I have also enjoyed their Thai entrees, such as Crispy Duck Curry. The service is prompt and the staff friendly. And it is only four block from the loft. 

Name Change

I have decided to change the name of my blog to "The Urban Flaneur". The old (all of a couple of weeks old) name did not really sit well with my inner self. And as one dear friend mentioned, it reminded her of an American Express commercial.

So why "The Urban Flaneur" you ask? It represents a vision of what I would like to be; that is a person living in an urban environment who wanders aimlessly around their city, or any city.

" A flaneur is a stroller, a loiterer, someone who ambles through a city without apparent purpose, but is secretly attuned to the history of the place and in covert search of adventure, aesthetic  or erotic." ... The Flaneur by Edmund White. 

The content will not change and your options to read or not read remain the same. And, as always, you comments are welcomed.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

My City: A Book (store) Review

This afternoon I walked to the Barnes and Noble at the St. Petersburg Campus of USF. It is smaller than a standard B&N, but it has all the essentials including a Starbucks. The book selection is good, but not as many choices as a standard store. Although it had all the current best sellers and a good selection of other options throughout the store. Since it is the campus bookstore, the hours are also non-standard, which, in my opinion, is the only negative. They close at 6 PM on Sunday. That is my 2 cents.

A Lofty Dinner

Last night I had my first dinner guests. The Doctors Tuten (aka Paul and Libby). Well, technically my second, since Frank and I ate the first meal at the new dining room table last Sunday. Frank arrived earlier in the day to help me complete the last IKEA construction project; adding the glass doors to the bookcase. It looks great - pictures to follow at a later date. 
Back to last evening: After feasting on the antipasto platter (ingredients from Mazzaro's - see prior post), pecorino cheese drizzled with honey and a really tasty and smooth Gorgonzola and mascarpone  cheese, we sat down to a salad of fresh figs, arugula and bibb lettuce complements of Frank. The entree was a simple angel hair pasta with fresh eggplant in a tomato, garlic and red wine sauce. Since the menu was Italian, we opened the bottle of Casa Emma Chianti that accompanied me on my return journey from Italy last June. Dessert was a lemon panna cotta with fresh raspberries. 

An Italian Treasure

I have found an Italian treasure in St. Petersburg. While not within walking distance, Mazzaro's Italian Market is only a ten minute drive, and worth the short trip. I made my first visit yesterday and was impressed by the variety and quality of their merchandise. The store is a large multi-room affair, with fresh meats, seafood, produce, pastas, prepared foods, etc. etc. They have a separate wine room with tastings on Saturday, which will have to be on my list for a future visit. There is a coffee bar, (they roast their own coffee beans) and a outdoor patio when you can enjoy their food.

I picked up a selection of grilled veggies, meats and cheeses for an antipasto tray, some fresh angle hair pasta, and a wonderful large round loaf of Tuscan bread.

Needless to say, I will return to this wonderful market. 

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Four Blocks

Why do I like living in this city? Well, within four blocks of easy walking, I have a number of good restaurants, including Thai with a sushi bar, an Italian (must have Italian), a deli, and others. I also have the Barnes and Noble bookstore at the St. Petersburg campus of USF, my local (albeit small) Publix, and CVS Pharmacy in the same four block range. Only a few more blocks and I can expand my selection of other restaurants,and find art galleries, museums and shops. Now that the boxes are almost all unpacked, and the final pieces of furniture are nearing completion, I will begin the exploration of downtown St. Petersburg.  

... and the car stays in the garage.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


Finally, after some difficulty with mismatched directions and parts, the IKEA dining room was completed. Frank and I inaugurated the table with a wonderful eggplant pasta entree and arugula & fig salad.