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Side dish

By CHRIS SHERMAN

© St. Petersburg Times,
published June 7, 2001


NEW IN TOWN

The Brown Dog Cafe, home of fennel fish, cheddar strudel, pork in rice paper and such, aims to open in new digs (3451 Fourth St. N; St. Petersburg; (727) 525-5830) this weekend.

TOCQUE TIP

Bertolli Olive Oil named Darwin Santa Maria of Fred's in Sarasota to this year's Top 10 Sous Chef list. However, Santa Maria is no longer sous or No. 2. Fred's made him executive chef last month.

HOT, HOT, HOT?

Top trends tapped by trade mag Nation's Restaurant News as Hot Concepts! besides Samba Room are:

2001: the revived A&W; ESPN Zone; Figs' casual gourmet from Boston chef Todd English; Fire+Ice (the root of Dish); Nick & Stef's, gourmet steaks by LA star Joachim Splichal; Noodles & Co. global pasta

Hot stuff from years past now here or near:

2000: Fleming's Prime Steak House.

1999: Bahama Breeze; Kahunaville (International Plaza this fall).

1998: Buca di Beppo.

1997: Hops Grill and Bar; Logan's Roadhouse; Rainforest Cafe (Orlando).

1996: Einstein Bros. Bagels; Joe's Crab Shack

1995: House of Blues (Orlando), Maggiano's Little Italy (WestShore this summer); Cheesecake Factory (International Plaza this fall); St. Louis Bread Co. (Panera), Wolfgang Puck Cafe (Orlando).

I'LL HAVE ANOTHER . . .

Cool taste on a very hot day. Searing tuna beat searing temperatures at the annual Taste of Pinellas last weekend. My best was sashimi-rare yellowfin with peppered crust from Central Ave. Oyster Bar in St. Petersburg. Favorite truly cool idea was icy passion fruit creme brulee from the St. Petersburg Hilton with caramel crust blow-torched on-site.

-- CHRIS SHERMAN, Times food critic

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This Weekend

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  • Film
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  • Movies: Top Five
  • Family movie guide
  • Indie Flix

  • Video
  • Upcoming DVD / Video attractions and rankings
  • 'Crouching Tiger' springs into living rooms

  • Pop
  • Pop: Ticket Window
  • Team Pop Trivia
  • Pop: Hot ticket

  • Get Away
  • Get Away: Down the road
  • Get Away: Hot Ticket

  • Art
  • The never-fading garden
  • Art: Best bets

  • Dine
  • Samba Room has style, if not taste
  • First Bite
  • Side dish

  • Nite Out
  • Breathe a little easier

  • Stage
  • Fleet feet fire up the Ice Palace
  • Stage: On the horizon

  • Shop
  • Hideaways from the heat
  • In the market

  • Time Out
  • Donny Osmond's making the most of life
  • West Shore brimming with choices
  • Art, it's what's for lunch