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John F. Kennedy: The Exhibition

Diners will find presidential spread downtown

By CHRIS SHERMAN, Times Restaurant Critic

© St. Petersburg Times, published November 11, 1999


Downtown St. Petersburg is not yet Camelot, but restaurateurs are setting a wide menu on local tables during "John F. Kennedy: The Exhibition."

Visitors to the Florida International Museum will find more than 75 spots in the blocks around the museum offering everything from coffee and bagels to Italian, sushi and Tampa Bay's Cuban specialties.

Or you can relive the days of the Kennedy White House when Jackie, social secretary Letitia Baldridge and chef Rene Verdon's French cuisine was the toast of capital society. The Renaissance Vinoy Hotel and the Columbia restaurant at The Pier will serve special Kennedy lunches and dinners during the exhibit.

Look for gourmet classics that were innovations in the 1960s: mimosa salads, tomato bisque, chicken chasseur with tomatoes, mushrooms and herbs in a white wine sauce. And for dessert, Boston cream pie, of course.

Large groups who want to have their own version of a state dinner may do so at the Vinoy, which is prepared to replicate menus from the famous Kennedy dinner for Nobel Peace Prize winners or the banquet at Mount Vernon.

Favorite nearby restaurants
Here is a list of restaurants near the museum, from the bayfront west to M.L. King St. (Ninth St.) and from Fifth Avenue N south to Fifth Avenue S. There are even more restaurants near Tropicana Field and, of course, many others in St. Petersburg, on the beaches, in Clearwater and Tampa. Also listed are a few local favorites a short drive from downtown. The restaurants are listed by category of food served, with a short description of their menu. Meals served are identified by abbreviations: B(reakfast), L(unch), D(inner) and E(vening). All restaurants are open Monday through Saturday except as noted. "Sun." means the restaurant also is open Sundays.

American

AJ's Deli Cafe, 111 Second Ave. NE; (727) 821-4151. Hot dogs, sandwiches. B, L, Sun.

Benson's Antiques & Coffee Emporium, 244 First Ave. N; (727) 823-6065. Sandwiches, salads, desserts, coffees, outdoor seating. B, L, Sun.

Cafe 333, Hilton Hotel, St. Petersburg, 333 First St. S; (727) 894-5000, ext. 53. American continental. B, L, D; Sun.

Central Coffee Shoppe, 530 Central Ave; (727) 821-1125. B, L, D, Mon.-Fri., B, D, Sat.

Chatterbox Restaurant, 56 M.L. King (Ninth) St. N; (727) 823-0605. Sandwiches, grill. B, L.

Cullen's, 330 First Ave. S; (727) 894-2278. Soup, salad, bread, coffees, sweets. B, L, Mon.-Fri.

Firehouse Bar & Grille, 260 First Ave. S; (727) 895-4716. Wings, sandwiches, outdoor seating. L, D, E.

Fruits N Things, 360 First Ave. N, (727) 822-2627. Soups, sandwiches. B, L.

The Globe Coffee Lounge, 532 First Ave. N, (727) 898-5282. Coffes, sandwiches, salads, sweets, hot meals. B, L, D Mon.-Wed.; B, L, D, E Thu.-Fri.; L, D, E Sat.

Gold's Coffee Shop, 336 First Ave. N; (727) 822-4922. Soups, sandwiches. B, L; Sun.

Midtown Sundries, 200 First Ave. S; (727) 502-0222. Sandwiches, snacks, entrees, live music. L, D, E; Sun.

The Patio Grill, 270 First Ave. N; (727) 894-4200. Greek/American, grilled items, outdoor seating. L, D; Sun.

South Gate Coffee Shoppe, 29 Third St. N; (727) 823-7071. Sandwiches, outdoor seating. B, L, D; Sun.

Asian

#9 Bangkok Thai Restaurant, 571 Central Ave.; (727) 894-5990. L, D.

China House Fast Food, 800 Third Ave. S; (727) 895-1684. Chinese, ice cream. L, D.

Hong Kong Buffet, 890 Third Ave. S; (727) 898-1388. Chinese buffet. L, D; Sun.

Haiku, 247 Central Ave., (727) 827-0200. Sushi, Japanese entrees. D, E.

Coffees, sweets, bakery and bagels

Daily Grind, 111 Second Ave N.; (727) 824-0866. Coffees, wraps, light meals, outdoor seating. B, L; Sun.

Gourmet Bagels and Pizza, 501 First Ave. N; (727) 827-0696. Bagels, pizzas, coffees, teas, sandwiches, outdoor seating. B, L, Mon.-Fri.

Buon Giorno, 249 Central Ave.; (727) 822-4092. Bagels, panini, soups, salads, sandwiches coffees, pastries. B, L, Mon.-Fri.

Theo's Deli and Bagel Inc., 689 Central Ave.; (727) 821-8077. Sandwiches, bagels, salads. B, L, Mon.-Fri.

Contemporary

Alfresco, Renaissance Vinoy, 501 Fifth Ave. NE; (727) 894-1000, ext. 509. Casual Floribbean sandwiches and entrees, outdoor seating. L, D; Sun.

Chateau France, 136 Fourth Ave. NE; (727) 894-7163. Sandwiches, fine dining, outdoor seating. D; Sun.

Garden Restaurant, 217 Central Ave.; (727) 896-3800. Mediterranean, fine dining, outdoor seating. L, D; Sun.

Heimann's, 1 Beach Drive SE, Bayfront Tower; (727) 827-0200. Fine dining, European gourmet. D Wed.-Sat..

Ragin Ravioli, 1 Beach Drive SE, Bayfront Tower (727) 827-0200. Ravioli, baked potatoes; take-out only. L Mon-Fri.

Marchand's Bar & Grill, Renaissance Vinoy, 501 Fifth Ave. NE; (727) 894-1000, ext. 511. Mediterranean grill. L, D, E; Sun.

The Moon Under Water, 332 Beach Drive NE; (727) 896-6160. British Colonial, Indian and Middle Eastern foods, outdoor seating, water view. L, D, E; Sun.

Ovo Cafe, 515 Central Ave.; (727) 895-5515. New American, desserts, salads, personal pizza. L Mon.; L, D Tue.-Sun.

Redwoods, 247 Central Ave.; (727) 896-5118. Pacific rim, Hawaiian, fine dining, reservations only. D, E.

Terrace Room, Renaissance Vinoy, 501 Fifth Ave. NE; (727) 894-1000, ext. 511. Contemporary American, seafood and pasta. B, L, D, E; Sun.

Health

Blue Moon Cafe, 27 Fourth St. N; (727) 895-1493. Sandwich, salads, outdoor seating. B, L.

Judy's, 208 Fourth St. N; (727) 822-5542. Soups, sandwiches, salads and desserts. L, Mon.-Fri.

Little Fruit Basket, 533 Central Ave.; (727) 822-4475. Frozen yogurt, coffee, smoothies, fresh fruit, take-out only. L.

Lonni's Sandwiches, Etc., 133 First St. NE; (727) 894-1944. Natural foods, soup, sandwiches. B, L Mon.-Fri.

MJ Smoothy's, 8 Fourth St. N; (727) 821-5084. Smoothies, sandwiches, wraps, outdoor seating. B, L Mon.-Fri.

Tamarind Tree, 537 Central Ave.; (727) 898-2115. Sandwiches, salads, soups, smoothies, outdoor seating. L.

Italian and pizza

Bertoni, 16 Second St. N; (727) 822-5503. Casual upscale. L Mon.-Fri., D Mon.-Sat.

Bruno's in the City, 526 Central Ave.; (727) 826-6716. Casual, pasta, seafood, veal. L, D, E Mon.-Fri.; D, E Sat.-Sun.

Cafe Lido, The Pier, 800 Second Ave. NE; (727) 898-5800. Pasta, seafood, water view, outdoor seating. L, D, E; Sun.

Fettuccini's, 211 Second St. S; (727) 826-4722. Fine dining, entrees, seafood, pasta, steaks, outdoor seating. L, D.

Fortunato's, 259 Central Ave.; (727) 898-4888. Pizza, salads, entrees, outdoor seating. L, D.

Jo Jo's In Citta, 200 Central Ave.; (727) 894-0075. Pasta, seafood, outdoor dining. L, D, Sun.

JJ's Subs, Salad and Pizza, 405 Central Ave.; (727) 898-2300. Pizza, sandwiches, salads. L.

Mike Alstott's A-Train Pizza, 711 Third Ave. S; (727) 898-7246. Pasta, wings, subs. L, D.

Nightspots

The Big Catch, 9 First St. NE; (727) 821-6444. Drinks, outdoor seating. E Thu.-Sun.

The Lobby Bar, 217 Central Ave.; (727) 896-3800. Hors d'oeuvres, drinks, outdoor seating. E Thu.-Sat.

A Taste for Wine, 241 Central Ave.; (727) 895-1623. Beer and wine, light foods, outdoor seating. L, D Tue.-Sun.

Sandwiches

Angie's Cafe, 200 First Ave. N; (727) 823-6437. Sandwiches, salads, outdoor seating. B, L, D.

Blimpie, 360 Central Ave.; (727) 896-5000. Sandwiches, soups, salad, ice cream, outdoor seating. B, L, D Mon.-Fri.

Chicago Deli, 277 Central Ave.; (727) 822-6553. Sandwiches, salads, soups, outdoor seating. L.

Coney Island, 250 Ninth St. N; (727) 822-4493. Sandwiches, hot dogs. B, L, D Mon.-Fri.; L Sat.

Uptown Deli, 658 Central Ave.; (727) 895-9267; Sandwiches, soup, salad. B, L Mon.-Fri.; L Sat.

Dome Grill, 561 Central Ave.; (727) 823-5090. Grill, Greek, entrees, outdoor seating. L.

Gaslight Deli & Sandwich Shop, 445 First Ave. N; (727) 822-2564. Sandwiches, salads, soups. B, L Mon.-Fri.

The Pier food court, 800 Second Ave. NE; (727) 894-1133. Hot dogs, pizza, sandwiches, ice cream, pastries, cookies, candy, outside seating. B, L, D; Sun.

Quizno's, 1 Progress Plaza, Suite 150; (727) 894-2222. Sandwiches, outdoor dining. B, L, D.

Sandwich Boutique, 212 Beach Drive NE; 826-3493; Sandwiches, soups, entrees. L; Sun.

Subway, 25 M.L. King (Ninth) St. S; (727) 898-3109. Sandwiches, salads. L, D, E Sun.

Telly's Deli, City Center, 100 Second Ave. S; (727) 896-6175. Sandwiches, salads, soups. B, L Mon.-Fri.

Seafood

Finest Seafood Restaurant, 860 Third Ave. S, St. Petersburg; (727) 822-4070. Seafood, chicken, sandwiches. L, D.

Spanish & Caribbean

Cha Cha Coconuts, The Pier, 800 Second Ave. NE; (727) 822-6655. Caribbean sandwiches, and entree, water view, outdoor seating. L, D, E; Sun.

Columbia Restaurant, The Pier, 800 Second Ave. NE; (727) 822-8000. Spanish casual dining, sandwichs, entrees, salads, water view, cigar bar. L, D; Sun.

Hilda La Tropicana, 320 First Ave. N; (727) 898-9902. Cuban, outdoor seating, beer and wine. L, D.

Tangelo's Grille, 226 First Ave. N; (727) 894-1695. Caribbean, Mexican sandwiches, salads, specialty hot sauces, outdoor seating. L, D; Sun.

Steaks

Julian's at the Heritage and lounge, 256 Second St. N; (727) 823-6382. Fine dining, steaks, seafood. D, E; Sun.

Keystone Club, 320 Fourth St. N; (727) 822-6600. Fine dining, steaks, chops. L, D Mon.-Fri.; D Sat.-Sun.

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