I’m usually out of the country for my birthday, but not this year. Being that it was a Friday, I invited a few good friends to the Locale Market for a FarmTable Experience.
From the Locale Market website:
FarmTable Kitchen offers casual, farm-and-Gulf-to-table fare that combines the best of Mina’s California sensibilities with Pintabona’s Italian flavors. Located on the second floor of Locale Market…the FarmTable Experience is an exclusive eight course chef’s tasting dinner experience for up to 10 guests in the intimate Private Dining Room within FarmTable Kitchen. Guests also have the option of enjoying the Sommelier’s wine pairing, or selecting glasses from our extensive wine menu as well as numerous locally-brewed beers.
We started the evening with champagne toasting at my house, and then regrouped at St. Petersburg’s Locale Market.
We were met by the manager who poured us another glass of champagne and gave us a personal tour of the market. Then up the stairs we went, to the private dinning room and settled in. My dear friend Russ brought his newly acquired professional Nikon D750 and took most of the photos for this blog.
I had requested a completely seafood menu, which they did a superb job accommodating. They also had a vegetarian alternative to each course for my friend Teresa. The market attempts to stock their shelves with all locally sourced foods from within 100 miles, with just a few exceptions.
For our first course, we enjoyed Mote Marine Caviar, with galia melon, musk melon, and local micro greens. It was paired with Kikusui Junmai Ginjo Sake from Japan.
Our second course was Baked Two Docs Clams in roasted garlic butter, sweet peppers, and garden herbs. That was paired with Vietti Roero Arneis from Italy.
Between courses we were busy telling stories.
Course #3 was Toro Nicoise (Tuna) with avocado mosaic, fingerling potatoes and heirloom cherry tomatoes, paired with Pouilly Fume from France.
Our fourth course was Gulf Caught Prawns, stuffed with blue crab, sweet chili and orange burre blanc. This course was accompanied by a K Viognier from Washington state.
As the food arrived and the wine flowed, we got a little louder and the chef’s detailed descriptions of the courses were harder to hear and lost in the laughter. Oh well. I do remember that the next course was one of my favorites. Course #5 was Lobster Risotto with grilled lemon, parmegiano reggiano and sea foam.
Course #6 was the main course, Oak Grilled Golden Tile Fish with tomato braised lentils, fennel salad and lemon infused olive oil. With this course we enjoyed my favorite wine of the evening, Cambria Clone 4 Pinot Noir, from California. If I’d had my say, the Pinot would have been from Oregon, but it was still good. The fish was nice, but not as tasty as the Lobster Risotto.
After the main course, we were treated to a Pre-Dessert of Liquid Nitrogen Affogato. It was a house-made orange creamsicle ice cream topped with Lamill espresso. The preparation and presentation was interesting.
The official dessert was Trio of Meringue. Lemon curd, seasonal berries and chantilly cream, served with St. Pete Distillery Mead.
A good time was had by all. I liked the Tuna and the Lobster Risotto the best. They did a wonderful job of recreating the BMW roundel for my cake!
Thanks to all of my friends who shared their Friday night with me, some coming from as far as Maine to celebrate with us. Special thanks to Russ for his wonderful photos.