This past week was the 1st anniversary of the opening of Locale Market at Sundial St. Petersburg. I’m somewhat ashamed to admit that last Tuesday was only the second time I set foot in the place. I had, of course, heard much of Locale market. Whenever I hosted a potluck in the last year, at least one of my friends was likely to bring something delicious from Locale.
At first, I thought it was just a fancy specialty grocery store, but a few weeks ago a friend hosted his daughter’s birthday party upstairs at the Farmtable kitchen. The atmosphere was friendly and communal. We broke bread together and enjoyed each other’s company with tasty small plates and bottles of wine.
Last week, I was finally able to tour the Locale Market and now I feel like I understand the big picture. Locale is the perfect neighborhood market. It’s convenient to just about everything downtown and it seamlessly provides delicious meals for a host of different people.
Are you in the mood to get creative and prepare something in your own kitchen with fantastic fresh ingredients? Locale has you covered. From rare dry goods to cheeses and produce so fresh that it’s still growing right there in the store, you’ll have no problem trying new and delicious things. For me, the most impressive part of Locale Market is the meat and seafood. The beef is dry aged right there in the market. I haven’t seen so much dry aged beef since I had dinner at a steakhouse on my last trip to Las Vegas. It doesn’t stop there, though. There’s pork and poultry and fresh creative sausages made on site. 90% of the seafood comes from coastal Florida waters!
Let’s say you’ve just had a long day at work and you want to get home and eat. Walk on over to the other side of the counter and you’ll find much of this awesome fresh food prepared for you. Worried that your meat or seafood has been sitting under a heat lamp all day? Don’t. You’ll actually pick your cut and one of the chefs will prepare it right in front of you. Pair that with one of the many prepared sides and you’re good to go.
On the other hand, you may be rushing in for lunch. Locale has you covered there too. Head on over to the grill. It’s a counter service restaurant. Just place your order, the chefs will cook it up for you and you can take it to go or dine outside. The grill features the “St. Petersburger”, which is a phenomenally tasty treat constucted of dry aged beef, double smoked bacon, grilled mushrooms, caramelized onions, and gouda cheese.
If you’re looking for something a little more relaxed, head upstairs to the Farmtable Kitchen. Here, you can have a seat at the bar or the farmtable and sip on some wine or craft beer while the fabulous waitstaff takes care of you. You’ll enjoy several different fresh pizzas, and a few delectable entrees. I highly recommend getting a group of friends together and passing around several of the small plates. These include steamed clams sourced from Two Docks shellfish, right across the Skyway in Bradenton, some fantastic chicken wings, and crispy pork cracklins with an unexpected kick, among many other options.
The vibe at the Farmtable kitchen is very much one of community. It’s the perfect place to break bread with friends (old and new) and simply enjoy a freshly prepared meal together. I’m proud that chefs Michael Mina and Don Pintabona decided to bring Locale Market and Farmtable Kitchen to St. Petersburg. It’s a welcome addition to our unique, vibrant and growing downtown community.