After I wrote about the Don Cesar Resort in St Pete, I started thinking about the wonderful food we have enjoyed there, and wanted to elaborate on that, as discovering wonderful food is such an important element to my travels.
The Don, which originally opened in 1928, had a greeting placed above the door by the owner, Thomas Rowe that read: “Come all ye who seek health and rest for here they are abundant”. With its Mediterranean and Moorish influences of pink stucco and red tile roofs, the hotel has been a destination for many influential people including, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Al Capone, Clarence Darrow, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Mariel Hemingway and President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
As far as exquisite dining experiences go, in the early flapper days, the Don housed Zelda’s, which was one of the first cafes to offer incredible cuisine in a lovely setting overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. Today, one of my all-time favorite places to enjoy a multi-course gourmet meal with fine wines in a gorgeous setting, which includes huge fish tanks, is The Maritana Grille, voted one of the Top 10 Seafood Restaurants in the
United States by Gayot Guide and for the past 15 years has received
AAA’s 4 diamond rating.
How about starting off with an “Amuse-Bouche”, a small offering to prepare your palate for the incredible meal to come, which might include the Fig Brulee with Balsamic Vinegar. Next, check out the Chilled Seafood bar with Hawaiian blue prawns, compressed melon, jicama slaw, Alaskan King Crab, and oysters. I dream of the Steak Tartar, with aged steak, roasted tomato, quail egg, truffle, black truffles, Fig Brulee, and brioche toast. And then there is the incredibly flavorful Alaskan Halibut Sous Vide (cooked in an airtight bag and immersed in water to preserve the integrity of the ingredients). The perfect ending to a perfect meal is the Hickory Campfire S’mores, drenched in hot chocolate topping! I could go on and on, but you get the idea. The Maritana Grille is certainly the perfect choice to enjoy an incredible journey for the palate, and a feast for the eyes. A perfect ending to a perfect meal is a stroll along the beautiful beach right outside the door. Bon Appetite!
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