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The Capital Grille
MetroGuide foodie

Cool, Chic and Comfort

on Hot Beach Drive

Tryst Gastro Lounge | By Ronda M. Parag


Open since late September 2011, Tryst Gastro Lounge is finding a fashionable and chic crowd along St. Petersburg's Beach Drive. Early in the evening guests dine on innovative and fresh small plate cuisine and later gather at a Manhattan-style inspired lounge. The feel is comfortable and not too formal with large tufted sofas along the wall, black and silver wallpaper, a black bar with glittery lighting and a mosaic tile backsplash. The interior combines glam, style and comfort and was designed by local designer Rob Bowen, who has done numerous homes and condos, but this was his first restaurant/bar. The décor speaks to the sophisticated and stylish crowd gathered there on a recent Friday night. Outside guests lounged on stylish outdoor furniture listening to a dee-jay spinning tunes. Chef Mark Kaba describes the music as acid jazz. Music is available on Friday and Saturday nights as well as a jazz trio on Wednesdays.

Owner Renaud Cowez and Executive Chef Mark Kaba sought to create a modern lounge with an emphasis on food too. Kaba describes the food as "International Modern created with classic techniques." "What makes good food good is lots of layers and good product," Kaba said. The menu changes about every two weeks according to what is available. While the menu is still developing, Kaba says that he sources the best local produce, only local seafood, organic as much as possible and antibiotic free chicken. "It's a constant evolution and growth," said Kaba. "We will be expanding the kitchen in the back to have more space to create." The menu has evolved over the initial six months, while three menu items have not changed: Beef Carpaccio, Corn Chowder and Scallops. "These dishes are the most popular and guests won't allow us to take them off the menu," said Kaba. "The Chicken Tandoori Lollipos are also a huge hit."

The bar offers 27 draft beers and 180 bottles along with handcrafted cocktails including the signature cocktail — The Tryst — combining muddled lime, rose syrup and Cruzon® Raspberry Rum topped with Champagne. M

Tryst Gastro Lounge
240 Beach Dr. NE
St. Petersburg, FL 33701

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