Annata Wine Bar
By Ronda M. Parag
Tucked into a small and intimate space on Beach Drive is a gem of a wine bar that offers chic indoor or alfresco seating. Now that the weather has cooled, just a bit, Annata’s offers the ideal spot to have a glass of wine, a plate of delicious bites and a perch for people watching.
Discovering the need for a wine bar in downtown St. Pete, the famed Mazzaro’s Italian Market decided to lead the charge. Annata’s has developed quite a reputation for its cheese and charcuterie. René Hernández, General Manager and Sommelier, says the restaurant has been going strong and there have been a few menu changes including the addition of seasonal items and Floribbean cuisine expected in a few months.
There are nearly 30 wines by the glass arranged on the menu from light to dark, as well as, a nice selection of bottles in a variety of price ranges.
The perfect pairing of wine and cheese will delight those guests looking for a light dining experience. Hernandez says the charcuterie and cheeses are one of the most popular offerings. Available with a pick three, five or seven option, there are usually eight or nine meat and cheese offerings on the menu, along with a couple off-menu items to mix and match. The servers are trained to make recommendations in putting together a tasty blend of soft and hard cheeses and meats.
The choice of cheeses includes a variety such as the Mazzaro Grana Riserva and the Robiola Due Latte, both from Italy. A tasty Bay Blue hails from California. Meats include Speck, a dry age and the Prosciutto Di Parma, along with several types of salami and a Paté of the Day. Rounding out the board is marcona almonds from Italy, Florida orange blossom honey, quince paste and a marinated blend of olives.
The menu rounds out with a variety of plates from the gluten free Chicken and Kale Ravioli to the Sweet Potato Gnocchi. A few of the more popular plates, according to Hernandez are the Lamb Ragu, Truffle Gnocchi Mac and Cheese and the Scallops. The Pan Seared Scallops are served three to a plate atop creamed corn, tomato, bacon, pickled jalapeño and cilantro pesto.
For dessert, there are two options: a Chocolate Salami, which is a sweet blend of rolled biscotti, nuts, dolce gorgonzola, topped with strawberries and fig jam preserves, or the Orange Torte served topped with salted caramel gelato. Either of these desserts provide a sweet finish to end a special evening at Annata’s. M
300 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg, FL 33701 727.851.9582 www.annatawine.com
Photos: Jimmy Breen
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