As I told you in my last post my SLCD and her husband took us to St. Pete for a wonderful afternoon and a delicious lunch. Before lunch we went to browse through a gorgeous, relatively new gourmet megastore called Locale Market.
With 20,000 square feet and two floors of shopping and dining there was so much to take in. I could have spent days looking at all of the wonderful selection of food. Fresh produce, aged beef, just caught fish and condiments, spices, salad dressings, pastas and sauces. Oh and don’t get me started on the ice cream, gelati and pastries. I think I gained 10 pounds just thinking I was tasting each ingredient. Boy am I ever glad that your imagination has Zero Calories – Zero Carbs – Zero Fat. Phew!!!
When I got back home I couldn’t wait to do some research into the back history of Locale. What I was very surprised to learn is the one of the founders was Michael Mina whose food I love. His recipes are superb. I have cooked many of them. But what I remember most was the meal we had at Aqua in San Francisco many, many years ago. I remember the freshest tasting ahi tuna I had ever had and the three miniature ice cream cones we each had for dessert with great fondness. So that he was involved it came as no surprise that Locale was a “curated grocery market experience cultivated over great food and decades of friendship”. That friendship refers to cofounder Don Pinabona who was former Executive Chef at Robert DeNiro’s Tribeca Grill in Manhattan and a graduate of USF.
It’s not unusual to find a chef driven restaurant but I chef driven market is a totally different ball game. The goal of these longtime friends is to offer the freshest, finest artisanal foods, hand selected ingredients and thoughtfully sourced produce, meat and seafood emphasizing the local region. And from what I saw they definitely accomplished their goal.
After spending at least an hour just browsing we had our inspiration for dinner. We bought gorgeous salad ingredients, a rotisserie chicken and some cheese for a healthy meal. I sure wish we had a Locale near us. I guess it’a a great excuse to visit my SLCD often.
179 2nd Avenue North
St. Petersburg, FL 33701