Pasta, like many of the other dishes offered on the contemporary Italian restaurant’s ever-changing menu, I’m sure, is a labor of love for David Benstock. According to the chef and co-owner of Il Ritorno, lots of time goes into his pasta-making process in downtown St. Pete, and it all starts with great ingredients.
Sizing up the triangular downcourt target, I wonder if my wife and teenage son realize what an only-in-Florida scene we make.
Not only are we playing shuffleboard. We’re doing so in downtown St. Petersburg, as card-carrying members of the seaside city’s historic shuffleboard club, the largest in the world. You really can’t get more Sunshine State than this.
If your idea of a blissful vacation includes walking everywhere, check into the Hyatt Place St. Petersburg Downtown, the ideal launching pad for your adventures. Be sure to see The Dali Museum (pictured here), The Chihuly Collection, and the Museum of Fine Arts, which are all walkable from the hotel. Once you've checked the museums off your list, indulge in a meal at the Chef’s Bar at IL Ritorno (book your seat at 727.897.5900). There, you'll drool over an 8-10 course meal created by the talented Chef David Benstock. If you can time it right, be sure to swing by St. Pete Indie Market and Night Market Exchange to pick up some goodies for the folks back at home.
A prediction: The next time Zagat or Food & Wine publishes a list of the country’s best food destinations, Tampa Bay will be there. Charleston, S.C.; Seattle; Denver; and Richmond, Va., have had their day in the sun, and for good reason, but the stars have aligned for us and we are ready for our closeup.