While walking around historic downtown St.
Petersburg we discovered a quaint and beautiful place along Central
Avenue called The Garden Bistro. My only criteria was that I was
in the mood for a great dinner salad. That was found as well as a
place I would visit monthly if I lived in the area. Nestled
in the garden of the old Detroit Hotel lays the city’s oldest restaurant
yet it is modern, friendly, funky, and features great live music.
The Detroit Hotel was not only the first hotel
but was actually built by the founders of St. Petersburg John Williams
MI and Peter
Demens from St. Petersburg,
Little known fact: the name of the city was won by Peter in a coin
toss and therefore John got to name the hotel. Many famous people
have stayed or eaten at the hotel including St. Petersburg native Jim
Morrison, who had played in The Garden. Live Jazz is still played
every Friday and Saturday from
Now, the real reason to go to The Garden Bistro
would have to be the food. After a weekend of traveling from one
place to another, something healthy yet hardy was on the menu. The
Marinated Steak Salad called to me from the display menu out front and
features roasted red peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, and shredded
Parmesan. All of their salads are reasonably priced and include
Caesars, Garden, Mediterranean,
or even a Curry Chicken Salad. Grilled meats can be added to any
of them to make very unique creations.
Are you in the mood for something Vegetarian
with a kick? They have a Moroccan Tajine (or you can get it with
chicken) with rice. Feeling meaty? They feature a Rack of
Spring Lamb with rosemary, thyme, and
Dijon mustard as well as Salmon,
Shrimp dishes. Their dishes are
Mediterranean inspired and are evident in their
pasta selections. If it is cool out then the Pasta Carbonara will
be ordered next time. It features a cream sauce with both Swiss
and Parmesan cheeses, bacon, and peas but if still warm then either the
Garden Pasta or The Mediterranean with fresh seafood. Even though
my salad was completely satisfying, the Sirloin that came out was simply
perfection only to be paired with garlic mashed potatoes and fresh
vegetables. Envy was served at table 150.
If you are in the downtown St. Petersburg area,
The Garden Bistro is definitely a ‘must drop by’ whether for cocktails
and tapas at the bar with friends, business lunches, a romantic dinner
out in the garden with live jazz, or 20 of your closest friends in the
side room. The décor will get you in the door, and the food will make
you tell everyone you know.
The Garden Bistro opens daily at for lunch (up to
and dinner is served until with a late night bar menu available.