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tedescos grillside restaurant st petersburg florida fl chef daniel womack

We were looking for a restaurant in Downtown St. Petersburg on a cold (60ish) rainy night in January. As we drove down central avenue, we noticed a bright storefront in an otherwise dark block. The light turned out to be coming form a restaurant by the name of Tedesco's Grillside. It was clear that this was the kind of place that would be fun to dine in and review.


The restaurant has kind of a low key urban feel with a long open grill area stretching from the front window nearly to the back. To the left as you walk in sits a chair that will momentarily by filled by a folk singer. The walls are covered with very nice art, all for sale. The manager, who seats us, comments on my shirt, mentions that they're a little busier than usual and hands us our menus.

After a few minutes we were approached by our server and our drink orders are taken. We're checking out the food that's coming out of the kitchen and are amazed by the presentation. Vertical salads, nothing is horizontal! The food clearly imitates the art. Or is it the other way around?

One of us settles on the Grilled Strip Steak Salad and I think, "How do you elevate that?"  I think, "I'll try something a little more homey" and order the Southern Meatloaf. Did I mention the specialty of the house is Southern cooking? The menu also includes (among other things) Herb Seared Free Range Chicken, Shrimp Crusted Mahi, Pan Seared Trout and lots of stuff with pecans and blue cheese. Most of the dinners are served with sautéed spinach, mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes. Appetizers include Fried Green Tomatoes, Fried Sweet Potatoes and Beer Battered Onion Rings and Wings. 

So was this real southern cookin'? Yup. The meat loaf was baked in an oven and then fried on the grill. The garlic mashed potatoes were heavenly and the sautéed spinach was perfect. Steak sauce was creatively drizzled around the plate.

The salad was indeed vertical. Get this, they took a tomato, hollowed it out and cut off the bottom and the top. The chef mad a cone shaped bowl out of fried shredded cheese, perched it in the tomato and loaded in the salad. It must have been a full foot tall. The steak was served on the same plate, which was decorated with the dressing. Wow!

All in a all, a great meal. On the way pout the door we shook hands with the chef, Daniel Womack, and told him we'd send our friends- and we hope you'll all go!


Tedesco's Grillside

437 Central Avenue, St. Petersburg, FL 33701

(727) 894-2802

A map of 437 Central Ave, St Petersburg, FL 33701-3808. Click to see the map on MSN Maps & Directions