For over 8 years, we have served thousands of satisfied guests in St. Petersburg. We are a full service dining experience, with an emphasis on ... More
Central Avenue Oyster Bar - St Petersburg
For over 8 years, we have served thousands of satisfied guests in St. Petersburg. We are a full service dining experience, with an emphasis on freshness, and clean flavors. As you may imagine, we go to extraordinary lengths to ensure that the supply line for our delicious Local and Boutique Oysters is always flowing. In most cases, the oyster you eat today was still swimming yesterday! Our prices are outstanding, our service is unmatched, our live entertainment 4 nights a week is the best, and we are environmentally friendly. And, we are a locally owned, family-run business.
We were greeted and seated quickly. Waiter was very helpful and knowledgeable about wines, and he recommended a very good one. My wife got the broiled oysters and loved them. I got the grilled shrimp in mango sauce it was good, but not great. That is the only reason it got a 4 star instead of a 5 star. But, regardless, I highly recommend this restaurant - it was very a very good eating experience and we both enjoyed it very much.
This restaurant was recommended to us by our hotelier since my boyfriend and I were visiting out of town for the Memorial Day weekend. The restaurant was not very busy and I thought we would be able to be seated quickly. My boyfriend was finding a place to park, while I went inside to reserve a table. I waited 15 minutes for a host/hostess or waitier to acknowledge me. No one even looked in my direction and I was standing at the host stand. I walked out and took my business to a restaurant in Tampa. I have never been treated so poorly. I would not recommend this restaurant if you want any service.
In April 21, 2007, Guo Zhongxiao, Wang Chong, Sonia Ng and me visited the Central Ave Oyster Bar. We ordered four dozens of oysters and some sidedisks. The oysters were very delicious and the price are reasonable. Environment was conducing. The service of Holy, the waitress, was very good. You can never believe this: we went back to the restaurant twice within five days!
I visited the Central Avenue Oyster Bar later in the evening on a weeknight. The restaurant/bar was mostly empty, with three tables and two barstools occupied. The restaurant has the capacity to seat about 20 tables and the bar can accommodate about a dozen.
I began my meal with an appetizer of Calamari ($6.95). Tossed and fried with various peppers, the portion was generous - using the entire squid - but was cooked slightly too long. In addition, although there was a lot on the plate, the individual pieces were below average in size, resulting in much more breading than squid. It was served with a nice �spicy marinara� flavored with a hint of citrus.
To accompany my appetizer I ordered a glass of Sauvignon Blanc (Crossings, New Zealand, $8.50 a glass). The wine had a subdued bouquet and a smooth taste. It finished very easily, with little of aftertaste one might find in some crisp California Sauvignons Blanc.
For my entr�e, I decided upon barbecue salmon ($18.95). This is an unusual choice for me - usually a seafood purist - but I was pleasantly surprised. Although the Salmon was served rare - it was clear the chef is accustomed to serving Ahi tuna - it was still flakey and had good texture. Braised with a barbecue sauce reduction, the flavor was, surprisingly, not overwhelming of the fish. The portion was small, about 6-8 oz., and was clearly too small for the size of the plate. The fish was served on a bed of spinach leaves and plated with steamed squash, zucchini, and broccoli and a scoop of relatively unseasoned twice-mashed potatoes.
The wait staff was cordial, and the bartender large and gregarious. The atmosphere blended a quiet dining area with subdued lighting and a semi-detached bar area which could actually use more light. The restaurant has fewer than 10 beers on tap, a small but respectable wine list (if slightly overpriced), and a diverse menu of seafood and other selections. The dinner menu is formal and is more limited than the lunch menu, which offers more moderately priced selections, including some seafood sandwiches.
Overall, the food is above average, and the staff and environment friendly, but the prices - which are more in line with those of a formal beach-front restaurant - are too high in comparison to the size of the portions and the quality of the seafood that is served.
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