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Dec 11, 2010 09:34 AM

Jeannie Pierola and Kitchenbar

In my humble opinion, the "pop-up" restaurant Kitchenbar from chef Jeannie Pierola (ex-Sideberns and, before that, the trailblazing Boca) was the most amazing culinary experience Tampa Bay has seen in ages. Why not a single word on this board?

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  1. The folks who went were mostly talking about it on FB. Pics were posted, etc.. I thought there was a thread here as well. I must be mistaken.

    1. i was so excited about it, made reservations for a group of chowhounds....then had to go out of state for a business trip. out of all the inconvenience and annoyance of living in a strange city for a month, by far the worst thing was having to miss this. i was kind of surprised not to see a review on here, too. our group was mostly arranged through facebook, and there were pics posted but i really was hoping for more mouth-watering descriptions.

      so as long as we're on the subject, can you provide some details? what did you have? what did you see someone else having and wish you had ordered for yourself?

      4 Replies
      1. re: Manderley

        Telstar, feel free to start the discussion. I went the first night and didn't want to post about the fact that they were having the problems that any restaurant would experience on their opening. The dishes that made it to the table were great. The veal cheeks were definitely one of the best things I have eaten in a long time. I hope Jeannie will give Kitchenbar another go or just find a place to settle down. Either way, I would be very happy.

          1. re: askdrtodd

            man you guys are all keeping the details close to your vests. can ya spill some details? would it kill ya???

        1. re: Manderley

          We went on Saturday and I was disappointed. I knew it started bad when our server almost wasn't able to open our wine bottle. She apologized and said it was her second time opening a bottle of wine. I said, " ever"? and she laughed and said yes. As I"m watching her put her entire hands all over the neck of the bottle, my husband finally helped her and explained how she needed to use the lever on the wine key to hold it in place. It was just a weird start to the evening. The food was just o.k., nothing spectacular. We started with the smoked oyster app which was the best dish out of the 4 we had. My only problem with it was there was only 3 oysters. My husband said,"If I ever own a restauraunt, I'll make sure there are an even number of items to share" :) The next item was the oxtail poutine steak fries. The fries were soggy and there just wasn't anything special about this dish. Next we had the pork belly with a red lentil puree. It was just plain and underseasoned :( At this point, we decided that we weren't going to bother with main entrees, we ordered one more "medium" dish to share, as the menu put it (the scallop chowder) and the scallops were overpowered by the potatoes and the menu said something about a corn fritter and pork cracklings, neither of which made it into the soup. We gave up, and went down the street to one of our new favorite spots, bin27bistro. We absolutely love Chef Jasons Cline and his culinary creations and we shared the steak in foyot sauce and a little more wine. At least then we went home full. Not sure went wrong with kitchen bar this time around?

        2. she is surely a darling of the press--- the fawning stories came out fast and furious. at first i was pissed i couldn't make it to the chowdown, but all turned out well, as i would have walked out after not being served for 2 hours. My appetite is too strong after work to be toyed with like that. i'm glad it turned out well for those who could stick it out and hope she opens a real restaurant and works out the bugs. i'm sure we'll hear all about it in the papers.

          1 Reply
          1. re: andy huse

            wow 2 hours. i heard vague mention of "bugs to be worked out" but never heard any details. didn't hear many details about the food, either, though, and that's what i was craving, some delectable descriptions of culinary delights. guess i'll just have to stick to food porn.

          2. Sorry I dropped the ball on responding to requests for details on my Kitchenbar experience. Been crazy busy, but, in a nutshell, let me just say that I went twice and both times were pretty astonishing. Service was well-meaning but definitely spotty (the first night in particular was extremely slow, and our table wound up not getting several things we ordered), but we didn't receive a single less-than-stellar dish -- and between the two nights we were there I must have tasted 85-90% of the fairly extensive menu. Highlights included a slow cooked egg (a small masterpiece of deconstructed tastes for $3!), baby lima bean bruschetta with smoked chevre and shiitakes (and I don't even like lima beans), Veal cheek parfait (a fav of almost everyone), Soft lobster scrambled eggs with caviar and brioche (breakfast of champions), and a kobe short rib "soup." Most were small-ish plates, with the exception of the short rib soup, and most of us thought the small and medium plates were probably a touch more successful than the large entree-ish ones (which was sort of the case with Sideberns when Jeannie was there, as I remember). Desserts, with the exception of an Autumn Cobbler, were probably the least memorable part of the meal, but hey -- you can't have everything. Try as we might.

            2208 W Morrison Ave, Tampa, FL 33606

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