Sunday, August 6, 2017

Lolita's Wine Market, St. Petersburg, FL

Hello, ya'll!  Has it really been over a year since I last posted?  If I learned one thing while I was a freelance columnist for the Tampa Tribune, it's that nothing sucks the fun out of writing faster than doing it to a deadline.

Getting down to business, I was jolted back into to blogging mode this weekend by my experience at the mostprecious Lolita's Wine Market.  It's tiny and intimate, it's charming, and it's run by lovely folks.  Our group of four was made to feel more like guests than customers by the friendly, laid-back staff, who quickly ascertained which of the daily wine-by-the-glass offerings matched our individual palates and promptly dispatched them.















I was a little bummed when I learned that the only food offerings available at the somewhat odd hour of 3:00 PM were the jars (spreads and desserts in adorable Lilliputian Mason jars) and charcuterie. After four weeks of post-vaca low-carbing, Mommy had a hankering for some Truffle Mac and Cheese. I got over it pretty quickly after the food started coming out, however.

The shareable jarred spreads with toasted ciabatta bread for carrying range in price from $6 to $9 and there wasn't a bad one in the bunch that we tried:  The Ricotta (honey lavender whipped ricotta with kale pesto, heirloom tomatoes and balsamic pearls); PB&J (whipped foie gras mousse, peanut butter and berry jam - my new addiction!); and White Bean (white bean, chorizo and corn salsa).















At Lolita's, you create your own charcuterie board by taking a pencil to what looks like a typical sushi menu listing a dizzying array of meats, cheeses and accoutrements.  I can't remember everything that we had piled atop this mountain of protein, but it included Manchego, Lemon Zest Stilton (which I loved, but received mixed reviews from the group), Truffle Mousse Pate, Proscuitto, Rosemary Ham, Chorizo, Cornichons, Spanish Marinated Anchovies, Hearts of Palm Escabeche, Quince Paste, Honeycomb, Bourbon Bacon Tomato Jam, Herb Marinated Artichokes and more.  The final result was not lacking in WOW factor.
















Although the four of us did not manage to completely plow through this massive platter, we did squeak in a taste of the Coconut Tres Leches cake (again, adorably presented in a little jar) topped with pepito brittle for dessert. Everything a tres leches cake should be, it was dense, moist, coconut-y and slathered in whipped cream.  Good times!





















Lolita's is my latest crush du jour, and I'm looking forward to a return visit soon for Carbonara with prosciutto chips, truffle mac and cheese and quail egg!

Lolita's Wine Market

My blog entries contain the unmitigated, and sometimes unforgiving, dining truths and perceptions I experience as an ordinary restaurant patron. Every meal I post about has been fully paid for by one of the participating members of my personal dining party. I do not engage in the gratis blogger freebie dining events I'm constantly invited to attend and never will. If I ooze font-like love for a restaurant in my blog, it's because they totally earned it…not because they gave me free food or knew I was going to share the experience on the internet.

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