Jul 10, 2007
For New Year's Eve 2006, we decided on Fresco's Special Party and for the price, it was worth every penny, with the view, front row seats to St. Pete's fireworks, and Fresco's food laden buffets. It certainly helped that we hardly had to get our behinds out of our chairs, especially after the second glass of champagne, as Peter went out of his way to grab the juiciest King Crab Legs, Lobster and Shrimp he could find off the buffet for us.
What really gets my juices going, is that often during the past 8 months, in the midst of brunch we would receive phone calls from some of our friends in New Hampshire, Mass and the Netherlands and invariably the topic would turn to the fact that in the middle of winter they were shoveling snow, it was -10 degrees etc, you get the picture. Of course we would countermand with the view, the weather (+ 80's) - the dolphins we were watching cavorting in the water, the delicious tropical libation we were imbibing in and the great food and service...life is tough. Conversations usually ended with invitations to join us, and obviously more than not often came from the caller.
Sometimes you just stumble upon a restaurant, other times it is word of mouth that gets you to their front door and still other times you rely on advertising, a flyer or the local food critics pick. With Fresco's it was a little bit of everything. Having just arrived in St .Pete last November and wanting a waterfront Sunday brunch experience, (and isn't that the reason we are in Florida during November anyhow) we dropped by Fresco's on the Waterfront, adjacent to the St. Petersburg Yacht Club's Marina. Walking unto its wooden deck overlooking hundreds of water vessels from smallish 21 foot sailboats to 50 foot plus yachts and the occasional canoe and kayak, we knew that this might just become a habit, and it has, since not only is the view attractive but we were lucky enough to be seated in Peter's section, one of the better St. Pete servers. Service in largely tourist areas can be lacsadaisical at best so we were pleasantly surprised with his overall professionalism, and truth be told, when a few weeks later we went back a second time, he not only remembered our names, but my preference for a Mimosa and Jose a Virgin Bloody Mary at Brunch. He has become a permanent fixture at our table when we dine there, and since then, another dozen or so times, we have always been welcomed from the hostess to the other waitstaff and Chef Jason Esposito with positive attitudes. Although the menu features a gamut of flavors and styles at brunch I lean heavily towards either the Tuna Nicoise salad (made with Sushi grade tuna, seared to a medium for me and served with a wasabi vinaigrette) or the Creole frittata with Andouille sausage, tasso ham and crawfish peaking out of the open faced egg omelet. Jose Luis has tried the Louisiana Crab Cake Benedict (no ubiquitous bland hollandaise here, but a spiced up version), the Muffuletta Sandwich (made famous by 2 New Orleans institutions Central Deli and Progresso) and Chef Jason's Catch of the Day has never disappointed. Although all the flavors are perfectly meshed and you already know that I like lots of "sabor", if I want to spice things up even more I ask for one of the Chef's Hot Sauces called Voodoomagick... now that's what I am talking about.