Wine Dine and Play: Spinners Rooftop Revolving Bistro

Spinners Rooftop Revolving Bistro

St. Pete Beach, Florida
Lunch with a 360 View
Dined in September 2015

By Sean Overpeck

It was my final day of leave before I had to return to Iraq, and my girlfriend and I had heard about a restaurant at the Grand Plaza Hotel on St. Pete Beach with a revolving restaurant at the top. It wasn’t my first experience of being in a revolving restaurant, but the views surely were much better here on the beach facing the Gulf of Mexico in one direction and the Tampa Bay in the other. The Grand Plaza Hotel was a flashback to the 1980’s, and the restaurant was called Spinners.  



Scroll down to read the main review
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From the restaurants home page:
Located on the 12th floor of the Grand Plaza Hotel, Spinners Rooftop Revolving Bistro is the only revolving restaurant on the West Coast. Experience romance and fine dining with the awe-inspiring panoramic view as the restaurant slowly revolves 360 degrees. Come join us for specialty drinks during happy hour and our daily dining specials while enjoying the breath-taking view.
Savor our fresh seafood, beautifully prepared hand-cut steaks and signature pasta dishes for dinner and specialty sandwiches, fresh seasonal salads and classic burgers for lunch.
It takes about 1 1/2 hours to revolve around completely. If you are looking for a dining experience to remember, then you need to dine with us at Spinners.

Main review:
The Grand Plaza Hotel is a circular building 12 stories high, with the Spinners Restaurant at the top and other restaurants located throughout the rest of the complex. The elevators open up to the center core of the restaurant with the host table, restrooms, and cocktail area in a circled area that does not rotate. The cocktail area had several high top tables with chairs. Outside this area you cross over the area of the floor where the spinning begins, all the remaining tables are in two rows with one set closest to the window views, along with the main bar and kitchen taken a portion of the section. 


Every several feet posted on a plaque on the wall were a list of cities showing the distance from the current location to those cities such as Paris and London. I had seen a similar group of plaques at the Eiffel Tower in Paris that showed the same thing. The restaurant would slowly spin 360° degrees over a period of one hour. 

While reviewing the lunch menu, my girlfriend and I began with a few starter drinks. She had the Flirtini cocktail with raspberry vodka, cranberry juice, and topped with champagne, while I had a glass of the white wine blend Conundrum. (Scroll down below the main review to see wine tasting notes). The lunch menu was broken down by section with the following groups:

  • Starters
  • Soups
  • Salads
  • Burgers and Sandwiches
  • Wraps
  • Flatbreads

The starter section had 15 separate items from the Sunset Seafood Trio which consists of Gulf Shrimp, mango scallops, and fish dip. Fish dip I have noticed is a favorite in Florida as I have seen it on several menus in the Tampa / St. Pete area. Other shellfish dishes consist of coconut shrimp, shrimp mojito, crab cakes, scallops, and a large fish dip. As I explored the menu I agreed with my girlfriends assessment of the hotel lobby being right out of the 1980’s, and the menu followed right along with that. I had the tuna tartare with an avocado salad, wontons, and crisps in a light citrus soy sauce topped with sour Cream and chives.

Other appetizers included your basics that you would see on a menu from a chain, for example items like spinach dip, potato skins, cheese sticks and quesadillas. My girlfriend had the coconut chicken skewers appetizer, which came with four skewers of chicken, a tropical fruit salsa over a lettuce garnish, and a sweet chili dipping sauce.

Before our entrees came out, my girlfriend ordered a Cappuccino Martini with espresso vodka, espresso, Godiva white chocolate liqueur, and whipping cream. I had a glass of lighter cabernet from Napa, a blend from several patches of vineyards called Uppercut. Under the flatbread section of the menu they had a selection from a steak gorgonzola with smoked bacon and balsamic drizzle, a chicken artichoke with spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, and blended cheese, and finally the Margarita flatbread which my girlfriend had. It was topped with an alfredo sauce, Italian cheeses, Roma tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and pesto. 


From the burgers and sandwich section there were several burger selections, fish tacos, Rueben’s, Cubans, and chicken sandwiches. From this list I had the steak and cheese melt sandwich, with a slice of prime rib, topped with cheddar cheese, fried onion slices, on a kaiser bun. The server asked how I wanted the meat prepared, and as usually with a good cut of meat like that, medium-rare is the best. That being said, when the sandwich arrived, in my mind I was expecting a good size cut of prime meat, at least 3/4 to 1 inch thick, with a nice red center, in other words a perfect medium-rare. Instead the slice of meat as you can see from the picture below was paper thin, and there was no way that it was going to be medium-rare. It was prepared well done, and I asked the server about the cut a meat, and how I was expecting something a lot different. Now the server had seen this sandwich several times since he sold it, and most likely had also eaten it a few times while he worked there. So based on that, why did he even ask what temperature I wanted it to be prepared to? A meat with that thinness of a slice would be cooked through every time. I also made an assumption when I read the menu and was asked what temperature I wanted the meat cooked that it would be a thick slab of meat like an open-face prime rib usually is. That is of course what I get for making an assumption. 


Though I didn’t ask them to do so, and was not expecting a discount of any kind, the manager removed the sandwich from the bill. Of course I had only had a few bites of as I did not want it since it was in my opinion over-cooked. One thing I do not do, and absolutely do not believe in, as I have seen it countless times in other restaurants are people that come in and purposefully look to get a free meal by complaining about every little thing under the sun. I am not one of those people, but at the same time feel justified that my order was not the way it was expected to be. 

It reminded me of a skit that I saw awhile back where it showed two pictures. The top picture was a sports athlete with a pair of shoes with his name on them worth over $200.00, and the picture below that one was two small business owners, the typical mom and pop. The highlighted text next to the athlete was that he makes over ten million a year and sell a product. You will never meet him, yet you will buy his product without question. The text next to the mom and pop read that they make 60 to 100,000 per year, you get to meet them, and they have a vested interest in you, but all you want from them is a discount. It is sad that unfortunately our culture is like that today, thankfully I am not. We did not have room for dessert, but as we left, I did see a dessert platter.


Wine Tasting Notes:
Wine & Grape:
Nose (Bouquet):
Palette Experience:
blend of five white wine grapes is one of the best of its type from California.  It’s a complex wine, with an array of ripe, concentrated flavors—pear, honey, fig, vanilla, peach and nectarine,
finishing with lots of character and a dash of spice.  Delicious.”
Well-structured tannins give this wine the backbone to stand up to boldly flavored foods.
A plush texture that carries the rich dark-fruit flavors through the lingering finish. This wine's multilayered personality is unmistakably Napa Valley Cab.
Well-crafted and fruity, this has a fresh character that allows room for red berry flavors.
It’s a ripe wine, keeping freshness while bringing in a warmer, caramel character.
Wine Regulatory: 
Vin de Pays, France

5 stars
 is Extraordinary
4 Stars
 is Outstanding
3 Stars
Exceeded Expectations
2 Stars
is Above the Average
1 Star
is an Average Dining Experience
No Star Rating
The Restaurant is Basic, Poor, or Appalling


Overall Star rating by Wine, Dine, & Play:
1 of 5
Ambiance:
7  of 10
Quality of the Food:
4  of 10
Plate Presentation:
5  of 10
Customer Service:
5  of 10
Wow Factor:
4  of 10
Wine Selection:
 (See full list under review basics section)
4 of 10


This Restaurant reminds me of:

Spinners Restaurant on top of the Grand Plaza Hotel was a mixed experience to say the least with the events around the entree sandwich. However other areas of the dining experience were reasonable. For example the ambiance has a high rating due to the design of the dining room and the fact that it did revolve around, so it gets a rating of 7 out of 10. The quality of the food dropped drastically as a result of the sandwich, but not just that either. The menu for such a nice ambient restaurant was very basic. To see basic items that you would see on a TGI Friday or Longhorn menu was a little disappointing, hence the score of 4. The plate presentations were very basic and common to most restaurants so it carries a neutral rating of 5. The customer service was attentive, but with the events of the sandwich, more information would have been nice to know so that also makes the scoring neutral. The wine selections and the wow factor are equal at the score of 4. The wow was not there from everything i had read about the restaurant and was expecting. The wine list seemed to match the lack in food diversity with very common glasses from select regions and very basic. Overall I rate Spinners using a scale from zero to five as a 1, or an average dining experience.  I would compare the visit to Spinners to other restaurants that I have reviewed on this blog to Güero's Taco Bar in Austin, Texas; Table Six in Canton, Ohio; and Gaia Restaurant in American Canyon, California.


Other St. Pete / Tampa favorites on Wine, Dine, and Play:
Fresco’s waterfront Bistro in St. Petersburg, Florida
CopperFish in Tampa, Florida
The Tap Room in St. Petersburg, Florida
Hurricane Seafood Grill in St. Petersburg, Florida

Other trending story’s on Wine, Dine, and Play:
Leopard Hills Lodge in South Africa 
Crocker & Star in Napa, California
Emmolo Winery in Napa, California
Constantia Uitsig La Colombe in Cape Town, South Africa
The Biltmore Dining Room in Asheville, North Carolina
Locale in the Yarra Valley, Australia
Bistrot La Minette in Philadelphia
Recipe conversions, your guide from metric to imperial and back again


Food Prices 
(excluding taxes & gratuity)
$£€¥ -                Under 50.00 
$£€¥ x 2 -          51.00- 99.00 
$£€¥ x 3 -          Over 100.00 
$£€¥ x 4 -          Over 200.00 
$£€¥ x 5 -          Over 400.00 

**Currencies chosen reflect the world’s major travelers and restaurant connoisseur’s**

My food bill:
Currency:
Price chart:
$38.00
United States Dollar (USD)
$$
£25.00
Great Britain Pound Sterling (GBP)
£
€35.00
European Union (EUR)
$51.00
Canadian Dollar (CAN)
$$
$53.00
Australian Dollar (AUS)
$$
¥243.00
Chinese Yuan (CNY)  
¥¥¥¥

Cost of wines and other alcoholic beverages in $$ USD:
$53.00



Review basics: 

Wine selections by region:


Scroll below the main review section to see the tasting notes of the wines chosen.


4 of 10

Old world: 
France
A). Bordeaux: (Haut Médoc, Cotes de Castillon,  Médoc, Pessac Leognan, Sauternes, St. Estèphe, St. Julien, St. Émillion, Pauillac, Pomerol, & Margaux).
B). Côte‐Rôtie, C, Champagne, Côtes de Provence
  1. Italy: Piemonte, Trentino-Alto, Veneto, Toscana, Abruzzo

New World: 

  1. Chile   A). Central Valley: (Maipo, Curicó, Maule Valley, & Curico Valley).
Elqui, Limarí, Aconcagua, Casablanca, San Antonio Malleco Valley, Orzada Lontue Valley, &Colchagua Valley,
  1. Australia: Barossa Valley, Eden Valley, McLaren Vale, Clare Valley, Adelaide Hills, Central Ranges, Frankland River, Margaret River, Yarra Valley, Coonawarra, Sunbury Victoria, New South Wales, Burgenland, Victoria, Tasmania & South Western Australia
  2. New Zealand
A).Marlborough: (Wairau Valley, Awetere Valley, Waihopi Valley)
  1. California: Sonoma, Napa, Edna Valley, Russian River Valley, Alexander Valley
  2. Oregon: Willamette Valley 
  3. Washington State: Columbia Valley
  4. Argentina: Mendoza
  

Corkage fee’s:
American Restaurant standard is $25.00 per bottle
Restaurant style:
Casual
Reservations:
Not Required, But Recommended 
Walk-ins:
Accepted, but not guaranteed
Dress code:
Smart casual, Casual, or Conservative attire
Child policy:


The Restaurants reviewed on this site may have a child’s menu or cater to them; however for full enjoyment of food and wine, it is recommended for children not to be in attendance, unless they have been trained in proper etiquette
Hire a Babysitter. 
Cuisine style:
Contemporary, Bistro, Modern, Seafood, American, Mediterranean, Beach food, & Vegetarian
Music styles:
Background instrumental, Piano, Band, Karaoke,
Experiences:
Business parties, Romantic, Great bar, Good for special occasions, Beautiful décor, Scenic views, Upscale, Trendsetting, and a Tourist grabber
Gratuities:
Industry standard is 18-20% added to parties of 6 or more
Payments:
Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express
Parking:
Public lot
Transport options:
Bus, taxi, limousine, personal vehicle, and walking
Wifi
The restaurants reviewed on this site may have Wi-Fi, but do not require you to go online, because the excitement of the food and wine alone will keep you too entertained instead of checking your social media and emails.
Noise level:
Low
Smoking:
Nonsmoking restaurant
Patio:
No


Restaurant address:
Grand Plaza Hotel
12th Floor
5250 Gulf Boulevard Street,
St. Pete Beach, Florida 33706

Neighborhood:
St. Pete Beach

Cross streets:
Punta Vista Drive and 55th Avenue


GPS Coordinates: 

Latitude:      27.725894
Longetude: -82.743070


Contact Information: 
Maître d, Reservations:
(800) 448-0901
Restaurant Website:
Contact:
Reserve Online:
Social Media & Accolades:


Facebook Link                


Hours:
Standard Time (GMT -5:00) 


Daily:
Monday
11:00 am –11:00 pm
Tuesday
11:00 am –11:00 pm
Wednesday
11:00 am –11:00 pm
Thursday
11:00 am –11:00 pm
Friday
11:00 am –11:00 pm
Saturday
11:00 am –11:00 pm
Sunday
11:00 am –11:00 pm




Reviewed by:
Sean Overpeck (CFE)
Executive Chef
In Paris, 2010

About Sean Overpeck:

I am based out of St. Petersburg, Florida working as a chef and other areas of food service over the past twenty years, and is currently working with the American Embassy as the Executive Chef in Basra, Iraq. Formally I have worked with groups contracting in Afghanistan, Dubai, and Antarctica, and worked in restaurants in and around Atlanta prior to the wars. I have also owned a catering company and served proudly in the United States Army, in their food service program. The idea for the Wine, Dine, and Play Blog started in late 2012 after a trip to Jordan, when I was asked by others to write down the experiences in food from the Jordanian restaurants, wine from the region that I tasted, locations of interest such as Petra, and of course the culture so that people, not only friends could read about the adventures instead of just listening to me talk. Since that time, nearly 200 articles have been written on restaurants, including fifteen from the worlds top 100 lists of San Pellegrino and the Elite Travelers Guide; exotic world locations such as Dubai, Petra, and African Safari’s; food recipes & Grand Food Dictionaries; country cuisines such as Afghan and Peruvian dishes; and of course wine including vineyards from California, South Africa, New Zealand, and Australia.


Chef Sean cooks for soldiers in Afghanistan, 2012:




“Culinary perfection consists not in doing extraordinary things, 
But in doing ordinary things extraordinarily well.”
-Angelique Arnauld (1591-1661)




TTFN
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