Wine Dine and Play: Sea Salt St. Pete

Sea Salt St. Pete

The Sea Salt restaurant in St. Petersburg, Florida is part of the Aielli restaurant group

A Trendy Seafood Destination at The Sundial
St. Petersburg, Florida USA
Cuisine Style: Seafood
Average Price: $$
Overall Rating: 4/5
Dined: July 2016
Article Updated: July 2019
By Sean Overpeck (CFE)
**A full article and index glossary of restaurants, wines, recipes and travel for 
Wine Dine and Play are in the pages section above, or by following these links:

Sea Salt Zomato rating:

Sea Salt Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

    Sea Salt Executive Chef:
    Fabrizio Aielli
    Chef Fabrizio Aielle is also the owner of the restaurant group that includes Sea Salt in St. Petersburg, Florida

    Justin Chamoun—Sommelier
    Cory Jones—Service Manager
    Kenny Tufo—Executive Chef
    Molly Winkler-Tine—Sous Chef

    With 130 different salts used along with many other ingredients, which are all locally sourced, and sustainable seafood along with organic fresh fruits and vegetables from local farmers, what do you get? Sea Salt, which is part of the Aielli Group of restaurants; You have Florida style cuisine blended with the Mediterranean, 20-foot-tall wine tower, 80-foot long raw bar, private chef’s dining room and much more. My wife and I went, meeting a few of her friends for a happy hour that the restaurant boasts a special menu for daily. This is a hot spot and a great seafood restaurant for you to add to your St. Petersburg List.

    Chef Aielli’s philosophy is to blend simplicity with the very best fresh ingredients in a menu that changes daily. Sea Salt uses products of the highest quality that are prepared and presented in a unique way while creating a warm, welcoming local environment that results in a truly memorable dining experience.

    Sea Salt Menu:
      • Oyster, Bar, Crudo
      • Pre Sunset Menu
      • Starters From Land and Sea
      • Liquid (soups)
      • Garden
      • Grain
      • Sea and Ocean
      • Vegetarian
      • Fishermans Case and Grill
      • Land and Farms
      • Custom Cut Beef
      • Accompaniments
      • Sides
      • Desserts

    Other menus available at Sea Salt:

      • Lunch
      • Dinner
      • Kids
      • Brunch
      • Oyster and Raw Bar
      • Bar Menu
      • Desserts

    Sea Salt has wonderful open space plus is very clean, with a modern eclectic taste in design, tables, chairs, and dinnerware adding to the overall ambiance. Throw in the large wine cellar tower and you have an inviting atmosphere that prepares you for the culinary experience you shall receive.  This a welcomed addition to The Sundial with two other restaurant choices that between the three cover a full range of culinary delights.

    The raw bar at the Sea Salt restaurant in St. Petersburg, Florida
    Sea Salt / Raw Bar

    My wife and I arrived for happy hour which is from 4-7pm daily and includes special half-priced food and ‘well’ drinks menu, along with daily specials, or the choice of a sunset menu that is prefixed to an appetizer, entree, and dessert. The Tuesday special is one of the best with all bottles of wine under $100 are half price or a Friday wine tour at $5 per glass on a variety of selections. If you dine for brunch then you will experience over fifty items starting at $3 tapas which includes small plates, starters, salads, sandwiches, traditional breakfast items, and entrees. 

    We sat at the bar joining my wives other friends and ordered a few glasses of wine with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc from Château Pey La Tour from Bordeaux for my wife and a glass Brunello D.O.C.G from Caparzo Winery for me. The Château Pey La Tour is made entirely from Sauvignon Blanc, and according to the winemakers’ notes, the Dourthe N°1 2015 is elegant, lively and wonderfully fresh. Pronounced citrus fruit aromas of grapefruit intermingle with passion fruit fragrances on the nose. Complex floral flavors and appealing refreshing verve culminate in a long, zesty finish. The Italian  Brunello di Montalcino is penetrating, ample, and very complex, with echoes of wild berry fruit according to the winemaker. It is dry, warm, solid, harmonious, combining delicacy and austerity.

    There were several items to choose from off the menu so my wife and I ordered a few to come out and share between us. Over a period of close to three hours, we ordered five items from the menu with extra drinks of course. The first item ordered was a crispy oyster dish at two price points with a tequila corn jalapeño remoulade. The seven dollar price is the happy hour price, and the sixteen is the cost after happy hour, so as you can see, nearly 60% off if dining during the happy hour. The dish came with 5 crispy fried oysters. Usually, when fried you lose some of the texture or taste in my experience but with these oysters, the full taste was present along with a combination of light herbs and salts.

    As part of the happy hour menu the crispy oyster dish was half off at the Sea Salt restaurant in St. Petersburg, Florida
    Sea Salt / Crispy Oysters

    The next item which was more of just a snack than anything else was a warm olives dish. This assortment of kalamata black olives and green olive was served with figs, mixed nuts, and a small cut of pecorino cheese. These olives were locally sourced from around Florida, plus the use of organic farm purchases for many other dishes, along with a wide variety of spices and seasonings gives Sea Salt a high rating for food quality. 

    A warm olives dish at the Sea Salt restaurant in St. Petersburg, Florida
    Sea Salt / Olives

    After those dishes were done and a few more drinks matched with the conversation, we both ordered one more item each starting with the shrimp tempura. Two shrimp came with the order served with a sweet truffle chili sauce, seaweed salad, and pickled ginger. The batter was lite and paired perfectly with seaweed, and the ginger then cleaned the palette. One thing noticed was that the food is well presented and simple, nothing over the top, but still, a little garnish to improve the overall look of the dishes. Several items have different exotic sauces and taste that you normally do not expect, a very warm presentation from plate to plate. With this dish, we had a glass of Canoe Ridge Estate Cabernet from the Chateau St. Michelle Estate. According to the winemakerBob Bertheau’s notes, this 88% Cabernet Sauvignon mixed with12% Merlot delivers red fruit flavors, earthy spice notes wrapped in silky, elegant tannins. 

    The Tempura shrimp appetizer at the Sea Salt restaurant in St. Petersburg, Florida had a seaweed salad, and pickled ginger
    Sea Salt / Tempura Shrimp

    The next item was the crab and avocado martini, served with shredded greens and topped with a bourbon cocktail sauce, and garnished with black and white sesame seeds. Unfortunately, due to an allergy, my wife could not eat the seeds, so once removed, she enjoyed the crab underneath. We did mention the allergen to seeds, but this item slipped by. The crispy flavors of the crab added to the taste of the crab, and the sweet bourbon sauce put all flavors together for an explosion of fresh citrus, salty and sweet all in one.

    A crab and avocado martini dish with a bourbon cocktail sauce at the Sea Salt restaurant in St. Petersburg, Florida
    Sea Salt / Crab and Avocado Martini

    Other starters on the menu include smoked Tambaqui fish ribs and a calamari dish. There are also six sandwich selections which by around 6:30 I decided to order based on someone else at the bar ordering it, and it looks damn good. It is called the crunchy chicken served with a jalapeño cabbage slaw and a saffron aioli, with a side of french fries. Taken your first bite reminds you of commercials when someone bites down and a fake sound of a crumbling bag is heard for sound effects, accept for this chicken it was the real deal. Perfectly fried, but still moist and juicy tender in the center. Other sandwiches include a lobster Reuben, blackened swordfish, Kurobuta roasted pork, Jackman wagyu burger, and fish tacos. 

    The crucnhy chicken sandwich with french fries at the Sea Salt restaurant in St. Petersburg, Florida
    Sea Salt / Crunchy Chicken

    If you bypass the happy hour and come in for dinner, the menu includes a raw oyster bar selection, seafood tower, and entree dishes such as a shrimp "Fra Diavolo Amatriciana,” and a Maine lobster with green peas and mascarpone-prosecco sauce all from the grain portion of the menu. Swordfish, salmon, Florida hogfish, grouper and a grilled whole fish special run up the seafood portion while lamb, Berkshire pork, cowboy ribeye, Delmonico cut steaks, and wagyu short ribs finish the land menu. Add some side items and you have a good dinner plan for Sea Salt, along with some vegetarian options as well. Our server was the bartender who was busy at times, but otherwise was more of an order taker than a server and the little mess up with the allergen identification was another setback with service.

    We were both completely fool and could not get dessert, however, they had a few options that looked really good to include a limoncello cheesecake with rhubarb garnish, Crème Brûlée with dates and Kahlua, and assorted gelato’s to name a few.

    Please see these guidelines for Tipping in Restaurants and on following proper etiquette, customs, cultures, and avoiding assumptions when you dine out.

    Wine regulatory’s for the tastings in this article:

    “In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is the strength, in the water there are bacteria.” - David Auerbach

    United States: 

    Washington State:

    1. Columbia Valley AVA which includes:

    European Union: 


    Other noteworthy Seafood articles and restaurants similar to Sea Salt:
    Seafood cuisine is any form of sea life regarded as food by humans. Seafood prominently includes fish and shellfish. A seafood restaurant is a restaurant that specializes in seafood cuisine and seafood dishes. They may include freshwater fish, sushi, raw bars, or rarer items such as the deadly Fugu Blowfish. 

    400 Beach Seafood and Taphouse Relaxed coastal cuisine in St. Petersburg, Florida
    Alioto’s Restaurant Historic restaurant serving Sicilian-infused seafood in San Francisco, California
    Bonefish Grill Contemporary 200+ chain with a seafood-centric menu; reviewed in St. Petersburg, Florida
    Eddie V’s Prime Seafood A Jazzy upscale seafood eatery chain in 9 States, review from Tampa, Florida
    Hank’s Seafood A classy southern seafood eatery house in Charleston, South Carolina
    Jekyll Island Seafood Company New American seafood restaurant, Atlanta airport, Atlanta, Georgia
    Moshulu New American dining on a restored ship in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    Perla’s Seafood and Oyster Bar Laid-back Cape Cod-style seafood restaurant in Austin, Texas
    Red Shrimp A Japanese / Emirati Cuisine beach-style restaurant at Bur Juman Mall, Dubai, UAE
    Red Snapper Kiwi “fush n’ chups” takeaway restaurant in Sumner, New Zealand
    RumFish Grill A Gulf-to-Table Seafood restaurant with 33k-gallon fish tank at the Tradewinds Island Resort on St. Pete Beach, Florida
    Sparkman’s Wharf An outdoor Channelside venue with a beer garden, coffeehouse, and 10+ restaurants in Tampa, Florida
    Two Oceans Restaurant Seafood and sushi with panorama views of Cape Point, South Africa

    See the whole list by visiting “The Wine Dine and Play Article Glossary

    Other St. Petersburg restaurants and articles on Wine Dine and Play:

    Modern café-tavern chain with Greek eats
    St. Petersburg, Florida, USA
    Classic Chain German Beer Hall
    St. Petersburg, Florida, USA
    Casual LGBT bar and burger joint
    St. Petersburg, Florida, USA

    A Few Florida Favorites:

    Waterfront upscale new American cuisine 
    Sanibel Island, Florida, USA
    The “Last Local Beach Club”
    Panama City Beach, Florida, USA
    American & Greek Cafe on the banks of the Manatee River
    Palmetto, Florida, USA

    See the whole list by visiting “The Wine Dine and Play Article Glossary by country

    Final notes, review basics, observations, and more pictures:

    Most reviews are subjective, depending on the writer; but they should also be responsible, and respectfully written, upholding the truth, and accurately conveying the experience to the best of the writer's knowledge, even if it includes metaphors the restaurant may not like to read about. My ratings are by the stars I award (from 0 to 5). The rating is calculated on a point accumulation of six separate factors based on individual experience. They include wine and other beverage selections, plate presentation, customer service, restaurant or café ambiance, food quality, and wow factor. To see more details of this rating list, read this article:

    Overall from this experience, and the score factors outlined in the ‘about page’ section, based on my individual experience and rating, I give Sea Salt a 4 out of 5 stars, meaning that they not only exceeded my expectations and were far above the average dining experience of most restaurants, but they outstanding.

    Scores are detailed in the factor chart below:
    Formula Factor Conclusions and Overall Ratings for Sea Salt
    Max Points Possible:
    Total Points Awarded:
    Total Points deducted:
    Food quality
    Plate presentation
    Customer service
    Alcohol and other beverages
    Total regular points awarded
    Total percentage — less the Bonus


    “Wow” factor BONUS
    Total bonus percentage


    Total percentage and bonus for a final star rating


    Stars Awarded (see chart below)
                 0 - 5

    **A full break down and explanation of the observations and point disbursement is available in the linked article above. To receive a detailed copy of your score, feel free to contact me at any time and I will provide it to you.**

    Overall Star Rating:
    4 of 5 Stars: 
    93% Rating with a 1 point “wow” bonus
    An Outstanding Dining Experience
    Wine List:
    Sea Salt Wine rating:
    7 of 10
    Old World selections: 
    France, Germany, Italy, Lebanon, Portugal, Sicily, and Spain

    New World selections: 
    Argentina, Australia,  California, Chile, New Zealand, Oregon, South Africa, Virginia, Washington State
    Corkage fees:
    Sea Salt does not list any corkage fee’s however, most American restaurants charge $25.00 per bottle
    Conservative dining
    Cuisine Style at Sea Salt:
    Allergen or dietary accommodations: 
    Local, Organic, Pescatarian, Sustainable, Vegetarian Options
    Not Required, but Recommended
    Accepted, but not guaranteed
    Dress code:
    Casual attire

    It’s Florida, everybody wear’s flip-flops!
    Child policy:

    The Restaurants reviewed on this site may have a kids menu or cater to them; however, for full enjoyment of food and wine, it is recommended that kids not to be in attendance, unless they have been trained in proper etiquette. 
    If not then:
    Hire a Babysitter! 
    Sea Salt Experiences:
    A place for foodies, Contemporary, Modern, Trendy, Lounge, Romantic, Hotspot, Great bar, Good for special occasions, Classy, Upscale, and a Neighborhood Gem.
    Cash, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express
    Sea Salt has a  valet or garage parking
    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:
    Sea Salt is a non-smoking restaurant, with a non-smoking patio

    Patio or terrace:


    Food Prices 
    (excludes, alcohol, taxes & 20% gratuity’s)

    $£€¥ -                Under 50.00 (inexpensive)
    $£€¥ x 2 -          51.00- 99.00 (moderate)
    $£€¥ x 3 -          Over 100.00 (pricey)
    $£€¥ x 4 -          Over 200.00 (expensive)
    $£€¥ x 5 -          Over 400.00 (very expensive)

    **Currencies reflect the world’s major travelers, restaurant, or wine connoisseur’s**

    United States Dollar (USD)
    Great Britain Pound Sterling (GBP)
    Canadian Dollar (CAN)
    Chinese Yuan (CNY)  
    European Union (EUR)

     Alcohol prices:

    $54.00 USD

    Sea Salt:

    183 2nd Ave North
    St. Petersburg, Florida

    Contact Information: 

    Restaurant website:
    Maître d or host:
    +1 727 873 7964
    Online reservations
    Email Us:
    Serving hours:
    Eastern Standard Time
    (GMT, Zulu, or UTC - 5:00)
    Lunch: Mon-Sun
    11:30 am - 3:30 pm
    Dinner: Mon-Sun
    5:00 pm - Closed
    Happy Hour: Daily
    4:00 pm - 7:00 pm
    Social Media 
    Accolades for Sea Salt:

    The worlds best restaurants is a subjective list of who is writing it and changes on a regular basis. The Wine Dine and Play best experiences are based on my highest rated stared restaurants, meaning that the visit was an outstanding or extraordinary experience. From cafés, chains, mom + pops, hole in the walls, to fine dining including a few Michelin spots. Visit the Top 100 page to see the entire list.

    A few to tease you with…
    Refined and elegant creole fare since 1880
    New Orlean’s, Louisiana, USA 
    Old-world classic Italian & Mediterranean
    New Smyrna Beach, Florida, USA
    Country-style local ingredients w/French flair
    Constantia, South Africa

    Other Sea Salt Pictures:

    The Chef Table at the Sea Salt restaurant in St. Petersburg, Florida is also in a private dining room
    Sea Salt / Chef Table - picture courteous of Sea Salt

    The dining room and wine tower at the Sea Salt restaurant in St. Petersburg, Florida
    Sea/ Salt / Dining Room with Wine Tower

    The main dining room at the Sea Salt restaurant in St. Petersburg, Florida
    Sea Salt / Dining Room

    The patio at the Sea Salt restaurant in St. Petersburg, Florida looks out onto the Sundial Mall and other restaurants and shops
    Sea Salt / Patio dining

    The wine tower at the Sea Salt restaurant in St. Petersburg, Florida is 20-feet high and has over 5000 bottles of wine
    Sea Salt / Wine Tower - picture courteous of Sea Salt

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

    Who is John Galt?


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