Wine Dine and Play: Chill Restaurant and Bar

Chill Restaurant and Bar

From A “Steam” To A “Chill”
St. Pete Beach, Florida, USA
Cuisine Style: New American Cuisine, Tapas
Average Price: $$
Overall Rating: 5/5
Dined in April and May 2017
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:

Chill Restaurant & Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Executive Chef:
Jerry Frystak

Restaurant Owners:
Ruthie and Paul Buxbaum

In January 2011, Chill Restaurant started with a little 20 seat coffee shop called ‘Steam,’ offering a small breakfast. The adventure continued and the adjoining building space to them was expanded so that they could serve a dinner menu. In 2012 the new ‘Chill’ opened down the street from ‘Steam,’ and was voted business of the year. The journey has had setbacks, but today the community has rated them as an affordably upscale gourmet restaurant with piano bar. My wife and I have dined here two times.
The vibe in St. Pete Beach like any beach town is to cater to what people expect in a beach town. What is that? Think of a typical style shack, serving lots of seafood, basic cocktails, fire pits, and tables with umbrellas next to the sand. Most of these places are a little run down like a few local restaurant neighbors such as Shark Tales Waterfront, Crab Daddy’s, and a place called Frog Pond. From time to time I’ve dined at some French restaurants which have frog legs on a menu, but why would a local beach place ever name themselves Frog Pond? Across the street from the "Frog Pond" was the old location for ‘Steam Coffee Shop’, now called The Pit. 

There are of course exceptions to every rule, and the typical persona of a beach restaurant also applies. In Miami, you have local dives like ‘Senor Frogs’ (there is that frog name again!!) Bar and Grill, and right down the street, you have Laurent Tourondel’s Prime Bistro which is like night and day in comparison. This is what Chill is a comparison to with other St Pete Beach restaurants. It is a New American Restaurant with a blended Mediterranean twist, that serves many of their dishes tapas style and one thing that the owner Ruthie Buxbaum is quoted as saying is that what she loves best about Chill, is that she always knows friends are coming over for dinner...she just doesn’t know which ones. 

Tapas is a traditional Spanish or Portuguese style of cuisine and fits into the broader name of Mediterranean cuisine that Chill’s menu has a slight focus towards. The history of tapas goes back to King Alfonso X, who reigned over Castille in the Thirteenth century and has evolved into an entire, sophisticated cuisine beyond the hot and cold appetizers you see on every restaurant menu today. The word is derived from the verb tapar, "To cover” and according to The Joy of Cooking, the original tapas were thin slices of bread or meat which sherry drinkers in Andalusian taverns used to cover their glasses between sips.

The Chill owners and chef take great pride in the foods they prepare, constantly evolving and changing the menu to meet trends and what is available, fresh, and exciting. Their food is “awfully close to that of a scratch kitchen” Ruthie Buxbaum mentioned, “and of course that brings unique challenges making it a very chef-driven kitchen operation. So, for example, if the tomatoes are very ripe then a dish is a little sweeter than normal.  If they are not - it needs a pinch of a menu like ours constantly requires tasting and adjustment.”

    • Small Plate Starters
    • Small Plate Vegetables
    • Small Plates for Sharing
    • Burgers and Taco’s
    • Traditional Entrees
    • Desserts (homemade)

Chill uses local company’s like Patriot Produce for their products, along with other companies to which Ruthie explains:  “Some are organic, some not. But Patriot does a phenomenal job sourcing great quality for us.” Patriot Produce was established in 1991 with the motto of only sourcing the best produce, and as market trends are shifting to more sustainable, organic, and non-GMO items, Patriot is matching pace to supply what their customers are asking for. Chill is working on moving towards these newer trends, but still has a little ways to go.

Chill has a large handcrafted cocktail menu which is what turned us onto to going, to begin with. They were recommended by our Veterinarian, so we stopped by for a few sips and bites, and were so impressed we came back yet again for a dinner.  My wife ordered the “Black and Bleu,” a dirty martini served with a grilled two ounce portioned filet mignon wrapped on a cocktail pick with bleu cheese stuffed olives. Our dog ‘Pearl’ who sadly passed away a few weeks after we dined with Chill focused all her attention on that filet. “Cool as a Cucumber” gin with muddled cucumber and lime, shaken with homemade ginger ale and the “Fig Old Fashioned” are also highly recommended. House bourbon with muddled figs and oranges are blended with simple syrup and Angostura bitters. Up your order to a higher dose with “What The Fig” cocktail which uses Gentleman Jack and fresh basil.

Black and Bleu martini

A few tapas starters to focus on when you visit should be the stuffed olives - black and green with a blend of Italian asiago cows milk and Greek kasseri unpasteurized sheep milk cheeses, all sautéed together in a creamy sun-dried tomato sauce and served with toast points. The bitter natural taste to olives, combined with the sharp kasseri melted in my mouth like a gastronomic version of a narcotic high. Then it tempered down with the sun-dried tomatoes, combined with the acidity of the tomato, canceling out the rich salt texture of the olives.  

Stuffed Olives

Next, go for the goat cheese tapenade terrine that you can also sub out for a gluten-free option by adding zucchini in place of the toast points. This herbed goat cheese is layered with three house-made tapenade choices in a French-style “Napoleon layering” with sun-dried tomatoes, kalamata olives, and the crowning third layer of a mission fig compote. The dish is then drizzled with a sherry reduction. The sweet reduction of the sherry plus the figs cut into the strong tartness of the goat cheese.

Goat cheese tapenade

One thing that I noticed about the tapas dishes was that they were heavy in the dairy category, which as a lover of cheese I would enjoy now and pay for later on. Especially with the third recommendation, I have for you is the brie. My wife likes to say that if she gives me brie she will have my heart. She has my heart no matter what, but a gift of brie gives her massive brownie points! They have a second brie selection on the menu with brandied mix nuts and warm apples as well. Our brie order was sautéed with leeks, shallots, applewood smoked bacon, mushrooms, and fresh herbs. This mixture is then garnished oozing over a pie cut portion of warm baked brie and served with a crispy French baguette. If you think my mouth was watering from the ‘Chill’ of the olives, my mouth was ‘Steaming’ with joy from that delicious brie. This dish also goes very well with a glass of Nollen Erban German Resiling from their menu which according to the tasting notes has aromas of sweet apples, pear, candied lemon and pineapple matching the brie perfectly. 

Brie dish

The final recommendation from the tapas is from the vegetarian tapas section where there are seven veg or vegan selections like falafel, truffled mashed potatoes, and the item of ultimate desire for the vegetarian and the carnivore alike, the stuffed butternut squash, which is also the most requested and popular dish according to the menu descriptions. The dish is stuffed with roasted seasonal vegetables, diced squash pieces, a southwest seasoning, and blanched red quinoa, then topped with a beautiful garnish of shaved red beet strands, that are all twirled together like an Italian dish of spaghetti. The Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand and its bouquet of passionfruit and gooseberries pears perfectly with flavors of the summer squash and complements the tart beet profile to the dish. This dish was beautifully plated and gets high marks and points for its overall stunning presentation. 

Stuffed butternut squash

My wife recommends the fish tacos from the lunch menu when she came back to dine while in the area which has a pineapple pico de gallo, guacamole, and cabbage bouquet all wrapped in corn tortillas topped with a zestful chipotle ranch blend which with the pineapple brings out great flavor profiles with the fish. 

The next visit will have to include dessert but was completely full for this trip. When we do, we will have to get their “red” dessert or bananas foster.

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:

European Union: 
New Zealand:

Other Noteworthy New American, Tapas Articles, and Restaurants:
Alinea Highly creative new American molecular gastronomy tasting menus in Chicago, Illinois 
Bridge Street Bistro Third Floor terrace Seafood Centric New American dining, Bradenton Beach, Florida 
Cat Cora's Kitchen Organic New American Tapas Restaurant in Atlanta Airport Terminal A
Ciro's Speakeasy & Supper Club Prohibition-themed New American cuisine in Tampa, Florida
Harvest Moon Café Farm-to-Fork Daily changing new American fare menu in Sonoma, California
Iberian Rooster Colonial Portuguese Fusion with Tapas Restaurant in St Petersburg, Florida
Jekyll Island Seafood Company, New American Seafood Restaurant, Atlanta Airport, Atlanta, Georgia
Lobby at Twelve Boutique hotel bistro, new American, and Southern favorites at Atlantic Station, Atlanta 
Moshulu New American dining on a restored ship in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Nine One Five Globally accented tapas with innovative American fare in Key West, Florida 
Samantha’s Restaurant Mellow new American fare in North Canton, Ohio 
The Mad Hatter Waterfront upscale new American cuisine on Sanibel Island, Florida 
The Mill Restaurant New American fare with a southern spin in St. Petersburg, Florida
Vizacaya Restaurante and Tapas Bar Vibrant spot for classic Spanish dishes & tapas in Tampa, Florida 
Z Grille Colorfully inspired twists on American Classics in St. Petersburg, Florida
Zinc Bistro and Bar Southwestern-inspired new American fare in San Antonio, Texas

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

Other St Pete Beach restaurants and articles on Wine Dine and Play:

Cool cocktails and coastal eats
St. Pete Beach, Florida, USA
Comfort foods, drinks, at the Don CeSar Hotel
St. Pete Beach, Florida, USA
Rooftop Artisan Fusion Bistro
St. Pete Beach, Florida, USA
Table-side Hibachi with a sushi bar
St. Pete Beach, Florida, USA
Med-Latin & tapas café with 360 views
St. Pete Beach, Florida, USA
Pass-a-Grille / St Pete Beach
Beachside Victorian-style seafood restaurant

A Few Florida Favorites:

Rustic New American Fare
St. Petersburg
 A top 20 on Wine Dine and Play
Old-world classic Italian & Mediterranean
New Smyrna Beach
Old School Rustic Tuscan

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 Chill a 5 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 were extraordinary.
Scores are detailed in the factor chart below:

Formula Factor Conclusions and Overall Ratings
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 Before Bonus


“Wow” factor BONUS
Total bonus percentage


Total percentage with a bonus for the 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:
5 of 5 Stars: 
94% Rating with a 2 point “wow” bonus
An Outstanding Dining Experience
Corkage fee’s:
This Restaurant does not list any corkage fee’s however, most American restaurants charge 
$25.00 per bottle
Restaurant style:
Casual to Conservative dining
Cuisine Style:
Mediterranean, New American
Allergen or dietary accommodations: 
Farm to Fork, Gluten Free, Local, Low Carb, Organic, Pescatarian, Vegan, and Vegetarian Options
Not Required, But Recommended
Accepted, but not guaranteed
Dress code:
Casual attire
It’s Florida, everybody wears 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! 
Place for foodies, Contemporary, Trendy, Great outdoor dining, Good for special occasions, and a Neighborhood Gem.
Cash, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express
Street meter 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:
Low to Medium
Nonsmoking restaurant, and nonsmoking 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:

$60.00 USD

Chill Restaurant and Bar:

357 Corey Ave
St. Pete Beach 
Florida 33706

Contact Information: 
Restaurant website:
Maître d or host:
+1 727-360-2445
Online reservations
Email Contact:
Serving hours:
Eastern Standard Time
(GMT, Zulu, or UTC - 5:00)
11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Thur & Sun
8:00 am - 10:00 pm 
8:00 am - 1:00 am
Social Media 
Facebook link                

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…

Chain serving Chicago-style deep dish pizza & other Italian eats 
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Acclaimed upmarket classic & innovative Italian
Dubai Marina, Dubai, UAE
Classic Mediterranean Cuisine
Charleston, South Carolina, USA

Other Pictures:

Picture courtesy of Chill Restaurant 
Fig old-fashioned 
Lobster Bisque
Mashed Potatoes 
Fish Tacos
Picture courtesy of Chill Restaurant

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