Wine Dine and Play: Fresco’s Waterfront Bistro

Fresco’s Waterfront Bistro

St. Petersburg, Florida USA
Cuisine Style: Global?, Seafood
Average Price: $$
Overall Rating: 2/5
By Sean Overpeck (CFE)

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Close to two years have gone by since the last review of Fresco’s Waterfront Bistro, but it still holds its charm, of a nice location and large patio next to a marina on the Tampa Bay, with downtown St. Petersburg on the opposite viewing side. This review is a combination of a brunch meal my wife and I had, plus a second event of the Ulele crew that my wife is a part of. 

The Crew of the Princess Ulele an active group in St. Petersburg known for their charitable events hosts a monthly meeting where Fresco’s caters, and as my wife is a member, the spouses are welcome to come. I’m not going to turn down food. Fresco’s has a menu of global cuisine, meaning that they are net set to standard American or Seafood menu. Global is not to be mistaken as a fusion with American or an eclectic style menu, but literarily a representation of many styles of cookery.  You have some American favorites, mixed with Italian or German, Levantine, or Thai. Examples include a coconut shrimp with a Thai sweet chili sauce, served on the same platter as a fried spring roll with a more Tex-Mex style of ingreidents with grill chicken, black beans, and corn. Or ahi tuna on cucumbers with a seaweed salad, served along side a fish spread with jalapeño, red onion and tomato on wheat pita wafer chips. 
Enjoy those small bites with twelve martini selections or several other basic cocktails. If you're looking for craft cocktails, you're not going to find them on their menu. Bigger bites have twists on ribeye steaks cooked Caribbean style, and lobster ravioli recipes straight out of the Adriatic. 

Brunch as we noticed was busier than the dinner crowd, as it was the first time we were on a wait list to get a table. The patio and inside area were both packed out. An espresso tini for my wife with brewed espresso, Van Gogh Vanilla Vodka and Kahlúa coffee hit the spot while I spiced up a creole Bloody Mary with Platinum Vodka, Zing Zang Bloody Mary mix, vegetable accompaniments, and a rim covered with Montreal steak seasoning. 
The Fresco burger my wife order was a little undercooked for her taste and over for mine, and it really wasn’t anything special or memorable, just another burger with cheddar cheese and the Fresco name attached to it. Thought the chipotle mayonnaise was a nice touch. We switched out the french fries for a cucumber salad. As a second note, the menu lists provolone, but the burger came with cheddar!!
The salmon pesto benedict was a nice and refreshing dish, sitting on a fried hash brown instead of english muffins, and some raw spinach. The eggs were a little over poached as there was some runny yolk, but not as much as per the common recipe, and the hollandaise was enjoyable. The dish was a cross between Lox and a Benny, as the dish also had some cream cheese spread on the smoked salmon. The pesto sauce on top was a little more oily than expected as if the sauce broke or was not emulsified long enough, but all in all, a nice brunch dish. As a side I chose some lightly blanched asparagus. There were seven benedict selection and six omelets to choose from along with crepes and parfait. Outside of that, the rest of the menu was a repeat of the lunch or dinner starters, sandwiches, and entrees. 
When I look closer at the menu I see more seafood with comfort American than I do global. Maybe more western hemisphere but it lacks true Asian, African, and Island combinations to me for a global title.

Other Noteworthy Global eats and Seafood Articles & Restaurants:
Nine One Five Globally accented tapas with innovative American fare in Key West, Florida
Table 9 Stylish modern Spanish and global cuisine at the Hilton Dubai Creek in Deira Dubai, UAE 
Tradewinds Restaurant Local and International cuisine with buffet in Sandton, South Africa
Qui Restaurant Eclectic global plates and sushi in Austin, Texas (name changed to Kuneho)
Two Oceans Restaurant Seafood and sushi with panorama views in Cape Point, South Africa
Moshulu New American dining on a restored ship in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Hank’s Seafood A classy southern seafood eatery house in Charleston, South Carolina

Other Pictures:

Final notes, review basics, and observations:

Most reviews are subjective, depending on the writer; but they should also be responsibly, and respectfully written, upholding the truth, and accurately conveying the experience. 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 by 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:

Over all from this experience, I give Fresco’s a 2 out of 5 stars, meaning that they were far above the average dining experience of most restaurants. The first review score was also 2 of 5 stars, so they have remained consistent since my last visit. An increase in Alcohol and food quality will raise them to three in no time. If your going to advertise yourself as global, then be global. 
Scores are detailed in the chart below 

5 stars
 An Extraordinary Experience
Worthy of a Michelin rating
94 - 100%
(105% with full bonuses added)
4 Stars
An Outstanding Experience 
(Top of its class)
87 - 93%
3 Stars
Exceeded All My Expectations
80 - 86%
2 Stars
Far Above the Average Experience
72 - 79%
1 Star
An Average Dining Experience
66 - 71%
0.5 Star
The Restaurant is a very Basic Experience
65 - 61%
0 Stars
ALERT: Poor, or Appalling Experience
(Do not waste your money or time)
60% or below
**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.**


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 bonus for final star rating


Stars Awarded (see chart below)
             0 - 5

Overall Star Rating:
2 of 5 Stars: 
74% Rating with a 2 point “wow” bonus
Exceeded all of my expectations
Wine rating:
Old World selections: 
New World selections: 
Corkage fee’s:
This Restaurant does not list any corkage fee’s however, most American restaurants charge $25.00 per bottle
Restaurant style:
Casual dining
Cuisine style:
Global, American, Seafood

Allergen or dietary accommodations: 
Gluten Free, Low Carb, Pescatarian, Vegetarian
Not Required, But Recommended
Accepted, but not guaranteed
Dress code:
Casual attire
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, Trendy, Business parties, Great outdoor dining, Good for special occasions, Scenic views, Great brunch, and a Neighborhood gem.
Cash, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express
Valet, and public street metered 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:
Nonsmoking restaurant, and nonsmoking patio
Patio or terrace:

A few St Petersburg restaurants and articles on Wine, Dine, and Play:

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

Other Florida favorites:

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Old School Rustic Tuscan
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Indian Shores
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Food Prices 
(excludes, alcohol, taxes & 20% gratuity’s)

$£€¥ -                Under 50.00 (inexpensive)
$£€¥ x 2 -          51.00- 99.00 (moderate)
$£€¥ x 3 -          Over 100.00 (pricy)
$£€¥ 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:


Fresco’s Waterfront Bistro:
300 2nd Ave NE, 
St. Petersburg, Florida

Contact Information: 
Restaurant website:
Maître d or host:
+1 727-894-4429
Online reservations
Email contact:
Serving hours:
Eastern Standard Time
(GMT, Zulu, or UTC - 5:00)
Daily: Mon-Sun
10:00 am - 11:00 pm

Social Media 
Facebook link                

The worlds best restaurants is a subjective list on who is writing it and changes on a regular basis. The Wine, Dine, and Play best of list is based on my rating numbers of 4 or 5 stars, meaning that the visit was an outstanding or extraordinary experience. From cafés, chains, mom + pops, hole in the walls, and fine dining spots including Michelin spots. To visit my full list of the best, follow this link:

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Reviewed by:
Sean Overpeck (CFE)
Glorified Cook (Exec Chef)
Father, Husband, Wine Drinker,
Restaurant nut, History, and 
Star Trek lover

I am based in Florida, and have worked in the food industry for over twenty years, from restaurants, catering, and contracting in Afghanistan, Iraq, + Antarctica. The idea for Wine, Dine, and Play started in 2012. Since then over 350 articles have been written, including some San Pellegrino, Michelin, and Elite Travelers Guide top picks. Other articles include recipes, a Grand Food Dictionary, ethnic cuisines, tasting tours, exotic locations, and wine from vineyards in the old and new world alike.

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


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