Wine Dine and Play: June 2018

Lucky’s Lounge

Lucky's Lounge /

A St Patty Day Meal
Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Cuisine Style: American, Dive Bar
Average Price: $
Overall Rating: 3/5
Dined on: March 17, 2018 - St. Patrick’s Day
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:

Executive Chef:
Josh Freedman 

My flight landed for a layover at Boston Logan Airport on Saint Patrick’s Day and I thought how perfect to be in the US City with tons of Irish heritage on this Irish day. The day before arriving I had published a recipe on a vegetable blend titled The Irish Flag Vegetable Medley to celebrate patriotism and history of Ireland. My wife recommended I find a bar and drink a green beer to celebrate. I searched and searched, but surprisingly there were few bars at the terminal, and none had the green beer special. I decided to enjoy a St. Patrick’s Day lunch at Lucky’s Lounge,  part of the Lyon’s Group which owns 19+ Restaurants to include the two Lucky’s locations, the first being downtown, and the second here at the airport. 

Jungle Prada Tavern

Jungle Prada Tavern /

Lunch after the Discover Florida Tour
St Petersburg, Florida, USA
Cuisine Style: American
Average Price: $
Overall Rating: 2/5
Dined in: April 2018
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:

500 years of history come to life in St. Petersburg's Jungle Prada neighborhood and for the Jungle Prada Tavern. The building sits next to the Jungle Prada park and the landing site of Pánfilo de Narváez and the Tocobaga Indian village. Today that site is owned by the Anderson family of Discover Florida Tours. The building is made with Spanish-style architecture and is nearly 100 years old, being home during the prohibition era to a jazz club called the Gangplank, and was rumored to be partially owned by the Chicago gangster Al Capone. The Jungle Prada Tavern opened in 2015, with prior occupants like the Black Palm restaurant. The tavern is like a watering hole to the locals as there are few to no other bars or restaurants in the surrounding area. Jungle Prada Tavern is uniquely located not only to be next to the historical Spanish Conquistador landing site but also a terminal for the Hubbard’s Marina Water Taxi, which takes you across the Boca Ciega Bay to John’s Pass on Treasure Island.

My wife and I had just finished the tour of the Tocobaga Indian heritage site and popped into the Jungle Prada Tavern for lunch. The space was very large with side and back rooms filled with pool tables, lots of flat screen televisions, and board games with lots of tables available to play them. We sat at the copper U-shaped bar, reviewing their cocktail, wine, and beer list. They have 32 beers on tap and a unique cocktail list with names dedicated to the heritage site and local Tampa lore. 

    • Bar Bites
    • Appetizers
    • Crisp Salads
    • Thin Stone Roasted Pizzas
    • Specialty Sandwiches
    • Build Your Own Burger
    • Entrees
    • Blue Plate Specials
    • Desserts

Jungle Prada Site and Anderson/Narváez Tocobaga Indian mound

Jungle Prada /

Jungle Prada Site - A Hidden St. Petersburg Gem
St Petersburg, Florida, United States
Visited in April 2018
Cost: $
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:

The Jungle Prada site and Anderson/Narváez mound is a family owned historic site in St. Petersburg, Florida, and is only available to see by guided tour. You can read more on their website Discover Florida Tours. This historical landmark celebrates the heritage of Native Americans with wondrous pieces of archeology from the Tocobaga Indian tribe and village. You will also learn about the stories of the Spanish Conquistadors, enjoy the sights and smells of the botanical garden full of native plants used by the Tocobaga, plus views of the Boca Ciega Bay and its history. There are over 50 peacocks and peahens that reside at the Jungle Prada site and are just as at home as the Anderson family that runs it. These free roaming birds steal the show with their mating calls and normal rituals.

Jungle Prada /
Jungle Prada / Narváez Historical Marker

Beef 'O' Brady's

Beef 'O' Brady's /

A Laid Back American Eatery, Not Irish
St Petersburg, Florida, USA
Cuisine Style: American, Sports Bar, and Grill
Average Price: $
Overall Rating: 0.5/5
Dined in: April 2018
Article Updated: February 2020
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:

Island Ocean Star

Island Ocean Star / Logo /

Family Owned Sushi House On AMI
Anna Maria, Florida, USA
Cuisine Style: Japanese
Average Price: $$
Overall Rating: 1/5
Dined in: April 2018
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:

Island Ocean Star rating on Zomato:

Island Ocean Star Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Island Ocean Star Sushi Chef:
Chef Xiong 
Island Ocean Star / Chef /

The Island Ocean Star restaurant is located next to an inlet on the Northern end of Anna Maria Island attached to a marina looking out onto Bimini Bay. They are known for their modern interpretation of classic dishes and its insistence on only using high-quality fresh ingredients.

Island Ocean Star Menu:
    • Hot Appetizers
    • Dumplings
    • Salads
    • Soups
    • Sushi Dinner Specialties
    • Donburi
    • Seafood Entrees
    • Curry Entrees
    • Yaki Soba Entrees
    • Tempura Entrees
    • Katsu
    • Teriyaki
    • Steak
    • Signature Rolls
    • Tempura Rolls
    • Makimono
    • Veggie Rolls
    • Nigiri and Sashimi
    • Desserts

Souzou Asian Kitchen

17 December 2018 review  /  March 2018 review 

Souzou has now been renamed Sake 23

Souzou Asian Kitchen Imagines, Creates And Inspires
St. Petersburg, Florida USA
Cuisine Style: Asian Fusion Gastro Pub
Average Price: $$
Overall Rating: 4/5
Article updated: January 30, 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:
By Cuisine  /  By Country

Souzou Asian Kitchen Zomato rating:

Souzou Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 


At Nitally's Latin Meets Asian
St Petersburg, Florida, USA
Cuisine Style: Thai, Mexican
Average Price: $
Overall Rating: 3/5
Article Updated: July 26, 2018
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:

Nitally's score on Zomato:
Nitally's Thai-Mex Cuisine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

The Nitally's restaurant location on Central Ave is closed however, they are in the process of relocating to 6800 Gulfport Blvd South in South Pasadena, with future plans to open another location in St. Petersburg.

Nitally's Executive Chefs:
Nit and Ally

Nitally's / Chefs /

What do you get when a Thai chef and a Mexican chef get together, fall in love, marry, then move to St Petersburg? You get chef Nit and Chef Ally at Nitally’s. They have created a new tradition based on two old ones; Fusion of Asian, Mexican, and a small mixture of others.

A Restaurant does not have to be fancy to be good, with white linen table clothes, fine china, or a big price tag, and that is something that Nitally’s embraced. Their focus was food, and very good food it was indeed. My wife has been several times, but this was my first visit with her.


Casual Italian Family Dining
St Petersburg, Florida USA
Cuisine Style: Italian
Average Price: $
Overall Rating: 1/5
Dined in: March 2018
Article Updated: June 10, 2018
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:

Portofino Zomato score:

Portofino Italian Ristorante Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Portofino is a fishing village on the Italian Riviera coastline, southeast of Genoa City. Pastel-colored houses, high-end boutiques, and seafood restaurants fringe its Piazzetta, a small cobbled square overlooking the harbor, which is lined with super-yachts. A path leads from the Piazzetta to Castello Brown, a 16th-century fortress, and museum with art exhibitions and panoramic views of the town and the Ligurian Sea. The description alone makes you want to book your airline tickets, doesn’t it? 

Now, imagine a small restaurant in your typical American strip mall with a Publix shopping center on one end and a large pet store on the other. The restaurant’s doorways are lined with brick, and the expediting area from the dining room to the kitchen is built with Roman style arches from one end to the other. The Restaurant is called Portofino Italian Ristorante, and is family owned and operated, where the younger teenage daughter is the Hostess who greets you with a smile escorts you to the table, and as long as your first drink order is non-alcoholic, she will take that order for you. 

Portofino Menu:
    • Cold Appetizers / Antipasto
    • Hot Appetizers / Antipasto
    • Zuppe/ Soup
    • Side Orders
    • Pollo / Chicken
    • Veal / Vitella
    • Pasta
    • Fettuccini Dishes
    • Seafood
    • individual Casseroles
    • From the Stone Oven - Pizzas


Would Gastón Acurio or Virgilio Martinez’s Approve?
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Cuisine Style: Peruvian
Average Price: $$$
Overall Rating: 2/5
Dined in: March 2018
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:

INKA - Sofitel Dubai Downtown Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Executive Chef:
Christian Motte

The Inca Empire, also known as the Incan Empire and the Inka Empire, was the largest empire in pre-Columbian America and was the largest empire in the world in the early 16th century. The administrative, political and military center of the empire was located in Cusco (modern-day Peru). The Inca civilization arose from the highlands of Peru sometime in the early 13th century. Its last stronghold was conquered by the Spanish in 1572. The effects of the conquering plus diseases such as smallpox, typhus, influenza, diphtheria, and measles by 1618 had ravaged the Inca people.

Inka Restaurant part of the Elements Global Restaurant Management LLC is located on the 31st floor of the Sofitel, in downtown Dubai, with the dining room and bar facing the mall and Burj Khalifa Tower while the lounge faces the city. They advertise a journey through Peru’s culinary heritage in an Art Deco setting. I do have to say that the art plus placement along with the furniture style and light fixtures add to the ambiance for higher ratings overall. However, would two of the top Peruvian Chef’s in the world Gastón Acurio or Virgilio Martinez’s approve of the cuisine style? Let's explore that to find out. Chef Christian Motte draws from his experiences growing up in Lima and infuses them into his dishes that marry the past with the present. He has transformed the traditional concepts of Peruvian Cuisine and adapts it to a modern market. The menu incorporates a multitude of flavors, styles, and ingredients while trying to stay true to his Peruvian roots. The Sous chef that evening was from Myanmar, I did not catch his name.

    • Cold Starters
    • Salads
    • Makis
    • Hot Starters
    • Main Courses
    • Desserts
    • Inka Set Menu

Before discussing the food, it is important to look at the overall picture, where the art deco gets high points towards the ambiance, but one thing that greatly lowered that rating was the fact that you could smoke in the restaurant, and there were no designated areas to separate the two. From where I sat in the dining room, the bar was maybe twenty feet away, to where there were two men smoking. One walked through the dining room with a cigarette in hand, leaving that lingering nasty odor. When you come to a nice restaurant for the culinary experience, one major bonus is the wonderful smells of the food, which is hard when you have burnt nicotine around you. As I was escorted to my table I heard a Snoop Dog song playing, followed by 5-6 more R&B songs, wondering if I was in a Peruvian restaurant or a nightclub. Finally, the music switched to Latin.

Dining room

Behind me and down the hall led to the lounge and a second bar, which was also a smoking area. This is where the only restrooms in the restaurant were located. So when you need to go and you're a non-smoker, you have to walk through the smoky lounge to get there. It is funny how sophisticated Dubai is trying to become, and how so many restaurants and cafes are way behind the times, given the number of tourists that visit. As I walked towards the restroom several servers were sitting on the couches with stacks of glass racks rolled out next to them, polishing, and partially blocking the route. When I arrived at the restroom the door was broken (see the picture at the end of this article), and after washing my hands as best as I could from the broken sink, they were very low on towels, without a waste bin next to the door to discard the towel after opening to avoid germs. 

You would think that it was busy and hard to keep up, but not so. The servers doing the polishing were not, and in the dining room besides myself, there were three other tables of customers. My server did a good job and was very attentive plus anticipated my needs throughout the menu and finally gave great recommendations, which helped the customer service score go up. Starting off my evening the server recommended a Pisco Sour cocktail with sugar syrup, lemon juice, and egg whites, one of three cocktails with Pisco liqueur cocktails on their list. Pisco is a colorless or yellowish-to-amber colored brandy produced in winemaking regions of Peru or Chile and made by distilling fermented grape juice into a high-proof spirit, developed by 16th-century Spanish settlers.

Pisco sour

Now we can move onto the food, and though I have not yet been to Peru to meet chefs like Gastón Acurio or Virgilio Martinez’s or enjoy the foods they prepare, I have been to a few Peruvian restaurants elsewhere, and work in food service where some of my clients are from Peru and have introduced me to street foods and other styles. Overall from my visit to Inka with the negative strikes so far, I can say that the food was very good. The plate presentations were well thought out, ingredients and flavors excited my taste buds, and the aromas made we want more, that is when I didn’t smell cigarette smoke. Chef Christian Motte did send my palate on a nice little adventure. In regard to the Inka menu, they do need to make some updates to their webpage. On the website, the menu is vast with many wonderful options. I read them over before visiting and earmarked a few items of interest to try, only to find out after arriving that the restaurant had drastically drawn down the menu, and the items I wanted, were no longer available. 

I began with a classic ceviche starter dish, presented beautifully in a nice glass dish made with sea-bass, traditional tigers milk, avocado, and coriander cress. The dish was then topped with a shaved piece of giant corn shaped in a crescent moon for a garnish. There was a heavy lemon flavor with some liter aromas and spice. The avocado was perfectly ripened and paired perfectly with the sea-bass and fresh coriander. Originally I was interested in the salmon tiradito, but it had been removed from the menu.

For the salad section the beetroot and coriander which had my eye had been replaced by an avocado salad, so I moved down to order a maki which on my menu copy had tens elections, but the restaurant menu had only four or five. I chose the acevichado which was a sushi roll and a quintessential Peruvian Nikkei dish composed of avocado and shrimp (wait for my menu copy again), they replaced it with tuna and acevichada sauce. There was a good combination of flavors, where the roll was like any other typical sushi, the sauce made the dish. Acevichada translates as “a sauce in the style of ceviche,” which contains a mix of mayonnaise with a touch of Ajinomoto, lemon, and onion. The spicy element is given by the togarashi (a mixture of ichimi with Japanese spices) and is liquefied until it is uniform and is placed on the roll to taste.

Acevichada maki

Several of the main courses had also been removed but thankfully the one I had my eye was still there. The lomo and tacu tacu dish, a smoked beef tenderloin sautéed in a Nikkie sauce, normally served well done, though I did a request for it to be cooked more on the rare side. The dish had wonderful smoke flavors, though not overpowering like some dishes can be. The tacu tacu which is a Peruvian rice and lentil combination was moist and filled with wonderful aromatics. It was, however, missing the pork which is common in many taco taco recipes. Being that I was dining in the Middle East, it is understandable to not see pork that often. The sauce flavor was very bold packing a large punch that made the dish for me. With this dish, I had a Malbec from Catena Winery, Argentina. The Catena wines are a special assemblage of High Mountain Estate Vineyards made by fourth generation vintner, Laura Catena and chief winemaker, Alejandro Vigil. From my tasting notes on the nose, I got licorice, granite, plum, and blackberry aroma. On the palate, it was medium to heavy tannin with tobacco, berries, spice, hibiscus, and mild cherry with a moderate finish. I would have preferred a Peruvian wine, but they did not have any on the menu, shame for a Peruvian restaurant.

Lomo tacu tacu

Dessert selections were interesting, from quinoa pancakes with caramelized macadamia to an organic Peruvian cacao volcano with quinoa ice cream. In the end, I decided on the Peruvian mess dessert, which was an herb granite, meringue, with strawberries, a brownie whipped cream and praline ice cream. It was described to me by my server as a true taste of Peru. It was presented neatly and then recommended to be all mixed up together to enjoy all the flavors the dessert had to offer. At first, I had a bite of each item, then mixed it. The herb by itself was very tart, but once mixed was perfect. I enjoyed this dessert with a coffee Americano.

Peruvian mess

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

Other Noteworthy Peruvian or South American cuisine Articles and Restaurants:
Ají Verde Sauce A traditional Peruvian green chili sauce recipe served with chicken dishes
Brasa Brazilian Steakhouse Rodízio buffet and churrascaria in the Hilton, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada 
Chupe de Camarones A thick hearty chowder made with shrimp, potato, and legumes in Peru 
Fogo de Chão An Upscale Brazilian chain with 49 locations. Review based in Buckhead, Atlanta, Georgia
Frevo Restaurant Authentic churrascaria dining at the Fairmont on Palm Island, Dubai, UAE
INKANTO Authentic and traditional Peruvian cuisine in Sarasota Florida
Limean Carapulcra A Peruvian pork and potato stew recipe
Lomo Saltado A Peruvian chifa beef stir fry with potatoes and soy
Papa Rellena Peruvian fried stuffed potatoes recipe
Peruvian Cuisine Andes, Amazon, and Lima - A culinary tour with recipes and history
Peruvian Rice (Arroz Peruano) Long grained rice seasoned with lemon juice, & Ortega chilies
Pollo a la Brasa Peruvian blackened chicken or rotisserie chicken with chili sauce marinades
Suspiro a la Limeña Silky Peruvian dulce de leche custard with Port meringue dessert recipe
Pachanga Restaurant Blend of Argentinean and Brazilian cuisine at the Hilton Dubai Marina, UAE
Peruvian Cuisine Andes, Amazon, and Lima - A culinary tour with recipes and history 

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

Other Dubai restaurants and articles on Wine Dine and Play:

Turkish culinary journey with an eclectic European twist
Plaza Versace Hotel, Dubai, UAE
Contemporary Middle Eastern and Levant buffet at Hyatt Park Hotel Dubai Creek, Dubai, UAE
“Mastic” Ice-cream
Deira, Dubai, UAE
Yemeni Cuisine featuring Mandi
Deira, Dubai, UAE
A Modern Twist on Emirati Cuisine
Dubai, UAE
A French Style Wine Bar at the Conrad Hotel
Dubai, UAE

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 Inka a 2 out of 5 stars, meaning that they were far above the average dining experience of most restaurants.
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 — 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:
2 of 5 Stars: 
72% Rating with a 1 point “wow” bonus
Far Above the Average Dining Experience
Wine List:
Wine rating:
5 of 10
Old World selections: 
France, Germany, Italy, Spain

New World selections: 
Argentina, Australia, California, Chile, New Zealand, South Africa,
Corkage fees:
This Restaurant does not list any corkage fee’s however, most American restaurants charge 
$25.00 per bottle
Restaurant style:
Semi-formal dining
Cuisine Style:
Allergen or dietary accommodations: 
Gluten-Free, Low Carb, Pescatarian, Vegetarian Options
Not Required
Accepted, but not guaranteed
Dress code:
 Conservative to Smart 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, Modern, Lounge, Business parties, Scenic views, Classy, Upscale, and a Neighborhood Gem.
Cash, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express
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:
Warning: smoking restaurant
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**

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

 Alcohol prices:

$24.00 USD


Sofitel Dubai Downtown
150 Sheikh Zayed Road
 Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Contact Information: 
Restaurant website:
Maître d or host:
+971 4 346 9295
Online reservations
Website contact:
Serving hours:
Emirate Local
(GMT, Zulu, or UTC - BST Offset + 2:00)
Dinner: Mon-Sun
6:00 pm - 2:00 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…
New American, Southern Twist
St. Petersburg, Florida, USA
Safari + Upscale African Cuisine 
Sabi Sabi, South Africa
Seasonal American cuisine
Asheville, North Carolina, USA

Other Pictures:

The bathroom

Art-deco dining

The lounge

Burj Khalifa tower from the dining room

Acevichada maki

“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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