Cinco De Mayo foodie adventure. Patanegras - Downtown St. Petersburg

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New Restaurant Review - Patanegra

Cinco De MayoDowntown St. Pete:
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My foodie friend/conspirator, Cat B., and I wanted something new and hispanic in downtown St Pete on Cinco De Mayo, and honestly didn't want to be flushed out with maniacal celebrations at one of the local Mexican places. ­We took a chance on a new tapas joint, Patanegras, at 200 Central Ave, in the outdoor patio of the Bank of America building.­It was a beautiful evening, with lots of folks walking the streets looking like Panco Villa goes Urban Cool sporting sombreros and paper mustaches and enjoying what downtown St Pete has morphed into;­a fun, cool place. ­

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Patanegra features tapas, or small plates, and we shared several little bites that rarely disappointed.­­In true Food Geek mode, we eached pre-picked out a salad and five tapas from the dinner menu, wrote them down, then exchanged our lists and laughed that only the Patanegra Salad matched.­To our credit, the menu is flush with options so not that surprising.­It rocked, with charred Romaine heart wrapped in Serrano ham with Valdeon blue cheese, chorizo, veggies, roasted garlic and a dressing that allowed the ham and blue to shine.­Then directly into the Ceviche Sampler.­ Their take on the word 'generous' a bit different than ours, with a mini-platter of three servings of shrimp and fish marniated citrus sauces was uninspired. ­That stuff in different flavors had swam too long with the lime juice. ­At $16, a bad choice.
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Our only bad choice as the Ablondigas (our server refused to call them meatballs, but they were damn good), Stuffed bacon wrapped dates filled with blue cheese over endive leaves and a side of Patatas Bravas all tasteful and unique. ­

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The P Bravas (Food Geek, I told you) was fried, chopped potatoes in a nicely spiced tomato aioli sauce that was a portion too generous to finish.­Couple of margaritas and we were full, but sat for a bit to enjoy the mike'd up violinist's version of Spanish and Cuban music accompanied by a pretty young singer and some very happy diners. ­A very nice outdoor experience on a much-celebrated American/Mexican holiday we all seem to enjoy. ­

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Price: ­$$
GaryRates: ­8 out of 10
Ambience/Service: ­10
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