Wine

Ten Rooms Opens in Tampa Bay, Florida

Who’s behind it: In the Historic Ybor area of Tampa, Fla., Ten Rooms is a new concept from local hospitality professional Ro Patel (formerly of Ciro’s Speakeasy and Anise Global Gastrobar in Tampa) and restaurant COO Zach Pace, previously of Wine Spectator Best of Award of Excellence winners Aphotic and Lazy Bear in San Francisco.

The kitchen team is led by executive chef Parker Brown, an alum of Aphotic and Michael Mina’s Mina Group; chef de cuisine Vincent Brisotti; and pastry chef Lorena Idrovo.

Ten Rooms’ Bar Martinez offers a bright and vibrant dining space. (Jordan Wise Photography)

“We hope our commitment to terroir and quality partnerships continues to push the standard of what the city expects from its chef-driven restaurants,” Brown told Wine Spectator via email.

The culinary approach: Ten Rooms offers multiple dining concepts, anchored by Bar Martinez, named for Ybor City founder and cigar maker Vicente Martinez Ybor. Its contemporary-cuisine menu incorporates European and Southeastern U.S. influences, with dishes such as duck confit with “dirty” farro and Swiss chard, smoked eggplant with lentils and pickled squash, ricotta gnudi, charred cabbage with scallions and Calusa Oyster Company oysters with candied ginger. The Bar Martinez team also makes its own brioches, served with cultured butter and fennel pollen, and dry-ages meat and fish in house.

“Our intentional cuisine is meant to be both a tour of European influence, especially considering the local heritage of Ybor, as well as a concerted focus on the abundance of our own backyard,” Pace added, highlighting the restaurant’s regionally sourced caviar.

Parker Brown preparing a dish at the kitchen window of Ten Rooms' Bar Martinez

Executive chef Parker Brown draws from Southeastern American and European culinary influences at Ten Rooms’ Bar Martinez. (Jordan Wise Photography)

Also at Ten Rooms are Genevieve the Cat, a bar space; the Café at Ten Rooms, a coffee shop and bakery, and a boutique shop and art exhibit space, the Shop at Ten Rooms.

What’s on the wine list: Pace has selected around 125 labels, starting with about 20 sparkling wine picks, including bubblies from California’s Roederer Estate and Champagne’s Egly-Ouriet. Diners will find Sonoma Chardonnays, Provence rosés, Burgundies, Riojas, Tuscan reds, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignons and older and standout bottlings from leading wineries like Bordeaux first-growth Château Margaux, Spain icon R. López de Heredia Viña Tondonia, Napa’s Corison and a magnum of the Oddero Barolo Brunate 2004.

“Our hope is that the wine will mirror—and complement—the cuisine and the guest experience. Refined, yet approachable, serious but fun,” Pace explained. “We don’t want guests to have to read an entire tome to find the perfect bottle, and the format is oriented toward readability and easy access.”

At Genevieve the Cat, guests can also enjoy a range of wines by the glass, as well as 20 cocktails curated by Patel. “I’d like to show the world the Tampa Bay area has a devoted demographic of hardcore wine lovers with very sophisticated, urbane tastes,” said Pace. “We want more grower Champagne, more organic options, more vintage depth and more sincere, sommelier-led experiences.”

The red brick exterior, with wrought iron elements, of the El Centro Español de Tampa social club building in Ybor, Florida

Ten Rooms is located within the historic former home of the El Centro Español de Tampa social club. (Jordan Wise Photography)

The space: Dating to 1912, Ten Rooms’ building formerly housed El Centro Español de Tampa social club. Carrying over the historic pressed tin ceilings and tiles, Roberta Ibarra of Alfonso Architects designed the space with plenty of natural light, incorporating contemporary art from local artists like Jay Giroux. Patel observed, “The design is a cohesive combination of modern and historic touches that nod to the building’s identity, with pops of color that add a vibrant energy.”

Atlanta’s Lazy Betty Reopens with a Fresh Wine List in a New Location

The dining room at the new Lazy Betty, with blue benches, wood chairs with cream-colored seats, white walls and curtains and potted plants

One of Atlanta’s most celebrated restaurants has found a new home in Midtown. (Graftable)

Who’s behind it: Chefs and restaurateurs Ron Hsu and Aaron Phillips opened tasting-menu restaurant Lazy Betty in 2019 in Atlanta’s Candler Park neighborhood. It quickly drew acclaim for their distinctive take on American cuisine, its Wine Spectator Restaurant Award–winning wine list of nearly 500 labels and, in 2022, for becoming a sensory-inclusive restaurant.

In 2023, the Lazy Betty team announced that the restaurant would relocate to a new Midtown Atlanta location. The original location closed Feb. 14, 2024.

When Lazy Betty reopened: March 19 at 999 Peachtree Street on the corner of Peachtree and 10th (formerly the home of chef Hugh Acheson’s Empire State South), though it had to wait until April for its liquor license. The restaurant team continues to work with nonprofit KultureCity to maintain its commitment to sensory inclusion at this new location.

What’s on the wine list: Wine stewards Gracie Barwick and Janice Shiffler created a new and expanded program of around 325 labels. Guests can select a wine pairing for each course of Lazy Betty’s tasting menus (beer, cocktail, alcohol-free cocktail options are also available).

“The pairing experience drives our wine program at Lazy Betty,” Shiffler told Wine Spectator via email. “We put a lot of care and creativity into pairing each dish with an outstanding wine. We see it as a chance to take our guests around a world of wine that’s filled with delight and surprises.” Shiffler points to a pairing of foie gras terrine with a Spanish vermouth as an example.

The bar at Lazy Betty, with lights beneath the stone bar top

Whether in the bar lounge or in a dining room, guests can choose from about 325 wines at Lazy Betty, in addition to cocktails and other beverages. (Matt Wong of Graftable)

Guests can expect Burgundies from domaines like Chablis’ Patrick Piuze, Rhônes from Chapoutier, Pauillac from Château Pichon Baron, Russian River Valley Pinot Noir from Williams Selyem and much more across the list, which predominantly features bottles from France, Spain, Italy and California. There are smaller selections from Washington, New Zealand, Australia, Argentina, Chile, Greece, Lebanon, Germany and Austria.

Barwick and Shiffler primarily focus on wines from family-owned and women- or minority-led wineries that use organic or biodynamic techniques. Their by-the-glass list features about 15 wines, including a flight of three Billecart-Salmon Champagnes (which join more than 50 sparkling wine options on the list altogether).

The list includes a robust collection of sweet and fortified wines as well, with a vertical of Kopke colheita Port back to 1935 and a flight of Château de Fargues Sauternes back to 1996.

“Wine and food should be all about joy, so we really want our guests to have a good time by eating and drinking what they like,” said Shiffler. “The new guests in the mix are giving us the chance to find fun, interesting wines.”

Lazy Betty will host wine-focused events: Shiffler noted that one is already planned with Napa Valley’s PlumpJack. “We want Lazy Betty to be known for such evenings.”

Crown-roasted duck breast with a blackberry-Banyuls gastrique

Ron Hsu and Aaron Phillips continue to offer their distinctive cuisine at Lazy Betty, including this crown-roasted duck breast with a blackberry-Banyuls gastrique. (Graftable)

The culinary approach: “We serve creative tasting menus showcasing modern culinary techniques and incorporate a variety of cuisines using the highest quality ingredients we can source,” Hsu explained. Dishes include spring garlic tortellini with white asparagus and ramp-stuffed morels, poached Icelandic cod with spring succotash and green tomato caviar, crown-roasted duck breast with a blackberry-Banyuls gastrique, and raspberry mousse with lychee cremeux. Additionally, Lazy Betty is offering a new à la carte menu for its bar lounge, with options such as truffle agnolotti, uni toast, shrimp causa and an oyster service.

“The new location represents a glorious challenge of allowing us to grow and reach new people while not losing what has made Lazy Betty so successful,” said Shiffler. “Our food remains soulful and delicious, bringing together flavors from around the world that have you scraping the plate without shame.”

The design: The new 4,300-square-foot space seats 70 guests across its dining room, semi-private dining area, bar lounge and private Chef’s Dining Room. Kate Blue of Blue Lantern Studios mixed contemporary-design and nature-inspired elements, incorporating flashes of greenery throughout, earth tones, a stone bar top, a hand-made ornithological sculpture, terracotta plaster paint and heart pine floors, all lit by sunlight streaming through large windows.


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