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Birch & Vine is an innovative restaurant within the hip, new boutique hotel known as The Birchwood. Birch & Vine takes a "farm-to-table' approach in crafting its 'Locally Sourced. Globally Inspired' cuisine. As the seasons change and the bounty of the land and sea evolves, so do the menu's at Birch & Vine. Located on famous Beach Drive in the Downtown St. Petersburg district, the restaurant sits across the street from North Straub Park, the Vinoy Marina and the sparkling waters of Tampa Bay.
This is one of several places along Beach Dr, across from the park, where restaurants have made full use of the outdoor space. Their wine list was amazing and the food was very good and creative. For dessert we had a ice cream and fruit...including a Ginger Beer ice cream with a solid punch of ginger, it was great. Highly recommended. The staff was also really sweet and talkative.More
Very Nice Business Dinner - Then Wines on the Sidewalk
We were in St. Petersburg for a series of meetings for my wife. On our first night, we met with a group of 11 for dinner (one added at the last moment), at Birch &...Vine, 340 Beach Dr NE, just a few blocks from our hotel. Initially, we were given the name of the restaurant as “The Birchwood,” which was an easy mistake to make, as Birch & Vine is located IN the Birchwood Hotel.
We arrived a bit early, and before anyone else in the group had. The hostess had checked, and said that our room was being set up, and she would find us in the Lantern Lane Lounge, just off of the lobby of the hotel. We headed there, for some wine.
The others came in waves, and most of us were in the lounge, when the hostess announced that our room was ready. It was filled by our group, but everyone had some table real estate. I am not sure that we could have fit a twelfth person in the room - not and have any room for the servers to work. Still, the room was nice, and we were all comfortable.
I was the designated “sommelier” for the night, so worked with the wine list, and the official Sommelier for Birch & Vine. I started us with:
Darioush Signature Napa Viognier ‘18
By that time, folk had looked over the menu, so I was getting a sense of which wines would work best. I settled on:
DuMol Russian River Valley Chardonnay ‘17
Ken Wright Abbott Claim Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir ‘15
Von Strasser Diamond Mountain Napa Cabernet Sauvignon ‘13
Also, one of the group, though not dining with us, sent up a bottle of the BV (Beaulieu Vineyards) Rutherford Napa Cabernet Sauvignon ‘15, so we were fixed for wines - plus we did extra bottles of the DuMol and the Ken Wright.
The stemware was very nice, as was the entire wine service.
My wife and I started with the Calamari & Shrimp and the Crab Cake. We followed with Main Courses of Seared Ahi, and the Lantern Lane Brick Chicken. Normally, we share each others dishes, to get tastes of everything, but with the confined space, and the seating (I was moved to one end of the table, closest to the entrance, to work with the Sommelier), I only got to see and taste my dishes, which were very good. My wife signified that hers were, as well. For me, while the Ahi was great, the Coconut Bamboo Rice was the highlight of the dish.
Now, while our room was at capacity, and nine of the 11 were co-workers discussing business, the noise level was only moderate - and I heard nothing from the rest of the rather full restaurant. The lighting was good, and the chairs comfortable. I would definitely limit that front, private room to no more than ten diners, but then that was what the initial reservation had been for, and our group made the addition.
Even with the slightly cramped quarters, service was very good, and the pacing as good as possible, with so many folk at one table.
I never saw the other interior dining spaces, so cannot comment on them. Besides this private room, there are two other areas, which I did see - a balcony area, and then sidewalk dining, along Beach Drive.
After dinner, a few of us headed up to Canopy, the rooftop bar. Unfortunately, it was nearly full, and the mix seemed to be about 50-50 tourist to local. We had a glass of wine each, but after the crowd in our dining room, decided to call it a night, and headed back to our hotel.
The next day, I stopped into Birch & Vine, and sat there, for wines. As I had been impressed by the wine list, and had glanced at the B-T-G list, I was back, but only for wines. One neat feature was that on the iPad wine list, one could email the description and details of all of the wines they had, to themselves for future reference. While I have worked with many device-based wine lists, that was a new feature to me. I ended up with:
Orin Swift’s “8 Years in the Desert” Zinfandel blend
Penfolds Bin 389 Cabernet Sauvignon
Patient Cottat Anciennes Vignes Sancerre
Service on the sidewalk was very good, and very friendly, and though I was not dining, I never felt rushed, as I enjoyed my wines. Now, being on the sidewalk on one side, and then Beach Dr on the other, there was a bit of noise, but it was still pleasant sitting under the umbrella, watching the world go by.
We will definitely return to Birch & Vine, and explore their wine list in more detail.More
The dinner menu options are overpriced for the quality of the food. The fresh catch ‘snapper” of the day tasted like the last catch from the week before. The rice was soggy and cold. The service and food at Red Lobster out performs Birch and...Wine. Save your money!More
We were seated in the private dining room and it was a lovely experience! Our food was full of flavor and an amazing variety to choose from! The staff was extremely knowledgeable and provided excellent service! We scooted you the Canopy rooftop after dinner and...had a lovely time there as well with beautiful views of the night life!More
We had reservations with a voicemail confirming. We showed up, they told my uncle we did no have reservations. He told them we did, and eventually they gave us an outside table. (We booked an inside, and of no fault of the restaurant, masks just...became required inside today. We were not notified so we didn’t have any. So we were okay and understanding sitting outside). However, when my aunt (sweetest woman in the world) let them know that we did have a reservation, the female manager very rudely came over to tell us how, “her hostess said that there was no reservation under her name and it was not her fault.” When my aunt told her, very kindly, that she had a voicemail confirming our reservation, the female finally backed off. But she was so rude and passive aggressive IMMEDIATELY. When she walked away, she went to the other servers and watched her tell them about us and they all looked at us and stared. We were extremely upset with this service considering this is an expensive higher end restaurant and we were paying customers. We spent a couple hundred dollars on dinner to watch the MANAGER of the place talk harshly to us, then walk away, insult us to her coworkers and have them stare at us. We will certainly not be returning.More
This was our first restaurant experience after the coronavirus pandemic started. We did not leave the house planning to eat here, but after going for a long walk in downtown Saint Pete, we decided to be spontaneous and eat somewhere. The food took a while...to come out and, in the end, was OK. However, the staff made every possible effort to make us feel welcome. I will never forget where we had our first restaurant meal after the quarantine. Thank you Birch & Vine!!!More
We were to meet friends here at the rooftop bar and then go elsewhere for dinner, but the rooftop area was mostly closed off for private parties. We would up having a drink down on the sidewalk and the other couple wanted to stay there...for dinner. Bad choice. While the fish spread was good, my husband and I weren't that hungry so we ordered the small plates smoked lamb chops The waiter made a big deal out of telling us that the normal way they were served was medium rare with a red center. We said "Perfect." Then both orders came gray all the way through. The waiter said they would cook new ones but we had to sit and wait while our friends dined. Always awkward. The waiter offered a salad while we waited but we weren't that hungry. No offer to adjust the bill or bring a desert either. Sad. We should have insisted on our original choice down the way.More