Do you fancy a new dining “fetish”?

When one considers dinner out during a beach weekend, it conjures up thoughts of raw bars, fried seafood, and beer. Occasionally one finds an alternative….

On a stretch of Gulf Boulevard in St. Pete Beach, nestled between t-shirt shops and ice cream parlors, is Fetishes Dining and Wine Bar. This tiny restaurant has been in town since 1994 though it recently moved to this location. Once inside this little cocoon, away from the beach scene, a delightful culinary experience awaits.

Fetishes presents a well-rounded menu of classic dishes, including Coquille St. Jacques and Chateaubriand. However, it also offers something rare in our fast-paced, hustle-bustle world (especially in smaller establishments): tableside food preparation. This service is not limited to a salad or two, but several entrees and desserts! We opted to try the Caesar salad, Dover Sole Meuniere a la Jennifer (so named for a frequent and special patron) and Cherries Jubilee.  The three courses were well-prepared and quite tasty.

The Caesar salad was absolutely the highlight of our meal! The flavors of garlic, lemon, anchovy, and mustard were distinct but not overpowering. The romaine was crisp and chilled and coated with just the right amount of the freshly made dressing. It was a perfect creation with an added dash of zing!

Our next selections were both satisfying. The sole was delicate and flaky, topped with a light, flavorful Meuniere sauce, tasting of fresh lemon, butter, and capers. We had no complaints. The Cherries Jubilee was a delectable finish to the meal. The sweet cherries warmed with the dark rum and cherry liqueur offered a rich contrast to the creamy vanilla ice cream.  It was good to the last drop.

The tableside experience added a slightly more personal quality to our dinner. Both individuals who prepared the food were cordial and conversational while describing the various dishes. Fetishes is definitely a unique find in a beach town. We anticipate a return visit in the near future and highly recommend this rather old-school dining experience to others, especially to highlight a special evening.

For more information or to make reservations, please visit www.fetishesrestaurant.com.

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