St. Pete Beach
From the Green Book: Castile has a fairly generic "modern swank" atmosphere (a la' Ocean Prime, Council Oak etc.). It's comfortable and well laid out, with a nice bar (but the bar is too near the lobby to want to eat at). That bar, unfortunately, has a terrible beer/wine selection (at least by the glass). I didn't get the cocktail list at all either. Everything was rum or tequila with f*ing prickly pear and elderflower. I know we're "at the beach" here, but the drinks felt unnecessarily fussy, and yet still somehow unimaginative. I ordered one; don't remember what it was called or what was in it and that's fine.
1st Course: Now, we'd already had cheese and chacuterie at Cru beforehad (plus two lovely glasses of wine for me [which explains the profanity in my book- M]), so we weren't super hungry. We started with the soup special: Peruvian Seafood Stew. M said she couldn't taste the seafood at all (she said it was canned minestrone-- ouch). I didn't think it was that bad- I could taste the mussels and fish just fine- but it wasn't that good either.
2nd Course: Next we tried a beef tenderloin carpaccio, which had an over-easy egg (quail?) on it, and this huge pile of lobster-slaw next to it. The dish had some lovely flavors (especially the beef), but it wasn't cohesive at all. The licorice notes in the slaw made sense, but the lobster? Wierd.
Mains: For my dinner I ordered the Black Grouper Cheeks with tomato, capers, Jamon Serano (all crisped up!) and avocado kaffir crema. This was a damn good dish, and I would've devoured it if I was still hungry [I brought it home and finished it the next day for lunch- M]. Mel got the Harissa grilled culotte steak with chimichurri and avocado frites. Those frites were an abortion-- nice flavor, but no crisp, so it was mush-on-mush. Totally unappetizing. The steak was perfectly cooked, but bland as hell.
Final Notes: The waiter did fine, but missed a chance to sell me another drink (which I wanted after the starters, but gave up on when the mains hit). The meal cost $100 without tip (and you'll need to tip the valet downstairs), and if you were really feeling the place, you could spend a lot more. But neither of us were. It's an "OK" restaurant, but I doubt I'll ever go back.
Number 6 Laura? Really?* 3.5 out of 5 for me.
From the Red Book: Had reservations and were seated immediately. Friendly hostess and server.
1st course: Peruvian Peasant soup (an appetizer special). Flavorful, but many bites were reminiscent of canned vegetable or minestrone soup. Due to the texture and strong acid flavor from the tomato, little seafood flavor cut through.
2nd Course: Tenderloin Tartar- the tartar with egg tasted creamy and balanced; the lobster coleslaw had fragrant, almost caribbean flavors, however there was too much black pepper and huge chunks of red onion which were overbearing when put next to the other fresh flavors. Really confused why both the lobster slaw and tartar were together.
3rd Course (Mains): Steak with Avocado Frites- the server remarked that it was a favorite, The temp of the steak was perfect, but the flavor was bland-- lacking in spices, salt, pepper, etc. I was confused by the fried avocado, but excited to try it. That was short-lived when biting into it revealed a mush that bled into the crust. The flavor of the batter on the outside was great but it couldn't keep its composure as a hard shell. The horseradish sauce was definitely needed with this steak due to the meat's lack of flavor.
Mel gives it a 2.5/5
You'll find Castile inside the Hotel Zamora on St. Pete beach:
3701 Gulf Boulevard
St. Pete Beach, Florida
You can also find them on OpenTable here
Did we miss the mark? Feel free to let us know at Greenbookredbook@gmail.com, and as always, I'll add any good feedback/follow-up below. Thanks for reading!