One of the perks of being a chef, and food-blogger is that I get invited to private restaurant openings. These events are invite-only, and usually consist of close friends, press, and family. Soft-openings give the restaurant staff and owners the opportunity to introduce themselves, and their food to the community. Most importantly, the owners and chef can get real-time feedback on the cuisine, and work on the flow in the restaurant.
Thursday evening I had the pleasure of attending one of Truth Lounge’s private tastings.
Truth Lounge is located at 51 South 12th street in the Southside, and occupies the space where Café Allegro once was. The space has been re-invented, with many top-shelf materials. One of my favorite design elements was the floor- it looked like rich cherry, but I was informed by the owner’s wife that it was in fact bamboo… beautiful and environmentally sound. The bar area is spacious and clean. If you’re looking for specific top-shelf liquor, chances are Truth has it. Opposite the bar is a seating area; perfect for happy hour, and enjoying small plates and appetizers.
During the evening, the owners, Pete Kamaras and John Frentzos were circulating with a few of Chef Scott DeLuca’s offerings. I particularly enjoyed the mini-lump crab cakes with corn, braised short ribs, and tenderloin sliders. All of Chef DeLuca’s food was well-seasoned and perfectly cooke. Starters on the Taste menu include: Warm Duck Confit Salad ($12.00), Wild Mushroom Risotto ($10.00), Homemade Gnocchi ($12.00), and Jameson Grilled “Lambsicles” ($16.00). Entrees include: Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes ($26.00), Squid-Ink Pasta with Mussels, Shrimp, and Heirloom Tomatoes ($22.00), Blackened Florida Grouper ($26.00), and Surf and Turf with Petit Filet Mignon, Grilled Sea Scallops, and Asparagus ($30.00).
Truth has a medium-sized dining area with warm, ambient lighting. The wooden tables are inviting, and the space looks ideal for small parties and special occasions. Upstairs Truth has a private room that can seat 30-35, and is ideal for private parties and or meetings. The room is equipped with flat screen television for presentation use and entertainment.
Although I only got to sample a few menu items from Truth’s menu, what I did what I did eat was delicious. If you’re looking for contemporary American fare prepared by a talented chef at a reasonable price, put Truth Lounge on your short-list.
Chef Chuck Kerber