Florida Trend magazine gave The Mill in downtown St. Petersburg it’s Golden Spoon award for best new restaurant in Florida.
By Josh Rojas, Reporter
ST. PETERSBURG — Florida Trend magazine gave The Mill in downtown St. Petersburg it’s Golden Spoon award for best new restaurant in Florida.
“Very honored to be awarded this,” said Mill co-owner and Executive Chef Ted Dorsey. “It speaks a lot to what we’ve done and what we’ve accomplished in a short amount of time.”
Dorsey said he received that best new restaurant award on Tuesday. The Mill opened in July at 200 Central Avenue and Dorsey said he along with co-owner Jason Griffin wanted to push food boundaries.
“We didn’t know how that response was going to be felt coming right out of the gate. Now we really see that the city of Saint Petersburg truly is attached to what we’re doing,” he said. “They’re looking for that thing that’s different and unique and exciting and I think we’re really filling that void.”
The Chef calls his cuisine rustic Americana with a Southern touch and a French Creole twist. Some of his favorite dishes are the braised mussels, local squash bruschetta and grilled local Gulf shrimp with Israeli couscous and chermoula aioli.
“Really at the end of the day it’s just cooking with love,” Dorsey said. “We buy and source only things locally within a 250-mile radius of the restaurant when reasonable and then we really put our hearts and souls into it.”
It’s a taste both local and out of state customers appreciate.
“I come here. I love the place. The food is always very creative, fresh, delicious,” said resident Didi Zudar. “I feel happy that he’s got that recognition because he well deserves it.”
“I just came from New York,” a visitor told Dorsey. “Best food, I love it.”
“Good, thank you very much,” Dorsey replied.
The decor inside the restaurant is as distinctive as the food with burlap chandeliers and a waterwheel wine rack. The men’s room features a 1942 John Deere tractor wheel sink. The ladies room has a tub and doors from the last remaining brothel in Pinellas County.
“We directly went out and hired a great local artist, Istvan Torok, who does all the beautiful mural work in our restaurant,” Dorsey said. “It has been a blessing working with some creative local minds.”
The Mill is an evolving restaurant with a menu that changes with the seasons. Chef Dorsey said he put out a new menu earlier this week.
“We’ve only been open four and a half months and we’ve already changed it. I mean the dinner menu changed about 50 percent,” he said. “Obviously, we love to keep things that are our favorites but if it goes out of season and I can’t buy it here locally, then I’m just not going to put it on the menu.”
Dorsey said The Mill is a restaurant by locals for locals. No doubt it’s also the envy of other new restaurants across the Sunshine State.