Bayou Bodega, a natural wine bar being launched by husband & wife team Robert Sickler and Yari Ramos, will open its doors on April 20 at 241 E Davis Boulevard in the Davis Islands neighborhood, according to a release. The aesthetics pay homage to New Orleans. A mix of exposed brick, and brilliant blue walls create a tranquil atmosphere, and I think we could all use that right now.
The owners are no strangers to acclaim.
Publications such as Zagat and Conde Nast Traveler have featured Robert and his Colorado-based team’s Denver bar Finn’s Manor, as one of the best cocktail bars in the city and Sickler’s curated whisk(e)y list has received local and national accolades.
The pair intended to bring their passion for quality wine and spirits back home to Tampa Bay.
Adventures in Natural Wine
For Sickler, the natural wine world is a new adventure and one that they greet with fervor and curiosity. Regarded as a diehard devotee of ancestral mezcal, he sees myriad parallels between natural wine and this distinctive distillate from Mexico.
“Both ancestral mezcal producers and natural wine makers possess a genuine reverence for the land, formulating compelling products from natural fermentation that lack chemicals and large scale mechanical intervention, as their ancestors did for multiple generations,” note Sickler. “Every bottle and each sip offers a mini adventure for the palate and shares a story of the people who ferment or distill the liquid.”
His wife Yari adds, “I love that when I drink natural wine I am consuming a living product that has no pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, synthetic fertilisers and excessive sulfites. I had abandoned wine consumption for many years as I often had adverse reactions to it, but I’ve had zero negative experiences in the natural wine category. I am excited to share some of these beautiful wines with our friends, family and future guests.”
Their natural wine offerings will feature producers from the US, France, Italy, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Portugal, Spain, Germany, Austria, Georgia and Chile.
Vermouth-based cocktails on the menu
The selection doesn’t end with natural wine. Bayou Bodega will also feature wine and vermouth-based cocktails utilizing tea syrups, fresh fruits and aromatic bitters.
Visitors will also encounter a limited assortment of stellar beers, meads and ciders from throughout the world, with particular emphasis on Green Bench Brewing Company from St. Petersburg.
Alcohol-free options include spiced hibiscus tea, passionfruit juice, housemade cold brew and traditional Oaxacan chocolate, enjoyed hot or cold.
For the famished, Latin-Caribbean and Creole-Cajun flavors from the kitchen will satiate your appetite. Teased tapas include olives, Marcona almonds, garlic shrimp with Manzanilla, crawfish mac & cheese (gluten-free), jambalaya, red beans & rice, roasted sirloin with housemade chimichurri and more.
Savor glorious spoonfuls of bread pudding
Bread pudding with Caribbean fruit, tropical rum sauce and Spanish saffron ice cream with rose water and cardamom feature on the impressive dessert menu.
Don’t worry, we’re getting to the po-boys.
Bayou Bodega’s po-boy is made with Serrano ham, garlic shrimp, Manchego cheese and roasted piquillo peppers layered on crusty La Segunda bread with organic mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato and pickles.
The concept will include a retail component. The small store will offer options such as private bottlings of Spanish olive oil and Oaxacan chocolate, mole negro, raw honey and single estate coffee from Oaxaca, Mexico.
Local vendors featured in the market
Tampa is love is overflowing inside the market. Listed local vendor partners include La Segunda Bakery, The Revolution Ice Cream Co., Melina International, Prime Line Distributors, Halperns’ Steak and Seafood, XXI Wine and Spirits, Arash Selects, Progress Wine Group and Cerda Llanos y Cia.
Visitors will be enchanted by Venetian chandeliers, German lanterns, hanging plants and a vast assortment of art from New Orleans, Puerto Rico, Haiti, Mexico, and Florida.
Bayou Bodega will officially open April 20 and will begin operating Wednesday through Friday from 5:00 pm to midnight, Saturdays from 2:00 pm to midnight and Sundays from 2:00 pm to 9:00 pm.
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