The Reading Room


The philosophy behind the Reading Room is to create a space that unites the community with a culture, a food culture. We are a group of individuals who love restaurants, food, wine, and hospitality. This is our attempt to create an environment that reflects years of experience, decades of taste buds, and lifetimes of ideas. A modern approach at nostalgic tastes while trying to create new taste memories along the way. Our garden is to inspire and connect us with food in the way it was always intended to be.

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Reservations available by phone only

Due to our size, we are unable to accommodate parties larger than 8.

We will hold your reservation for 15 minutes. Please be prompt.



Hours are subject to change.



Our menus change frequently, and this menu is a sample of what you'll find at The Reading Room. 


I. snacks for the table

Our Bread & Butter • 6

Marinated Olives: Pimentos & Herbs • 7

Chicken Liver Mousse: Banh Mis-en Place • 9

Daily Tartine: Homemade Bread with a Fancy Spread • 10

3 Cheeses:  Thoughtfully Paired • 18

II. Smaller Sized Plates

Seasonal Lettuces: Changes...Like the Seasons • 12

Beets:  Strawberry & Cayenne, Coconut Curried Crunch • 13

Jerked Veggies:  Wood Roasted, Cool Yogurt, Crispy Field Peas • 14

Salt & Peppered Quail: Wood Fired Small Bird • 14

Shrooms: Black Garlic Vin, Daikon Cake, Vegan Aioli • 16

Spaghetti Alla Chitarra:  Slowly Cooked Eggplant & Tomato, Bottarga • 17

Sichuan Style Octopus:  Mapo Soybeans, Bacon, Orange, Cabbage • 20

III. Larger Plates

Vedge: Vegetables Prepared In Ways To Excite Skeptical Carnivores • 27

TraileBale’s  Chicken: Masala, Chickpeas, Cauliflower, Cashews• 27

Fish: Sweet and Sour, Tomatoes,  Baby Corns, Glass Noodles • MP

Creekstone Natural Short Rib: Slow Braised, Fried Rice Cake, Charred Scallions • 30


We Will Politely Decline Substitutions. Please Inform Your server of Any Allergies. We encourage sharing Plates, and Tasting Things!!

We try to source as best we can. All meats are ABF and treated as humanely as the industry provides.

If you think the portions are small and the prices are high, it’s because good food isn’t cheap.



Our menus change frequently, and this menu is a sample of what you'll find at The Reading Room. 


When In Rome: Contratto Orange Liquor, Prosecco, Bitters, Burnt Orange • 11

We Got the Beet: Juiced Beets, Summer Strawberries, Vinho Verde, Muddled Limes, Lemon Sugar, Cayenne • 11

All Things Rose: Provence French Rose, Lavender, Lemon, Peychauds Bitters • 10

Where To, Mrs. Daisy?: (A Sangria of Sorts) Cherries, Berries, & Spices, Oh My! • 9

Flower Power: Prosecco, Lavender, Elderflower, Garden Flowers, Grapefruit • 10

Check Out Our Wine Menu

Wine menu changes seasonally, so the above menu is a guide, not set in stone.





Lauren Macellaro , Executive Chef & Cook #1

Lauren’s family unintentionally forced her to become a chef. New York Italians from can be very persuasive! Growing up in Queens (and then the Garden State) it was all the gardening, and the sauces, and the breads, and the basement wine making that inspired her. Surrounded by incredibly delicious things and a culture immersed in food, there was almost no choice. She went to culinary school at Institute of Culinary Education in New York city, and worked first real job cooking vegetables and grains with Indian spice for Floyd Cardoz & Danny Meyer, at Tabla. Travels took her to Philadelphia, and then Asheville, NC, where she was Number 2 for 5 years to the extremely talented, Brian Canipelli, the chef and owner of Cucina 24. This is also where she met a good group of future employees.

Here in Florida she was a sous chef at Locale Market, and then spent over a year at Rooster & the Till. Lauren’s spirit animal is a chihuahua named, Lil Mama, the only gin drink she can tolerate is a Sharpie Mustache and her last meal would be bread, butter, & a Txakolina.

Jessika Palombo , aka JP: Beverages & Hospitality & Bartender

Jessika is originally from Nepean, Canada and Ormond Beach, FL. She too had a strong presence of food early on, having a large garden in Canada and a family who loved cooking and gathering for meals. She found her love for this industry the minute she started working in restaurants, as a host. Jessika traveled her way through the business: prep cook, server, bartender, to manager. In Asheville, NC, she was the head bartender at Wicked Weed Brewery, where she learned from her bar manager “Ray Ray” that working together as a team will take you much further than attempting anything alone. More recently, she has been a part of the Stillwaters Tavern/ Bella Brava family here in St. Petersburg. Although she is creating delicious libations in the front of house now, it doesn’t mean you won’t find her sneaking in the kitchen. JP loves snacks, her two cats, Jimmie Choo & Charlotte O, almost as much as her rescue pups, Kaia Boo & Tanner!

Kevin Lane , Proprietor

People think that St. Petersburg started getting cool only a few years ago; in fact, the trend started in 1977 when Kevin emerged from the womb at Bayfront Hospital. Far from his early dreams of being a game show host, Kevin ended up being a social entrepreneur in his home city, giving rise to some of the most recognizably significant “hometown” projects. First and foremost, he was a co-founder of Freefall Theatre, which has become a regionally recognized professional arts institution. Next, his involvement with Green Bench Brewing Company proved to him that just the right brew can develop an entire neighborhood and really put a city on the map. And now, the Reading Room speaks to his own passions of food sustainability and taste bud satisfaction. Kevin finds his inspiration in his road trips, having driven all around this continent identifying what makes a great city great. After graduating from Shorecrest Prep School, Kevin studied entrepreneurship and marketing at Emory University in Atlanta, and finally earned his MBA in finance from University of Tampa. Kevin gives thanks to his family for their decades of love and support.

Our beautiful photos are from Maria Kennedy and Kevin Damphouse


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