Allelo: The place to flock to on Beach Drive (PHOTOS)

The restaurant industry is challenging and establishments change hands, bringing variety to the ever-growing food scene, in the Tampa Bay area. A welcome addition to St. Petersburg is Allelo, a Mediterranean-influenced restaurant on Beach Drive. Shawn and Jeanna Damkoehler combined forces with Volet Hospitality and the innovativeness of Chef Alex Pyser to bring a remarkable new dining experience to the market.

The archways of Allelo invite you into a chic bar area, designed by the New York-based firm, AvroKO. The combination of the black and white tile, glass wine wall and raw brick makes the cozy space seem larger. The bar showcases artwork by Annette Gloomis, an artist with ties to Safety Harbor and a passion for Mother Nature. Her featured painting portrays Florida birds, connecting to the Allelo name, which derives from the word allelomimesis, the phenomenon of a group, such as birds, coming together to form a flock. The space is purposefully designed into two distinct areas—the bar lounge area and the dining area, each with a slightly different vibe. Food is meant to be shared and each dish allows everyone to create their version of the perfect bite, each with a special tie to the Mediterranean. 


There are times when a cocktail defies expectations and awakens the taste buds. Like a Virgin is such an elixir. 

The gin-based drink is paired with mastica, a sweet liquor from Greece, chartreuse and citrus-flavored olive oil. The beads of olive oil add a pop of color to the drink and taste to the tongue.

The Sumac That doesn’t disappoint as a slightly, sweeter cocktail. Beyond strawberries, lemon and prosecco, this vodka drink has sumac, a spice with citrus overtones, which refreshes the palate.


Although the round, flat salad bowl is the same building base for the Beet Salad and the Endive Salad, the final presentation of the two salads couldn’t be more different. The Beet Salad has a layer of chevre, topped with an array of colorful beets. The Endive Salad arranges the radicchio, endives, pears, pecans and blue cheese in a lovely nest, held together by the mustard vinaigrette. The deconstructed salads allow each person to build the perfect bite, based on their flavor preferences.

Shared Plates

Every dish is designed to the last detail, including the serving ware. The thinly sliced petals of snapper crudo, dusted with peppercorns, a touch of yogurt, sprig of mint and surrounded by the cool cucumber puree melt on your tongue. 

The beef tartare is in a category of its own, prepared tableside, starting with the ring of finely cut rare beef. The spices are colorfully arranged, with a raw egg in the middle to create the binding. Once this is stirred together at the table, it slides onto fresh Khobz—a Moroccan flatbread that creates a Mediterranean version of beef tartare, velvety and light.

Large Format

Do not question the word colossal for the description of the prawns at Allelo. Colossal is an understatement for these crustaceans. The four large Norwegian shrimp are as big as a hand and yet, tender like a lobster. The saffron chili remoulade brings out the buttery flavor of the prawns to melt in your mouth. 

Allelo’s version of traditional Bolognese brings forward the Mediterranean influences with fresh tomatoes and a touch of citrus, adding a zing to the dish. Agilanico, a delightful red wine from Campania, Italy plays on the acidity from the sauce, a pleasant pairing.


The deconstructed lemon custard citrus dessert is the last chance to end a perfect meal. There are ways to build that spoonful including fennel jam, graham crackers, toasted pasta, coconut and olive oil. It takes practice to find the perfect combination of flavors, but it’s a good kind of practice. The infused olive oil that started the evening off in the cocktails, rounded the evening out in the desserts – the Mediterranean to the finish.

Allelo’s vision for being a place to come together has come to fruition. Steps off Beach Drive, you are invited to relax and dine in a space of togetherness, with a Mediterranean vibe. The inventiveness of the dishes makes you want to try them all. Be sure to make reservations, in advance, for this one-of-a-kind dining experience.

[image_slider_no_space on_click=”prettyphoto” height=”300″ images=”22556,22555,22554,22553,22552,22551,22550,22549,22545″]

You May Also Like

Go inside Beacon the JW Marriott’s rooftop cocktail lounge (PHOTOS)

Beacon, Tampa’s newest rooftop lounge at the JW Marriott Tampa Water Street, opened on Friday, October 6. Beacon has several lounge areas, including an outdoor terrace, a signature bar and

Three Oaks Hospitality prepares to open concept in Hyde Park Village (PHOTOS)

Three Oaks Hospitality plans to open Ro, a modern Asian dining restaurant, in Hyde Park Village, in Tampa, in October. The restaurant says it will receive daily deliveries from Tokyo’s

An inside peek into a Tampa supper club (PHOTOS)

As Tampa Bay’s dining scene explodes, there are new restaurants opening weekly. With increased competition, the culinary stakes have been taken up a notch. Earlier this year, three of Tampa’s

Rococo Steak names new executive chef

Rococo Steak, in Downtown St. Petersburg, has named David Blackmon as its new executive chef. Blackmon, most recently, spent seven years at Bacchanalia, in Atlanta, where he started as a

Other Posts

Vela, a new concept from Cru Hospitality Group, to open in Westshore Marina

Cru Hospitality Group, based in Tampa, is opening a new concept, Vela, in the former Cru Cellars Westshore Marina location, on October 2. Vela, which means “Sail” in Italian, will

Official James Beard Foundation event returning to Tampa

Beard by the Bay, an event created to celebrate the culinary greatness of the Tampa Bay region’s finest chefs, sommeliers and mixologists, is returning to Tampa, in October, for the

TBBW tries things: New menu items at BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse and a love song for a Pizookie (PHOTOS)

BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse, a chain based out of Huntington Beach, California, isn’t a dining spot you will find in the monthly installment of our Posher Palate fine dining preview.

Bern’s Steak House partners with Mastry’s Brewing for Legacy Series

Bern’s Steak House has announced the launch of Legacy 9, the latest barrel-aged beer offering, as part of the restaurant brand’s annual Legacy Series in collaboration with breweries. This year,