With open area seating being one of the top priorities now for diners in this COVID-19 era, rooftop bars are more popular than ever before. The good thing is, Tampa Bay has a hefty lineup of them—The Canopy, Rox, EDGE, Bulla Gastrobar's Luna Lounge, M. Bird, Hi-Fi, Vantage and newcomer, Ember Lounge.
The newbie is located within the just-opened five-story Cambria Hotel in St. Petersburg at the Madeira Beach Marina. Stationed at 15015 Madeira Way, the hotel is celebrating its grand opening with a ribbon cutting (invite only) on Thursday, Dec. 3, from 3 p.m.-9 p.m.
Being that the Cambria is a waterfront hotel, the Ember Lounge boasts panoramic Gulf coast views as well an infinity pool with cabanas.
For those seeking staycation sips, Ember is pouring up wine by the glass and bottle, draft and bottled brews, and mixing up tropical cocktails named after local hotspots and beaches. Like the "Johns Pass," comprised of bourbon, Earl Grey simple syrup, aromatic and cheery bitters. You can also grab a "Treasure Island" or a "Madeira mojito" made with white rum, mint, lime, passionfruit and club soda. Cocktails range from $10-$12.
As far as bites go, the menu is filled with shareables like mini wonton tacos, ceviche, boneless wings, scallops and flatbreads. You can also grab sliders, sandos, or parmesan-crusted swordfish bites. The food menu ranges from $11-$18 per dish.
If the weather is proving to be less than ideal for rooftop dining, you can opt for the hotel's third floor restaurant, Prime Waters. There, hearty dishes from both land and sea adorn Prime Waters' menu. The large plate section includes selections like chicken parm, grilled rib-eye, bacon-topped petit filet, bronzed local grouper, mussels and poke belly served with shrimp fried rice. If you're looking for something a little lighter and greener, there is also a line-up of salads to choose from. For dessert, there's peach cobbler and oat streusel, a cast-iron chocolate chip cookie for two and a "Cream + Sugar Brownie Sundae. The restaurant's drink and small plate menus mirror the Ember Lounge.
Time to enjoy the cooler weather with some open-air pandemeramic views (that's panaoramic views the stress of the pandemic on your mind) while trying to tame the madness of the holidays.
UPDATE 12/2/20 3 P.M.: To clarify that the ribbon cutting grand opening is for media and invited guests only.
Support local journalism in these crazy days. Our small but mighty team is working tirelessly to bring you up to the minute news on how Coronavirus is affecting Tampa and surrounding areas. Please consider making a one time or monthly donation to help support our staff. Every little bit helps.
Want to know everything going on with Tampa Bay's food and drink scene? Sign up for our Bites newsletter.