News & Events

Meet Rococo Steak’s Executive Chef, Jordan Buendia

Jordan Buendia, Rococo Steak’s Executive Chef, has been with Rococo since the very beginning. In 2013, Chef Jordan moved from the Florida Panhandle to Saint Petersburg. Starting as line cook, he worked his way up to sous chef and then was promoted to executive chef. Having been in the restaurant industry for over 20 years, Jordan is continually refining his skills and techniques to innovate the recipes that are prepared. His attention to detail, open-mindedness to new ideas and passion for cooking shine through in the decadent, unique dishes offered at Rococo Steak.

  1. When did your love for cooking begin?

“I was born in the Philippines and came to the United States at age five.  I started cooking at a very young age to help my mom cook for my six siblings.  All my love and inspiration for cooking comes from my mom.”

  1. Which dish that is currently on your menu are you most proud of at Rococo?

“I am most proud of the lobster bisque.  It’s soup, seems like a simple recipe, but it’s not. I have spent countless hours perfecting this soup.  It is very delicate and takes patience and precise timing.  It’s one of the most popular items on the menu and we consistently receive accolades for our lobster bisque.”

  1. What do you love most about being a Chef?

“It’s hard to pin this to just one thing because I am so passionate about the entire process.  It’s receiving fresh food in the morning, the controlled chaos, the sound fish makes when its being seared in a hot sauté pan and the beautiful aroma of an aged piece of meat cooking in the broiler.  Every night you test your limits with your team, you become uniquely bonded to them.  I love learning from my team and sharing my passion for cooking with them. This industry, more than others, has an amazing sense of community.”

  1. Is there a chef you admire most? Who and why?

“I would have to say Martin Yan. I remember as a kid watching his show, Yan Can Cook.  As he was cooking, he would tell stories about the dish he was making and always made his audience laugh. He made cooking fun.  His fast and skillful knife cuts with a cleaver always amazed me.  His motto was, “If Yan can cook, so can you”.”


Spring Time excitement at Rococo Steak

We are getting ready for some very exciting changes to our menus at Rococo Steak. All our menus will be changing to reflect the new spring season and we couldn’t be more excited to share them with you.

Here are just a few examples of what’s to come.

  • Chef Jordan and team are putting the finishing touches on some new items that will be coming to our food menu. New salads, appetizers and new Chef’s Favorites. There will be something for all to enjoy. Please stay tuned for more news on our upcoming new menu.
  • Our Wine Director, Will Howard has been able to taste some wines that are quite honestly, out of this world. We will be changing up our by the glass list with new sparkling wines, new white wines that should be married to our beautiful oysters.  A more diversified selection of red wines that will offer our guests a wider selection of varietals from different regions and flavor profiles. Will has also added some incredibly rare wines to our bottle list. Some of these wines are so hard to get that some people try for years to get their hands on them. Wines such as Morlet, Italics, Rhys, Littorai are just a few producers that we have added to our inventory. Please ask for Will and ask him about our new wine friends, he will be more than happy to share them with you.
  • Our Bar crowd is growing each day. If you have already visited our bar, you might have seen some of our funky concoctions that we craft. Our “Smoke” cocktail, which is our old fashioned with a maple syrup lardon bacon ice cube then smoked with apple wood chips has been an amazing hit with our bourbon guests. The “St. Pete Fog” cocktail has Tequila, Aperol and Ruby Red Grapefruit placed upon a bowl of fresh herbs then hit with dry ice is a cocktail that hits all your senses.  It is a cocktail that you absolutely must take a picture of. Well, we are not stopping there.
  • This spring be on the lookout for the following:
    • Gin and Tonic for Two – We take a coffee siphon and make our own “Bathtub Gin”. In the bottom bowl we place Vodka. In the top bowl we place botanicals (peppercorn/rosemary/thyme/lemon and grapefruit rind/juniper berries). Using a small burner we then heat the bottom, causing the pressure from the heat to make the vodka rise into the top bowl, infusing for several minutes with the botanicals. As it cools, the infused vodka (AKA Bathtub Gin) drains back into the bottom bowl. We then add a little dry ice to instantly cool down the hot Gin and pour it over two large lime and tonic ice cubes. Sound cool? We think so.
    • Cappelletti Watermelon Spritz –We take fresh watermelon and infuse it with Cappelletti (An Italian Wine Based Aperitif) and freeze until slush-like ice. Then place the infused watermelon into a mixing glass and add the gin. Shake and pour into a glass of choice. Top with sparkling wine. 

So, these are just a few things that Rococo Steak is getting ready for the upcoming Spring season. Hopefully we have made your mouth water just a bit.


Classified Growth Bordeaux Wine Dinner

Recently, Rococo Steak hosted an exclusive wine dinner to unveil some of its beautifully aged wines, including a 1977 Mouton Rothschild. The intimate atmosphere coupled with a personal talk with Jean-Sebastien Calvet, the renowned owner of Aquatine Imports which specializes in Bordeaux wines. The dinner also included five decadent courses exceptionally paired with seven different wines including a 1977 Mouton Rothschild. The Classified Growth Bordeaux Wine Dinner emphasized the distinctions among the Classified Growth categories within the Bordeaux region.

The wines featured included Chateau La Freynelle, Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon/Muscadelle, Entre-Deux-Mers; Chateau Haut-Bages Liberal, 2006, Cinquieme Cru, Pauillac; Chateau Branaire-Ducru, 2006, Quatriemes Cru, Saint-Julien; Chateau Malescot-St. Exupery, 2006, Troisemes Cru, Margaux; Chateau Montrose, 2006, Deuxiemes Cru, Saint Estephe and finished with the 1977 Mouton Rothschild.

The incredible lineup of wine was exquisitely paired with five courses created by our Executive Chef Matthew Rainey.

With wine flowing and decadent dishes from the kitchen, it was truly an incredible evening.

Holiday excitement at Rococo Steak

One of my true passions in life is getting to try amazing food and wine. Chef Matthew Rainey is getting ready to unveil our fall menu.  Our sommelier, Will Howard and I have been working on the wine list and getting it ready for its next evolution. We are also changing the Sommelier Selection sheet to showcase some of our vintage wines as well as some of the rarest and most sought-after wines in all of California, at an amazing discount. We are calling it our ‘Old and New Friends’ list. For example – wines such as 1977 and 1979 Mouton Rothschild for $400, which you can’t even find online for that price. How about California? Ever hear of Mithra, Staglin and Amuse Bouche wines? Well honestly, most people have not and that’s because they sell out so quickly, it’s almost impossible to get them. Rococo will be featuring these wines plus many more for the upcoming fall season. Please visit Rococo Steak and try our new menu, ask for Will Howard, our wine Sommelier, he will be happy to answer all of your questions about our wines.

— Dave Madera, Director of Operations

Rehearsal Dinners Demystified

Why do we have rehearsal dinners?

With all of the planning involved in a wedding, a rehearsal dinner may seem like an extra task. The rehearsal will provide you with a seamless wedding day, and the rehearsal dinner will provide you with an opportunity to connect to your wedding party in a more intimate environment. This is a great opportunity to thank those involved in making your day special, which is why attendant gifts are typically handed out at the dinner.

What happens at the rehearsal?

The rehearsal allows your wedding party to know what is expected of them and what to expect. You don’t want to skip the rehearsal if you have a wedding party to avoid any rushing and confusion. Your party will see where they stand, who they walk with, know the day-of schedule for hair, make-up, photographs, transportations, etc. Plan for the rehearsal to last 30 – 90 minutes, depending on the complexity of the service.

Who attends the rehearsal dinner?

Everyone in your wedding party and their significant other should be included in the rehearsal dinner. The wedding officiant is often invited to the dinner as well as the parents of the flower girl and ring bearer. It’s always nice to invite your out of town guests, but if you want to keep the dinner intimate – then consider hosting a cocktail or dessert reception.

When and where do I host the dinner?

Once you determine where the ceremony will be held, start looking at venues close to the site. You and your wedding party have a full day ahead of them, so make the rehearsal dinner easy on you and them. While you may not have access to the ceremony site the night before, you may not want to book the rehearsal more than two nights before the wedding – people will forget what to do!

Any advice for me?

While most brides do not want the rehearsal dinner to overshadow the wedding, it doesn’t mean that you can’t have a beautiful evening. Try choosing a venue that doesn’t require a lot of work for you. Rococo Steak has a beautiful wine room that provides a private and elegant atmosphere. Have fun with your dinner – ask the Chef to customize a menu tailored to your needs. Chefs love to utilize their creativity. Most importantly, enjoy the moment!

The Perfect Cocktail Deserves the Perfect Ice

The craft cocktail scene has never been as hot as it is now. But there’s more to craft cocktails than just the ingredients. The type of ice used for cocktails can change the way a drink tastes. There is a science to using the perfect cube and Dave Madera, Director of Operations at Caledon Concepts (Rococo Steak, Che Lounge and all three Ceviche locations) has the latest on how ice can play a big role in your drink.


Large cubes are best served with an Old Fashioned or other rocks drink. Home connoisseurs can use special silicone molds in cube or sphere shapes to get that high-end bar feel. The larger spheres melt slower and are less likely to interfere with the composition of ingredients in cocktails.


Some creative cocktails are taking ice to the next level. Rococo Steak has a maple infused ice cube that is designed to melt slowly and add to the flavor of the drink as it melts. Other specialty ice, such as dry ice, can add drama and fun to a cocktail.


Many people saw pellet ice at the Kentucky Derby. Mint juleps and tiki style cocktails are typically fashioned with pellet ice. The pellet ice melts quickly, but since the cocktails that call for the tiny ice cubes usually have a high concentration of spirits, they are not harmed by more dilution.
Rococo Steak is serving cocktails with dry ice, flavored ice cubes and more. Next time you visit Rococo Steak, be sure to test out some of our newest cocktails and their accompanying ice.

New Year’s Eve 2016 Prix Fixe

Ring in the New Year at Rococo with a delicious four course prix fixe dinner on New Years Eve. Our Executive Chef Matthew Rainey has crafted an astonishing assortment of dishes to choose for each course.

Menu: View here.
Reservations: Here.
Time/Date: December 31st from 5-11pm.
Cost: 105 / Person excluding tax and gratuity.

Menu is subject to change based on availability.

Winter Inspired Vegetables



Roasted Baby Beet Salad
Local Goat Cheese Mousse, Buttery Walnuts, Banyuls Vinaigrette

Ahi Tuna
Hearts of Palm, Tomato Confit, Baby Beets, Horseradish, Arugula

Steak Tartare
Crispy Parsnip, Horseradish, Cured Egg Yolk, Pickled Mustard Seeds, Milk Brioche Toast

Foie Gras & Ham Hock Terrine
Speck, Pistachio, Chicory, Truffle Vinaigrette



Lobster Bisque
Cognac Creme

Grilled Bacon Octopus
Black Garlic Tahini Yogurt, Fingerling Potato, Pickled Onions, Purslane

Short Rib, Pecorino Romano, Shiitake Mushrooms, Buttery Veal Jus

Brûlée Pork Belly & Sea Scallop
Kohlrabi, Apples, Petite Radish, Black Truffle Sherry Gastrique



Escargot, Leeks, Chanterelle Mushrooms, Gnocchi, Caviar Fumet Blanc

Long Island Duck
Baby Artichokes & Carrots, Celery Root, Medjool Date

7 oz Grass Fed Filet Mignon
Potato Confit, Portobello, Burgundy Port Wine Shallot, Peppercorn Brandy Cream
      10 oz Available +9

14 oz Dry Aged Delmonico
Truffle Pomme Mousseline, Asparagus

16 oz Colorado Lamb Porterhouses
Boulangére Potatoes, Baby Turnips Tarragon Jus



Dark Chocolate Torte
Buttery Bourbon Caramel, Persimmon, Sea Salt

Ginger Crème Brûlée
Red Wine Berry Jam

Roasted Pineapple
Candied Cashews, Coconut Pavlova

Receive A $20 Bonus Card With Purchase

Share the gift of Rococo Steak with friends and family. Throughout the holiday season receive a $20 bonus card when you purchase $100 or more in gift cards. With a delectable dining menu and a 650-label wine list there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Our passion for creative cuisine drives us to share a unique fine dining experience in downtown St. Petersburg. We look forward to seeing you this holiday season. Bonus card offer is valid with in-store gift card purchases only.

Stay tuned for when we release an incredible New Years Eve menu crafted by Executive Chef Matthew Rainey!

Meet The Chef

Executive Chef Matthew Rainey has traveled a bit in his career and has been gaining accolades across the country. In 2002, as the Executive Sous Chef of Washington DC’s Poste Modern Brasserie, they were awarded Best New Restaurant. 2004 brought Matthew to the Willard Room of the Intercontinental Hotel where they were awarded the Mobil Five-Star Award. Back home in Atlanta in 2005, while at the AAA Five Diamond Pano’s & Paul’s, they received the Silver Spoon Award for sterling performance. He has worked closely with friend and mentor Panos Karatassos, being instrumental in the opening of restaurants like Chops Lobster Bar in 2007 which is now the cornerstone of the Boca Raton dining scene. Also, opening Bistro Niko, a French bistro in Atlanta’s Historic Buckhead neighborhood. Matthew acted as a consulting chef in the 2013 opening of Ft. Lauderdale’s Lobster Bar and Sea Grille, voted “One of South Florida’s Best Restaurants” by Zagat. Most recently, while leading the charge at STK in Atlanta, he was voted Best New Chef of 2014 by
Jezebel Magazine.

While Matthew shines in the Tampa Bay area, he is a genuine hometown guy who made his name cooking and sharing home cook-friendly recipes that draw on the flavors of his heritage of classic French cooking.

Aloft & Ancien Wine Dinner

Rococo Steak welcomes Janice Mondavi from Aloft and Jimmy Kawalek from Ancien to discuss their acclaimed wines from the Howell Mountain Region and Carneros Region respectively. Join us Friday, September 23rd at 7:00 p.m. for this superb varietal experience. Inspired by our guests’ wines, our very own Executive Chef Matthew Rainey creates an exceptional pairing through a sensational five course dinner.

There is limited seating available so be sure to purchase your ticket today for an incredible wine and culinary experience.

Date: Friday, September 23rd at 7:00 p.m.
Tickets: Purchase here.
Menu: View here.