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Food and Wine Wednesday: Domenica Macchia moving to Bella Brava

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From the Mouth of Tampa Bay: Greg Pugh, owner of Diner 437 and Ringside Cafe, and chef Domenica Macchia will part company this next week when she leaves the diner to take a position at Bella Brava. Pugh is considering several exciting candidates for the chef position at Diner 437 and, as he says, “I want people in downtown St. Petersburg to walk in and say ‘Wow, how can they have this quality of food and this quality of service and these wine selections, all at these prices? This is what we’ve been waiting for in downtown St. Petersburg.'”

Macchia will join the Bella Brava team with the aim of retooling the menu with a price cap of $18 for entrees: “More rustic and homey, with easy menu descriptions–if they can’t pronounce it, they’re not going to order it.” From a Sicilian family, Macchia once interviewed at Bella Brava back in her Redwoods days and is eager to utilize their pizza oven and other specialized equipment.

According to Bella Brava co-owner Mike Harting, “Current chef Trevor Lyman will be moving on. Everything else will stay the same. We’ve been looking for the next evolution for Bella Brava. I started talking to prospects about 60 days ago and spoke with Domenica about a week ago.”

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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