1st Place Winner - 2017 St. Augustine Burgers and Beer Week
Kevin Boose left his office job in Jacksonville and returned to the restaurant industry last October, opening up his very first restaurant with his wife, Simone.
A graduate of New York’s Culinary Institute of America and a chef for many years, Boose opened The Press off State Road 16 as a salad and sandwich cafe, but it is already evolving into something more.
The 32-seat restaurant — named after a panini press — may be small, but the gastropub’s menu has branched out beyond lunch fare. They bake their own bread and make their own desserts in house, and Boose is getting ready to roll out a dinner menu complete with steaks and seafood.
They have five drafts and 30 bottled beers, plus about 15 wines to choose from while watching one of two TVs set behind the eight-seat pine-stained bar. Happy hour deals are featured every day they’re open, and ladies get special deals on Wednesdays.
How would you describe the restaurant’s atmosphere?
We’re small. It’s the old Dick’s Wings. There’s earth-toned walls with lots of pictures of St. Augustine, like of the fort, lighthouse and other landmarks. We have two large 8 foot by 4 foot chalkboards with our rotating list of wine and beer options.
What is your food philosophy?
Fresh and seasonal is big. We are about to roll out a Summer menu where we will debut several things. At first, we were just a salad and sandwich place, but now we are evolving into a place you could take a date. We’ll be serving fresh fish, steaks and have several pasta options.
What type of cuisine do you specialize in?
We have many different things, from sandwiches and salads to steak and seafood. We bake all our bread in house, including focaccia and hoagie rolls, so that’s a highlight of our dishes. We are very highly rated for our burgers.
What is your signature dish?
Probably our burgers. We serve half-pound, never-frozen angus beef patties on our fresh-baked rolls. As an appetizer, we have a new gingered calimari. It’s calimari tossed like wings in a ginger vinagerette with scallions, parsley, garlic and seasame oil, and served over grilled pineapple. We are trying different things. We also sell a ton of desserts, which are all baked in house. Our white chocolate bread pudding is really great.
What would you recommend for a first timer?
For lunch, I would recommend a burger, like our balsamic red onion and bleu cheese crumbles burger. For dinner, I would definitely try a sirloin steak with garlic mashed potatoes. And for dessert a peach cobbler or the white chocolate bread pudding. All our desserts are shareable.
This profile was originally posted in 2016. Updated 7/7/16.