Anthony Petralia Makes Kitchen Surfing Classy with Tralia Concept

Todays News

Pictured: Anthony Petralia makes kitchen surfing classy with fresh-made pastas and pizzas. Photo by Anthony Petralia

The intersection of necessity and ingenuity is a fertile ground from which unformed ideas can take shape. If the pandemic applied enormous pressure on the restaurant industry and those who rely on it for their livelihoods, then it also provided an opportunity for some creatives in the industry to rethink the way a food concept can operate. Anthony Petralia is one such creative.

As a self-taught chef responsible for popular menus at restaurants like Seabar and Gulf Gate Food + Beer, Petralia wasted no time during early lockdowns developing Tralia, a pizza pop-up. “Tralia definitely stemmed from COVID,” he says, “but the early success really showed me there was a lot of potential there.” Tralia’s early iteration saw the chef sell his Neapolitan-inspired sourdough pizzas as take-out only meals out of a ghost kitchen. But Petralia has since leveraged the Tralia brand into a unique business model that stands to reimagine food service beyond the confines of pandemic necessities.

At 99 Bottles, Petralia now takes over the kitchen on Sundays and offers a small menu of his sourdough pizzas, fresh-made pastas and whatever other modern Italian fare he comes up with for the night. The success of his kitchen takeovers quickly bled into Mondays. Then, when Seabar closed to make room for the expansion of Gulf Gate Food + Beer, Petralia started another pop-up concept called Rokkin Ramen in which he peddles his ramen recipe from Seabar’s weekly ramen nights, also out of 99 Bottles (on Tuesdays).

Now Petralia has added Dive Wine & Spirits to his list of Tralia kitchen-surfing spots as well as a prestigious kitchen takeover tomorrow night at Indigenous. “I’ve looked up to [chef] Steve [Phelps at Indigenous] for a long time,” says Petralia, “and Indigenous has really set the bar in Sarasota.” The two struck up a friendship at one of Petralia’s pizza takeovers at 99 Bottles. Phelps, unsurprisingly, loved Petralia’s pizza pop-up and, coincidentally, had been thinking of hosting guest-chef dinners at Indigenous. “When he asked me if I was interested in doing a guest-chef dinner, it was a no brainer,” says Petralia, “it’s a great opportunity to establish my credibility.”

The five-course, invite-only dinner will see the two chefs collaborate on an Italian menu of appetizers, pastas and seafood, all made with the same laser focus on sustainability, regionality and seasonality that Phelps has become known for. It’s the next step in the evolution of the Tralia concept, a concept that began out of necessity, morphed into a steady passion project, and sits on the cusp of solidifying itself as an infinitely adaptable, viable model. “The beauty of this concept is that it’s low risk, high reward,” says Petralia, “I love creating a menu and brand, and this lets me try a bunch of stuff out while still making ends meet."

Pictured: Anthony Petralia makes kitchen surfing classy with fresh-made pastas and pizzas. Photo by Anthony Petralia

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