Modern American At Rooster & The Till

By Patricia Vorbrich


Ferrell Alvarez has had an interest in food since the age of 15, and through his climb in the culinary industry, he has learned his passion is clean, ethical eating, local food products with a modern twist. So, with that passion he opened Rooster & the Till – Rooster represents “new beginnings, fresh mornings,” and Till meaning “tilling the ground, the fresh ground.”

After 21 years in the food industry, including stints at Mise en Place and Café du Frain, Alvarez learned a lot about the kind of food he wanted to prepare one day at his own restaurant. Partnering with long time friend, Ty Rodriguez, whom he also worked with at Café du Frain in Tampa, Rooster & the Till was born. They chose their Seminole Heights location because they not only live nearby, but felt it had a great neighborhood feel.

Upon entering Rooster & the Till, you’ll notice some interesting décor. A large framed photo of a rooster, taken on the railroad tracks in Ybor City, hangs on a wall covered in reclaimed old seminole fencing, and old chicken coop feeders serve as lights.

Kyle Habersham designed and constructed the barn door inspired bar. Burlap covered barstools and banquette, and weathered, aluminum wrapped table tops add to the unique look. Jaime Rogers of Doxa Home helped to create a space reflective of the menu, utilizing honest materials, presented in a polished, yet unpretentious, manner.

Using the farm-to-table concept, 80 percent of the food is resourced within a 100 mile radius. The menu is reflective of Russian, French, Modern American cuisine. With specials changing daily, one can experience everything from a raw bar, to charcuterie & cheese, and many unique small and larger plates. The Chef’s signature dish, the Rabbit Ballotine, is divine, with chicken liver, raisins, porky kale and soft polenta.

The small plates are creative and clean. Try the gnocchi, short ribs, with smoked ricotta, San Marzano’s and spicy pickled peperonata, or the pork belly with cornbread, featuring pickled apple and peppercorn honey (a sweet treat). The house ricotta with raw beets, tomatoes, red onion yogurt and pine nut butter is as fresh as can be.

With a pretty extensive wine list, the staff can certainly help with pairings, and beers from around the country make for an interesting selection, as they also offer beer pairings. End the evening with the rum raisin, coconut milk and macadamia nut rice pudding, atop a passion fruit soup.  M


Rooster & the Till  |  6500 Florida Ave., Tampa, FL 33604  |  813-374-8940  |