Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Dining at Ciccio's Water Tampa Bay

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to check out Ciccio's Water with my friend Katie (She likes Ruffles, He likes Truffles) and our two significant others. This was my first visit to Ciccio's and I was looking forward to it after hearing rave reviews from our friends.

Upon walking in, I instantly knew we would be in for a treat. There was great energy in Ciccio's. The unique thing about Ciccio's is that it is technically two restaurants in one. Ciccio's California Cuisine and Ciccio's Water. The menu is vast, offering everything from California noodle bowls to gourmet sushi and everything in between. The specialty menu switches monthly and they keep it non hectic by having two kitchens, one for the Sushi and one for everything else. Also, Ciccio's gets the majority of their products local.

We started off by sampling the famous Slam-Gria. A giant glass of homemade sangria, offered in red, champagne and white. I got the red:
Red Slamgria
Gabe and Katie both ordered the Champagne and Katie's husband Justin ordered the white:
Champagne Slamgria
After receiving our delicious cocktails, we discussed the menu with the Manager Steve, who we allowed to select our items for us. This is always fun as you are not sure what you are going to receive but you know it will be awesome.

Out first was one of my favorite items of the evening, Tuna Bruschetta: Pistachio Wasabi Crusted Seared Tuna with edamame hummus, seaweed salad and soy ginger vinaigrette. It was amazing. The Tuna was perfectly seared to have the pistachio crust. The flavors really complemented one another.
Tuna Bruschetta
Up next was Filet Mignon Quesadilla's: Strips of filet mignon, black beans, roasted poblanos, cilantro, spicy corn guacamole, jack cheese and sour cream. Gabe really liked this dish and asked me to make Filet Quesadilla's at home.
Filet Quesadilla
Lobster Mac and Cheese with Truffle Oil Drizzle. Ermahgerd....This dish was beyond. Rich, savory, delicious, creamy, cheesy, truffle, lobster goodness. I told Steve they should put this in a New England Style Hot Dog Roll and make a Lobster Mac and Cheese roll out of it. I want to go back for more, now :(
Lobster Mac and Cheese
After savoring those three items, out came three rolls of sushi. Up first was the Spicy Diablo Roll which was amazing: Ahi tuna, tempura onions, topped with spicy tuna, beet tobbikko, daikon sprouts, and sriracha aioli and sesame seeds
Spicy Diablo Roll
The roll you see in the background was one of the monthly specials, Sleepy Hallow: Spicy ahi tuna, cucumber, mango, avocado, topped with zesty spicy aioli marinated Maine lobster meat, black sesame seeds, beet tobbiko and tempura spinach. Our third roll was the Chef Special roll and my photo did not do it justice.
Sleepy Hallow Roll
Next came out two pizza's. The Chicken Marsala Pizza, which was delicious. I need the recipe for Ciccio's homemade marsala sauce.
Chicken Marsala Pizza
And"Almost Gluten Free Thin Crusted Pizza". 8 inch single serving with fresh tomato sauce, basil and mozzarella. You can include a variety of toppings and there are only traces of gluten (22 carbs include fiber). This pizza was simple and delicious.
Almost Gluten Free Thin Crusted Pizza
To think we had two additional entree's coming out had me in a food like coma. So Katie and I ordered two martini's to mask our fullness. I tried the Cucumber - Muddled cucumber and sugar, Absolut Vodka, St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur, fresh lime and a splash of club soda. Katie tried the Zen Cosmopolitan - Gekkeikan Sake, Triple Sec, Lime, Cranberry Juice. The cucumber was very refreshing and I could probably drink 20 too many of them. Katie's Zen Cosmo was made with Sake so it had a different twist to the classic cosmo. It was great!
I have heard wonderful things about Ciccio's California bowls. They are known for the variety of options, everyone will find something on the menu that they would love. You choose to have your bowl served with steamed yellow, sticky rice, brown rice, farro (add $1) or chilled Asian noodles (add $2). We tried the Thai Chicken Bowl,  napa cabbage, scallions, cilantro, carrots, mango, crispy wontons and peanut aioli (with steamed rice). As this included all of my favorite flavors, I was a very happy (and full) girl.
Thai Chicken California Bowl
We also tried the fish of the day which was local caught Tile Fish served with spaghetti squash, grilled broccolini and lemon almond sauce. I could eat an entire bowl of the spaghetti squash. When I make it at home, it is never this good. I have never had Tile fish before and really enjoyed it.It's a light white fish.
Tile Fish
Next thing I know, dessert came out. I can never say no to Smores, no matter how much room is left in my belly. Toasted marshmallow and Chocolate bar with vanilla ice cream and caramel. Need I say more?
Smores
Steve came out to check on us and to inform us we had another item coming out. When he saw the pained look in our faces, he told us it wasn't food, it was a shot bucket. Shot bucket?? When this thing came at us, I sat wide eyed. A firecracker inside of a champagne bucket, which included fireball whiskey shots. Talk about the icing on the cake! What a presentation!
Ciccio's Shot Bucket
Overall, we had an amazing experience. Thank you Ciccio's for a memorable evening. Everything we had was delicious. I will absolutely be back again. If you have yet to dine there, I urge you to go give them a try! They offer a weekend brunch and a daily Happy Hour.

Ciccio's Water on Urbanspoon

6 comments:

  1. The Tile Fish looks amazing, I have never heard of that type of fish! Always love dining at Ciccio's and I agree about the marsala recipe, it is the best anywhere!

    Lauren C
    www.tastingtampa.com

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    1. I have never heard of Tile fish either - it is a gulf fish though. Very good.

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  2. This food sounds incredible... You had me at Tuna Bruschetta, but then I saw the Filet Quesadilla. Wha... What!? I want sushi. Now.

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    1. Yeah, it was pretty insane. The Tuna Bruschetta was to die for.

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  3. I LOVE Ciccio's! One of my favorite places in Tampa! They sure know how to treat the bloggers! :)

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  4. Yummm....I want to go back for another one of those bowls...and maybe another sushi roll or two?

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