Grand Marnier Dinner at Seminole Hard Rock Tampa

Thursday, September 3, 2015
Last week my husband and I were invited to attend the Grand Marnier Dinner at Seminole Hard Rock, Tampa. This delicious event took place in Council Oak, home of incredible steaks, seafood and the best burger you will find in Tampa (possibly the best on planet earth).
After walking the "red carpet", we sat down to enjoy a welcome cocktail and Hors d'oeuvres; Left to Right: Seared Ahi Tuna. Caramelized peaches & prosciutto (our favorite) and Blue Crab Salad.
After a few delicious bites, we found ourselves being entertained by the very talented and local performer Gloria West. She is an incredible talent and did covers on pop and classic hits
The Grand Marnier drinks started flowing and I found myself loving "The Perfect Storm" which consisted of Grand Marnier, Ginger Beer, Lime Juice and Bitters. I may have already made myself a few of these at home :)
It was time for the first course: Ricotta Cavatelli with hous ecured pork belly, blistered tomatoes and black kale. It was delicious and I could eat that cavatelli for days. The flavors of this dish played very well off one another. This course was served with a cocktail made with Kappa Pisco.
The second course came out and it reminded me so much of our honeymoon in Italy. Charred Spanish Octopus. We were in Cinque Terre hiking on the amazing coast of Italy - I had too much Limoncello the night before. Gabe devoured his, and octopus on a queezy stomach didn't work for me. I was excited to try this out again and now know why Gabe loved it so much the first time. The Charred Spanish Octopus served at the Grand Marnier dinner consisted of chickpeas, smoked almond romesco, charred endives, chili oil and hearts on fire micro greens.
This is when the big girl drinks came out to play.......
Our third course was the showstopper of the night: Prime Veal Bistecca with Sweet Potato Agnolotti, wild mushrooms and a summer truffle brown butter sauce. The truffle on this dish was insanely delicious. It was the perfect mix of decadence, earthy, savory and sweet. This was served with Grand Marnier 100, a Cognac that was created in 1927 to celebrate Grand Marnier's 100 year anniversary.
Finally dessert - Polenta pound cake with thyme scented creme brulee and roasted apricots. This was by far the most unique take on polenta I have ever seen.
The final nightcap was Grand Marnier Cuvee 1880, the celebration of the conception of Grand Marnier.
The next dinner pairing at Seminole Hard Rock's Council Oak will be happening this fall and will feature barrels. That's all I can say for now! Stay tuned for more details.
You can stay up with all the happenings at Seminole Hard Rock by following their blog, Facebook and Twitter. Tonight is "That 80's Party" benefiting the Ian Beckles Foundation. There will be live entertainment, totally 80's style, including battling DJ's, LED Dance Floor, Light Show and  Chinese Auction. Did I mention special guest DJ ROB BASE! The 80's kid in me is squealing. It takes two is going to be stuck in my head all day.....

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