Seminole Hard Rock St. Petersburg Distillery Co Dinner

Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Hi friends! Last Thursday, my husband Gabe and I were able to take a break from our renovation and unpacking with a fabulous pairing dinner at Council Oak, located inside of Seminole Hard Rock Tampa. Once a month, Council Oak hosts an innovative 4 course meal, paired with featured craft cocktails, wine or beer. This month's feature was local, award winning St. Petersburg Distillery.
The menu was carefully selected by Chef Dave Puata and it was one of our favorite Council Oak pairing dinners to date.
We started the night off with a vodka based cocktail called The White Oak. It was a play on the cosmo, made with white cranberry and St. Germaine. The vodka used was award winning St Pete Distillery Banyan Reserve. It was absolutely delicious - and smoking!

While sipping on the delicious cocktail, we sampled 3 small bites - Conch Fritters, Purple Potato Latke and  Scallop Ceviche. It was a great start to a delicious meal.
The 1st course was incredible and a perfect blend of flavors. Chef Dave took Grilled Cobia and placed it on top of English pea risotto with a heirloom tomato jam, shaved radish, beet leaves. The tomato jam was off the chain and this dish was perfection.
Course One was paired with another perfect cocktail, the Lavender Bee's Knees made with St. Pete Distillery Tropical Gin. I am not a Gin person but I would order this drink again in a heart beat.
The 2nd course was a Braised Berkshire pork cheek with smoked Gouda polenta, a blood orange mostarda, arugula salad and Port Wine-molasses jus. Every aspect of this dish worked amazingly together making for perfect bite after perfect bite.
The second course was paired a St. Pete Punch made with St. Pete Distillery Righteous Rum & Spice. At first sip, I was instantly transported to the Caribbean - which was perfect as we are leaving for a Cruise in 2 days!
The 3rd course was unlike any piece of meat I've ever had. My husband is still talking about it nearly a week later. Chef Dave took a Smoked Beef Rib and gave it a spice rub with a Coffee-Chipotle Barbecue Glaze, Crispy Smashed Marble Potato, Goat Cheese, Red Wine Vinaigrette. The only way I can begin to explain this cut of meat is the tenderness of a filet mignon with the flavor of a Rib Eye. The beef on the bone was like a short rib, which I took home with me and used to make a hash for brunch over the weekend! They nailed every aspect of this entree.
The third course was paired with a Strawberry Whiskey made with St. Pete Distillery Sweet Corn Whiskey. My husband is a Whiskey drinker, I am not. However, this drink was amazing and we both loved it.
The 4th course - AKA the course where I had no idea how I could possibly fit any more food into my body but somehow did. Pastry Chef Stephen Schubert is a mad scientest and this dish instantly disappeared. Seriously though - Grand Royal Chocolate Mousse, Passion Fruit Toffee, Lime Sable Crumbles, Coconut Lime Gelato, Banana Lime Compote. It is to no surprose that Chef Schubert is going to compete at the World Pastry Competition next month. It would be a surprise to me if he didn't win the entire thing.
The fourth course was paired with a St. Pete Distillery Royal Mead Honey Wine. Once again, Council Oak hosted a perfectly paired dinner. We enjoyed live entertainment by local artist, Jac of All Trades, who I wish played at our wedding. He sang everything from Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons to Andrea Bocelli. Crazy talent!

Follow the Seminole Hard Rock Tampa blog for details on the next dinner, which is taking place on September 22nd.

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