Thursday, February 1, 2018

The Rez Grill at Seminole Hard Rock Tampa

I cannot remember the last time I dined at a restaurant twice within 5 days. Especially one that takes 30+ minutes to drive to. Well, this week exactly that happened. On Friday night, my husband Gabe and I went to The Rez Grill, the new restaurant located inside Seminole Hard Rock Tampa. We were expecting a good meal but what we got was beyond that. It just so happens, that just today, Tampa Bay Times named The Rez Grill one of Tampa's top 50 restaurants.
During our two visits over the past week, each item we ordered was vastly different from each other but equally as good. Last night, Gabe said it was the best restaurant in Tampa and that the only restaurants that rivaled it are in New Orleans. He later told me it was his favorite restaurant. On Friday night, he stated that the Benton's Ham dish was the best thing he has ever ate in his life (go to Rez Grill and order this, you're welcome). Those comments say it all, coming from a guy who isn't vocal about food the way I am.
Benton's Ham with house biscuits, cherry-pepper jam, red eye aioli
The Rez Grill is fine dining in a casual atmosphere - think elevated comfort food favorites. The Rez Grill menu has a variety of different entrees without being overwhelming in choices. You will find Shrimp and Grits, Lobster Rolls, Fried Chicken, Veal Milanese. Hand Made Pasta, King Crab, Lobster Thermador, Maryland Crab Cakes, and so much more. We tried one of the steaks on the menu - the Ribeye Cap. It was delicious! They also have Wagyu on the menu!!
Ribeye Cap with turnips, broccolini, shallots, chive, béarnaise, demi
One of the awesome things about The Rez Grill is their table service style dining options. There are 4 items on the menu meant for sharing family style: Whole Fried Chicken served with Waffles; St Louis Ribs served with Fries & Texas Toast; Veal Chop Milanese; Lobster Thermador. The table shared prices range from $34-$55. We were going to split the Whole Fried Chicken last night but changed our minds when we arrived. Gabe ordered the Shrimp and Grits and I am here to say, this is the BEST either of us have ever had in Savannah, Charleston and New Orleans.
Shrip and Grits congaree and penn farm grits, country ham, soft egg (you can add caviar) 
I went meat free for the month of February (more on that later) and decided to make my final meat meal a cheeseburger. Seminole Hard Rock Tampa is well known for their burgers. From the Council Oak burger to the massive selection at Hard Rock Cafe, you will always find a great burger dining here. I always order mine Medium Rare, so when our server mentioned that the burger was served well done, I was shocked but trusted the talented kitchen. I was beyond impressed - how could something cooked Well could still be so juicy!?
The Rez Burger - cheddar, american, tomato, caramelized onion, magic sauce
The cocktail menu and wine list are equally as good as the food. Innovative is what comes to mind with their skilled mixologists who create made-to-order drinks using house-made syrups and juices. They have drinks that change color, drinks that come in a lightbulb, drinks that are an adult version of a capri sun.
Nacho Libre - prickly pear vodka, house-made sour mix, hibiscus & mezcal ice
Oh and the best espresso martini I have ever had, made with Lavazza espresso. I am wanting one of these right now!!! The wine list is also impressive and you can choose between a regular pour, 12oz or bottle.
Machiatto - vanilla vodka, patr´n xo, lavazza, chocolate soil
Seminole Hard Rock Tampa's new Creative Culinary Director, Frank Anderson's talent shines on every dish. His pedigree includes running the kitchens at James Beard-awarded, Los Angeles-based restaurants, Animal and Son of a Gun. Let's talk about his desserts for a second. I do not have a sweet tooth and dessert isn't something I would normally order. However, after seeing the Lemon Curd on instagram a few weeks ago, I knew I needed to order it and I would order it on every trip. We also tried the Chocolate Bundino which was excellent!
Lemon Curd - burnt meringue, blueberry purée, crumble
The Rez Grill is exactly what Tampa needed. Affordable fine dining in a wonderful atmosphere. It goes without saying we will be back.

The Rez Grill is open Wednesday - Sunday for dinner starting at 5pm. Reservations can be made through Open Table (I suggest making them, it was pretty busy both of the nights we dined at The Rez Grill).  Here are some photos of the restaurant!




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