Can you believe I have lived in Tampa for 15 years and have only been to Seminole Hard Rock Tampa Hotel & Casino 4 times? Yes, something is wrong with me. My last two visits were to The Rez Grill which has quickly become one of my favorite places to dine in Tampa Bay. Recently I was invited to attend a hosted “Social Hour” for local influencers and was, once again, blow away by the food and drink.
What can I say? This place is just stunning. Every visit I have had so far has been beyond impressive and the staff is just incredible.
So let me elaborate on the hottest social hour in town. Available Wednesday through Saturday from 3 pm until 6 pm at the bar & lounge, they feature scrumptious $7 bites, specialty cocktails and wines by the glass. Here are some of the menu highlights:
· Smoked Trout Dip
o Poblano-corn Vinaigrette, Tortilla Chips, Cilantro
· Benton’s Ham
o House Biscuits, Cherry-Pepper Jam, Red Eye Aioli
· When We Were Young
o House-made Sangria Blend, Fresh Fruit
· 1944 Mai Tai
o Dark Rum, House-made Curacao
I got to sample more than my fair share of everything and I am excited to share some photos with you. Hands down, my favorite cocktail on their menu is the Khalessi (photo above) which is made with house-infused cucumber vodka, pear and sparkling wine. I love the presentation with the mini clothes-pin attaching the cucumber to the rim of the glass. Elegant and refreshing, this is the perfect drink to kick off social hour.
If there is one item on their menu that I am obsessed with, it is their Benton’s Ham which is served with house biscuits, cherry-pepper jam and red eye aioli. I just can’t get enough!
Living in Florida, it is hard not to get addicted to fish dip as we are blessed to be surrounded by an abundance of seafood. The Smoked Fish Dip at The Rez is what dreams are made of and do not get me started on those cute little bottles of Tabasco. Pair this with a nice glass of Pinot Grigio and you are set.
You can’t help but love the Deviled Eggs at The Rez. Simple, yet elegant, they are hard to resist. Topped with b&b pickles, bacon and chives, I dare you to try to only eat just one. It is impossible I promise!
I guess I have a thing for cucumber vodka because the Rez Smash is another favorite. Made with house-infused cucumber vodka, macerated fruit, thyme syrup and soda, it is one refreshing libation. I have to be careful with these because they go down too quickly.
Peel & Eat Shrimp are another go-to of mine, especially when I am trying to eat low-carb. I highly recommend these if you dine at The Rez during their Social Hour. I could easily two servings.
I have always been a salad girl and eat them daily. Their Chopped Salad appeals to me and my Italian roots because it is a beautiful blend of radicchio, salami, provolone, garbanzo beans and red wine vinaigrette. I like to enjoy this with a glass of rosé and good conversation.
So, during my visit, I found my second favorite item after the Benton’s Ham. The Rez Grill does not disappoint with their Banh Mi which consists of pork, pickled carrots, jalapeno, cilantro and mint. I could not stop eating this and trust me when I say this, you will love it. It pairs beautifully with their Lange Pinot Noir and is ideal for sharing.
Last but not least, I tried their Yukon Gold Potato Tots which have ruined tater tots for me at any other plates. These are pure perfection and when dipped in dill crème fraiche, you are tasting pure heaven.
Needless to say, The Rez Grill has quickly won a place in my always hungry heart and I am already planning my next visit. Executive Chef Frank Anderson has done an incredible job on the menu and I look forward to many more meals there in the future.
I will be featuring many more posts with The Rez so stay tuned!