Visiting New Orleans-inspired Roux in South Tampa

I finally visited Roux Tampa yesterday for a holiday/birthday party for Dress for Success Tampa Bay.

I loved the decor and couldn’t stop taking photos. It was lovely to be there during the holidays with the gold and rich colors.

We were seated in a private room for our holiday/birthday party, and had great service. Such a fun time!

My absolute favorite? The cornbread! It must be the best I’ve ever had!

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Basking in the glow of Tampa’s iconic Donatello Italian Restaurant

We had a super delicious night at Donatello Italian Restaurant in Tampa with the Tampa Bay Bloggers.

Due to my relationship with Tampa Bay Bloggers, I received dinner and drinks from Donatello. However, all opinions here are my own.

Some of the Tampa Bay Bloggers at Donatello in Tampa.

I had never been to Donatello before but now I am a convert.  It was absolute perfection in food, atmosphere and service.

The grand thing about going with the TBBloggers, or a large family, is having the opportunity to try many dishes, and not just yours and your date.

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Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival offers chance to taste the world

So happy to visit Epcot – Walt Disney World Food and Wine Festival this week with  my daughter. Even though I live in Florida, I hadn’t been to the Food and Wine Festival  in more than 20 years, before I had children.

We went two days before the end of the festival, which was also the opening day of Disney World’s A Very Merry Christmas, so it was pretty crowded.

I loved – well, what everyone loves – being able to visit so many different countries in one day! And it’s so much fun to be able to try foods from every country as well.

My favorite pavilion is always France, with lavender, linens and champagne!

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Sip, Savor, Repeat at Clearwater Beach Uncorked weekend of food and wine

Due to my relationship with Clearwater Beach Uncorked, I will receive two tickets to the event. However, opinions here are my own.

Early December in Clearwater almost always means beautiful weather, and to have a gorgeous beach day, my toes in the sand AND great restaurant food and wine? Well, I can barely wait.

I am so excited that I finally get to attend the Clearwater Beach Uncorked festival this December 2-3, Saturday and Sunday. If you have read my blog,  you will notice lots of food and wine and many beach visits, so the combination couldn’t be more perfect.

(Photo credit: Clearwater Beach Uncorked)

 

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Boca Tampa offers sustainable menu, fresh herbs

How cute is Boca Tampa?

Did you know it was Tampa’s second oldest gas station and garage? It’s been renovated into a darling and rustic spot that is enjoyable and cozy.

The food was wonderful last night for our tasting with Tampa Bay Bloggers and ShoutOUT Tampa Bay. Because of my relationship with Tampa Bay Bloggers, I received dinner and drinks on the house. Opinions here are my own. 

It was such a great night to enjoy the weather outside on their patio! Another great thing about Boca is that they offer a free dinner for your birthday.

Birthday or any day, you’ll enjoy this restaurant!

#hosted #BocaTampa #TampaBayBloggers #TampaBayfoodies

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Tampa’s Goody Goody Famous Hamburgers takes families back in time

Tampa Bay Bloggers had the best time enjoying Breakfast at Goody Goody Famous Hamburgers in Hyde Park Village –  tonight. Yes, I said “tonight.”

Goody Goody opened its doors for us to show us that Anytime is a good time to enjoy breakfast here at this iconic shop.

The restaurant has a charming history, in that owner Richard Gonzmart, owner of Colombia Restaurant Group, including the Colombia and Ulele, used to visit this burger shop with his mother when he was a young boy. She would take him when she had Woman’s Club meetings, and it was always dear to his heart.. When the restaurant fell into disrepair, Gonzmart took it upon himself to revitalize the corner jewel, which is located in the heart of Hyde Park.

You will fall in love with the black and white tile, the turn of the shiny silver stools and counters, and the retro chunky coffee mugs.

You will also love the the cafe con leche and coffee that they use from local makers, as well as their amazing line of pies.. As a bonus they have mimosas and bellinis – and if that’s not good enough, they are served in adorable tall stemless glasses! What can I say, pretty glasses and china makes me squeal!

The sweet potato pancakes with homemade syrup are amazing. They taste like Thanksgiving. And Christmas. And Grandma’s kitchen. All at the same time.  And I have never liked grits before tonight! We had the chance to meet the chef who told us his grandmother had taught him how to make them.

We had a wonderful night being treated to plate after plate of deliciousness, and being entertained by their public relations rep, Jeff Houck, who used to be the food editor at The Tampa Tribune. Jeff and the staff made the night extremely enjoyable. And they filled our arms with bags of leftover pie, menus and retro placemats, which we giddily took home to remember them by.

A burger place so memorable, you say? Yes! Because it’s not just burgers. I literally thought about our meal the whole night. And by Friday afternoon I was back there again with a girlfriend, eating sweet potato pancakes, grits and cafe con leche. You should do the same!

The staff made a personalized menu for us!

 

Mimosas and bellinis! And aren’t these glasses adorable!?
These sweet potato pancakes. Apparently Richard Gonzmart has a thing about stacked pancakes. He doesn’t like them. So they just make one BIG one. Works for me!
I never liked grits. Until today.
Cafe con leche – heaven
They spoiled us with our choice of pies.
The menu.
If you know this song, you will be singing it!
Bloggers Gina and Denise
Home fries with bacon, cheese and scallions. Delish!

 

Retro menu

Renaissance Tampa Hotel a jewel in the midst of the city

Today I had a meeting at the Renaissance Tampa International Plaza Hotel for a planning meeting of the upcoming Dress for Success Tampa Bay luncheon and fashion show. One of the committee members works there, so we decided to have lunch there as well.

Nestled to the side of International Plaza in Tampa, just on the cusp of Tampa International Airport, a newcomer to Tampa wouldn’t realize they are in for a treat. It’s a small Mediterranean jewel that’s delightful to visit.

I’ve been to the hotel twice for business reasons, but for some reason I did not have the opportunity to explore.

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This is Haven: Try this sophisticated, delicious Tampa restaurant

Due to my relationship with Tampa Bay Bloggers, I was treated to a three course meal with wine and cocktails at Haven Tampa. All opinions are my own.

When I heard the news Tampa Bay Bloggers was going to Haven, located next to and owned by the famous Bern’s steakhouse, I about fell off my chair with excitement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tampa’s Centre for Women’s Gourmet Feastival truly is a feast

Thanks to Working Women Tampa Bay, I was finally able to attend the 2017 Gourmet Feastival held at the A La Carte Shrine Pavilion.

The Feastival is presented by the Centre for Women, and drew hundreds of guests to an event that was truly a treat to attend.

There must have been hundreds of restaurants, caterers, distilleries, and more, including…

 

 

Ocean Prime The Florida Cane Distillery Nothing Bundt Cakes Rollin’ Oats St. Pete Centre Club TampaThe Birchwood Birch and Vine Anise Global Gastrobar Kahwa Coffee SouthBella’s Italian Cafe Restaurant Seasons 52

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Hawthorne Bottle Shoppe uses vintage glasses, silver platters for eclectic whimsy

St. Petersburg is known for a lot of different things – its art scene, breweries and eclectic local stores that line Central Avenue west of downtown. Here you’ll find vinyl shops, brocante markets, consignment stores and enough hipster hangouts to fit in your disco purse.

New to the restaurant/brewery scene is Hawthorne Bottle Shoppe. Owned by Amanda King and Pegan Foster, the shop opened six months ago in February 2017.

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