Some restaurants are just made for celebrations.
When our anniversary rolled around and we started discussing where we wanted to go to mark the occasion, both my boyfriend Nick, and I threw out the new South Tampa restaurant, Elevage at the recently opened Epicurean Hotel.
While we had been there for brunch, we wanted the full experience for dinner… and we were not disappointed.
Embracing our early bird side, we opted for an early reservation, but brought some big appetites to the restaurant where “Nostalgia Meets Nouveau.”
Having been a fine dining server in a previous life, I love a server who knows his stuff and our server was no exception, he jumped right into an explanation of the restaurants philosophy and gave some incredible descriptions of specific dishes that embodied this style perfectly, like Escargot Parmesan – prepared more like the Italian-American Parmesan dish with mozzarella and marinara sauce than the traditional French escargot preparation.
After deliberating over the menu for a while, we opted to kick thinks off with an order of the Bourguignon mushrooms, Welsh Rarebit and Raw Oysters.
Of course, we had to indulge in some cocktails to toast the evening first.
Nick seemed to thoroughly enjoy his slippery little shellfish, which included a bread and butter mignonette sauce, but I left him to enjoy them on his own (just not my style).
I, meanwhile was enthralled with a little island of bread, topped with a perfectly fried egg and Parmesan crisp, afloat in a bowl of blissful beecher’s cheddar sauce.
I opted to take some of the Bourguignon mushrooms, with their rich Burgundy wine sauce, and top each bit of my Welsh Rarebit. Complete obsession followed.
I practically licked the bowl clean, making sure that all that golden cheddar goodness was not put to waste.
Timed perfectly upon our completion of the appetizers, a wedge salad, which was more like a sliced wedge salad, appeared at our table.
Topped with little ruby jewels of cherry tomatoes, hard boiled egg wedges, and the creamiest bay blue cheese, the salad was served with a warm pot of mustard and chive dressing. I may have gotten a little carried away with the dressing.
Finally, our bellies already content, it was time for our entrees.
Nick opted for the appropriately named Duck Duck Goose dish – two duck “patties” stuffed with a fois gras and goose confit – served with fries and a black currant ketchup.
Whereas I selected the interesting twist on Tuna Casserole, which included beautiful rare tuna topped a delicate mixture of trofie pasta, peas and shimeji mushrooms in a creamy cheese sauce.
I had to really battle my desire to devour the entire dish, but I knew I wanted to indulge in some decadent dessert, so I chose to take some of my entree home.
Finally, the ultimate finish to a meal… dessert.
Despite my love of chocolate, I have found myself being drawn to the Red Fruit Shortcake with Gingerbread Ice Cream instead of the chocolate and hazelnut confection I’d normally opt for.
I was not disappointed. Nick and I devoured the dessert with relish.
Feeling as though we needed a bit of a time to reflect on such an incredible dinner, we headed to the rooftop bar Edge, with views of the South Tampa neighborhoods, for a final drink of the evening.
A light breeze kept us comfortable as we contemplated every bite of the meal and enjoyed an unobstructed view of a beautiful starry sky.
What an incredible way to celebrate… any occasion.