Who doesn’t feel like they need a little escape by Wednesday or Thursday?
I had a hot date on the books this week and figured it was a great chance to get out for a few hours, take the night off of the “usual” and enjoy the incredible spring weather.
My sexy date and I headed on over to downtown Tampa to Fly Bar for some much needed drinks and nosh. Located on N. Franklin St, just a few blocks from historic Tampa Theatre, parking is a breeze to find between surrounding parking lots and metered parking. (I got to show off my Boston-trained parallel parking skills, which always makes me happy).
Seemingly surrounded by quiet offices and apartments, Fly Bar is a little urban oasis of activity at 7pm on a Thursday night, with windows and doors flung open to welcome in the warm air, music bubbling out onto the street and clusters of patrons already enjoying their drinks and dinner.
Even though the the inside is fun to look at and examine, with a vibrant assortment of art on the walls and pretty much everywhere else you look, the open room gets a tad bit loud, so we opted for the fresh air seating out in front.
To not order a cocktail here is a missed opportunity at happiness, which I have learned on previous trips, so as soon as we seated at our street side table I cracked open the drink menu…
And I ordered this little beauty.
A seemingly innocent flavor blend of vodka, St. Germain elderflower and pineapple, with just a splash of refreshing lime, you wouldn’t actually know this little devil packs a kick if you didn’t know what ingredients created it.
Drinks in hand, we dove right into the food menu…
You order your meal tapas-style. What better way to start off dinner than with some garlic herb fries, perfectly golden crisp, like they sunbathed all afternoon just for you?
Served with both a traditional ketchup and a spiced aoili, it’s impossible to not lick your fingers after each bite.
Some caramelized Brussels sprouts with a grainy mustard vinaigrette balanced our need for some green on the table…
They also offered a nice tang to contrast our next dish, the creamy and oh-so decadent risotto packed with sweet corn and tender mushrooms.
We almost licked the bowl, but somehow managed to control ourselves just in time for our final dish…
These nachos are traditional, but amazing. The chips are crispy, the cheese gooey mixed with black beans and complimented by cool sour cream, hot jalapenos and a sprinkle of refreshing cilantro and diced tomatoes.
By the time the sun dipped below the horizon, the bustling vibe had mellowed out and some jazzy tunes from a band that had just set up inside started swimming out to greet us as we finished up the various plates that covered our table.
We finished as much as we could and sat back to relax and enjoy the beautiful spring evening, watching other couples and groups finish and wonder off into the night.
Had the rooftop bar been open, it would have been a magnificent time to be looking out over historic downtown, but alas, we were told they weren’t open during most weeknights.
Full, satisfied and happy, we headed home, being sure to keep the windows down with one arm flying out the window.
A great late-week night to hold us over until the weekend.