TAMPA, Fla. (FOX 13) - In case you missed it, Tampa is officially a taste sensation.
With some long-time restaurant staples, coupled with new eatery concepts and celebrity chefs nestling into the Bay Area, there's no doubt residents have plenty of good food to sample. In November, WalletHub ranked Tampa as number 12 in the country for foodies, just under Atlanta and just above Chicago. St. Petersburg was ranked 86th.
Last month, Forbes highlighted Tampa as a city for taste exploration, detailing some of the more exciting places to chow down. Throughout the week, Good Day cooked and ate with some of these local favorites and shared some of their exciting food news.
Monday: Cru Cellars Palma Ceia
2506 South MacDill Avenue, Tampa, FL 33629
Chef Sloane Wilkins shared her Roasted Duck Confit on Sweet Potato Puree with Crispy Kale Maple Jus & Orange Fennel Mustards. This is a signature dish on her new menu at Cru Palma Ceia, which debuts this month. Cru is also prepared to help diners find the right wine pairing for their meals. Cru U (University) classes run multiple times annually, with weekly and monthly tastings at both locations.
Tuesday: Élevage Restaurant
1207 South Howard Avenue, Tampa, FL 33606
On Tuesday's installation of "Restaurant Week", highlighting some of Tampa's great restaurants, Chad Johnson, executive chef of Élevage, joined Good Day Tampa Bay. Johnson is also the executive chef at Haven restaurant in South Tampa.
Élevage is located in the Epicurean Hotel and describes itself as "nostalgia meets nouveau." The featured dish on Good Day was from the restaurant's brunch menu: Steak and Egg Tartine.
Johnson says diners should come back periodically since the menu tends to change based on what the chefs want to make and what good ingredients are available. Some of the recent additions include a redfish, roasted in herbs and topped with crab and lemon-butter made from charred lemons, and a ribeye, dry-aged, pan-roasted, and deglazed with tamarind and Worchestershire sauce. Then, it's topped with blue cheese.
For more on the menu at Élevage visit their website.
Wednesday: Columbia Restaurant
2117 East 7th Avenue Tampa, FL 33605
With several Bay Area locations now, the Columbia started in 1905 in Ybor City, as a small cafe where local cigar workers drank Cuban coffee and ate Cuban sandwiches. The Columbia boasts its long-time continuous operation, all under the same family. The Gonzmart family now has its fifth generation involved in the restaurant chain.
Andrea Gonzmart Williams is one of those fifth-generation family members. She joined Good Day to share the Columbia's Paella a la Valenciana, which garnered a mention in the Forbes article.
Thursday: Bern's Steak House
1208 South Howard Avenue, Tampa, FL 33606
A long-time dining staple in the Tampa Bay area, Bern's is perhaps best-known for its prime, aged steaks and one of the largest wine collections in the world. Guests are invited to tour the wine cellar and kitchen, adding to their culinary experience.
Of course, a trip to Bern's would not be complete without a visit of the Harry Waugh Dessert Room, an intimate dining space where diners can choose from dozens of desserts and more than 1,000 dessert drinks.
Some of the restaurant's more notable accolades include the James Beard Award for Outstanding Wine Program in 2016 and Semi-finalist for Best Restaurant in 2015. Several of the restaurant group's chefs just returned from cooking at the historic Beard House just last week.
Chef de Cuisine Habteab Hamde joined Good Day Tampa Bay to prepare brown butter poached octopus with fingerlings, green strawberry, jalapeños, Bern’s farm micro greens, and tamarind butter sauce.
Back for its 22nd year, Bern’s Winefest is April 7-14. It showcases the culinary talents of Tampa Bay's best chefs and those from around the state as well. For more on the weeklong event visit, head to the festival's website.
For more information on Bern's and its menu, check out the restaurant's website.
Friday: Rooster & the Till
6500 North Florida Avenue, Tampa, FL 33604
Good Day's Restaurant Week wrapped up Friday with Ferrell Alvarez and Ty Rodriguez, the co-owners of Rooster & The Till, an award-winning restaurant in Seminole Heights.
Rooster & The Till has the distinction of winning the Tampa Bay Times designation of #1 restaurant in Tampa Bay two years in a row. Meantime, Alvarez is a 2017 James Beard Foundation semi-finalist and Best Chef South winner.
The restaurant has a constantly changing menu and frequently offers pop-up events to tempt the taste buds of adventurous eaters. On Good Day, Alvarez and Rodriguez shared their swordfish belly crudo with cherry relish, grilled cantalope, castelvetrano olives, and fresno chili.
Alvarez and Rodriguez also helm Nebraska Mini-Mart in Seminole Heights. On Friday, March 1, the owners launch Tampa's first American Bocce league. There's an event to celebrate with free Bocce, live music, free beer from Hidden Springs, and a chance to sign up for the league play, which starts in 3 weeks. That event runs from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. See Nebraska Mini-Mart's website for more information.
For more information on Rooster & The Till, check out its website.