Wish You Were Here: Freshly Ceviche

by Heather Lindsay Sell, ShoutOUT Tampa Bay, September 14, 2016

Disclosure: Ceviche Tapas Bar and Restaurant and Caledon Concepts invited me to a VIP Menu Tasting to sample their new menu items and provided me with a complimentary dinner in order to provide my honest opinion on the experience. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own and based completely on my own thoughts and experiences. 


Drinks

“You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces — just good food from fresh ingredients.” ~ Julia Child

Good food from fresh ingredients – Ceviche Tapas Bar and Restaurant in South Tampa definitely delivered during last week’s VIP menu sampling of their new menu items focusing on fresh ingredients and tapas-style sharing. From the refreshing cocktails to the sinful desserts, they did not miss the mark.

photo red sangria drink

Red Sangria

We christened the evening’s complimentary menu tasting with, what else, cocktails! I couldn’t leave without trying their sangria, a house specialty, while my guest selected the Farmacia cocktail.

The red sangria was velvety smooth, full-bodied and refreshing – made with their signature Spanish red wine, smooth Torres Imperial 10 year Gran Reserva Brandy, a splash of orange liqueur, and swimming in chunks of oranges and apples. Liquid nirvana!

 

image of farmacia cocktail

Farmacia Cocktail

The Farmacia was a tropical drink, mixed with Brugal Añejo rum, citrusy Licor 43, orange, pineapple, and coconut cream, frothed and then dusted with cinnamon. Creamy decadence!

Diving into the delicious possibilities, we began selecting our tempting fare from the special menu highlighting some of Ceviche’s newest items.

Baba Ganoush

Baba Ganoush

Our Tapas Frias of choice, the Baba Ganoush. A savory hummus-like appetizer, made from smoky eggplant, garnished with cilantro, and served with grilled flat bread for dipping. Wow! Let me just say, I’m not ordinarily a fan of eggplant – AT ALL! However, I was persuaded to give it a try and my taste buds have been thanking me ever since. Such a rich, nutty flavor with a lemony lightness. A required indulgence.

Our Ceviche selection, the Casa, was an amalgamation of shrimp, scallops, squid, and fish, swathed in a zesty tomato sauce and delicately seasoned with fresh herbs, and strewn with crunchy plantain chips. Flavorful with a slight nip of heat to finish. A delight for seafood lovers!

photo of Picanha, Casa, Pollo al Jerez

Picanha, Casa, Pollo al Jerez

The two Tapas entrées we chose were the Picanha and the Pollo al Jerez. The Picanha was a tender, succulent, skirt steak, cubed, then nestled in with plump, delectable roasted mushrooms and crowned with a green chimichurri sauce.  The baguette, served tableside earlier in the evening, was scrumptious drenched in the chimichurri sauce from the Picanha.

The Pollo al Jerez dish is for chicken lovers who like a bit of spice. Moist, easy-to-cut chicken filets were flavorful, seasoned with pesto and bathed in a rich sherry cream sauce.

image of desserts Churros and Pudin de Pan

Caramal-filled Churros and Pudin de Pan Bread Pudding

The finale – DESSERT! This was a difficult decision, but we settled on two heavenly treats. The Caramel filled churros, rolled in cinnamon sugar and served with a robust espresso chocolate dipping sauce and the Pudin de Pan, a dense white chocolate bread pudding laced with Spanish brandy, and vanilla ice cream as the dénouement. True bliss! The perfecting ending to a delicious meal.

The whole evening was charming and the food enchanting. The sultry rich reds and earthy tones of the Spanish and Mediterranean-influenced décor was complemented by the real wood floors and dark wood paneling at the bar, adding an Old World charm with elegant simplicity. The ambiance exuded an inviting warmth and made me feel like I was at a friend’s house enjoying dinner.

The recently refreshed bar area has plenty of lounge chairs and pockets to repose with friends, enjoy a glass of sangria and share plates of tapas, while listening to live music. Afterwards, slipping into the exterior rooms for dinner and dessert.

image of bar and lounge area

Bar and Lounge Area

Most menu items are gluten-free and everything is made with fresh ingredients. Enjoy live music Thursday through Saturday nights. Fresh ingredients and good food. A place to try.

On my list to try next visit? Croquetas with chicken, smoked ham, manchego cheese, panko and a sherry cream sauce and the Tres Leches for dessert.

Many thanks to Ceviche Tapas Bar and Restaurant, Caledon Concepts, and all of the friendly staff for the warm hospitality, great food, and tremendous service! I’ll be back.

Ceviche Tapas Bar and Restaurant Tampa is located at 2500 W Azeele Street, Tampa, FL 33609. Phone: (813) 250-0203. You can also visit their sister locations in St. Pete and Orlando.

Special thanks to Dave Madera, Lee Karlins, Chef Matt Rainey, Ahmed Errifi, Sebastian Herrera, Krystin Olinski, and Lucielle Solomon.

Wish you were here…..

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Contact: Heather Sell
Email: contact@shoutoutinc.com

 

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About ShoutOUT

In 2009, I started sharing my experiences, food, travels, and events, along with all of the incredible people and businesses I was meeting and discovering. What began as a fun hobby had such an overwhelming response, ShoutOUT was born! I continue to stretch the boundaries locally, regionally, and nationally, discovering, sharing and connecting as I go.
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