We stopped into this kitschy little spot in Tampa before a concert we were attending. It's a great location, right on the water, and directly across from the Tampa Bay Times Forum. It's small, but has a cool vibe.
I'd love to give this place a 5 out of 5, and frankly, if they had better Greeter/Hostess', and the food was cooked properly, I could. However, the truth is that the best thing about this place, at least on this evening, were the amazing servers we had. One was Carli, the other Karla. Both of these girls were amazing, and thank you to both of them.
We had a party of 6 and they sat us on the patio due to previous reservations inside on the only tables that could seat a party of our size. Understood, no worries there. They sat us at two tables pushed together and against the wall. Keep in mind, this is Florida in the summer time, and we're sitting on the west side at sunset. It's pretty hot. There were three ceiling fans on patio, and the only one that wasn't spinning was the one over our group. When I asked the Hostess if she could turn it on, she told me that ours was the only one that was not working. I told her that without air circulating it was really hot near the wall. I waited for her to come up with some idea of what to do...maybe move us? Just a thought. Instead, she apologized and said that's all they could do. I told her that I'd consider my options, and she left.
I spied two other tables on the patio right underneath a working fan, all of 10 feet away from our table. I walked inside and spoke with one of the other Hostess', told her the issue, and that I potentially had a solution. I asked her if any of the tables on the patio were reserved, and she said no, it's first come, first served. Hmm, the other Hostess had to walk right past these tables but didn't mention that, and never even offered this as an option. She was content to have our group sit in the uncomfortable heat. Maybe she was having a bad day, it happens. Anyway, I asked if we could be seated at the two tables under the fan, and they accommodated us. Much better now, but who needs the drama when you're going out to have a good time and PAYING for a nice experience.
Let's get to the food. Firstly, I regularly check reviews etc. before going to a new place. I did in this case too. The reviews were very good. I checked the menu out online too, and it looked fresh and inventive. We were excited. Whoever designed the menu really thought it through well. The issue is that all of the proteins, on every single dish, we significantly overcooked, and therefore, the concept of what the food should have been never translated to the plate. Gordon Ramsey always says that if you can't cook, you can't be a chef. I can always understand and forgive a chef that has an ill conceived flavor combination or something like that. That's art, and it's always subject to interpretation and personal choice. Cooking however, is 101. Over cook the chicken, it's dry, tough and nothing else matters. You never get to the flavor combinations because you can't get past the overcooked food. Except for the French Onion Dumplings and the Truffle Frites, which were both excellent, everything else we had was overcooked. I had the Fried Chicken and Waffles, pancetta smoked cheddar waffle, chili-honey, braised kale. The chicken was terribly dried out, the waffle was dense, tough, luke warm and flavorless. My wife had Crispy Brick Pressed Chicken, all natural, grain mustard mashed potato, bacon-braised kale,
charred lemon. The chicken was dry and tough, and the mustard mashed potato's were so full of mustard grain, you could barely even tell it was potato. My wife is a Potato lover too, she wanted to like them. My daughter had the Short Rib “Mac & Cheese”, spicy BBQ short ribs,
smoked cheddar morney sauce, pan seared gnocchi, crispy kale. The concept of using gnocchi instead of Macaroni sounded interesting, however, once again, poor execution made it bad. The gnocchi was very tough and doughy and the morney sauce was just not good. I could go on, but you get the picture.
I would really have loved to love this place, and we may give it another try. But for now, unfortunately, I have to give them a 3 out of 5.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.