Dine Tampa Bay Food Spotting at AQUAPosted: August 2, 2012 | |
My friend Isabel, aka @FamilyFoodie, called me the other day, “Ron and the boys will be at football practice and I was invited to AQUA for an event Wednesday night. Would you like to come with me?” I immediately accepted, no questions asked, because I know Isabel has become a local foodie blogging celebrity with her @FamilyFoodie 14K Twitter followers and her worldwide #SundaySuppers! Yesterday The Tampa Bay Times did a beautiful article on her. Her mission is to bring families back around the dinner table with home cooking. So I was very happy to attend Dine Tampa Bay‘s Food Spotting Eat Up (#FSEatUp for you Twitter fans:) at AQUA at The Westin with her last night!
I’ve been to The Westin and AQUA before; for a Luxury Marketing Council event last year and WITI Central FL‘s Job Shop 4 Geek Girls in May. I already knew how beautiful the facility is, how attentive the staff are and how yummy the food is, but last night confirmed it again!
We started our evening off with the AQUApolitan martini, which is berry infused vodka and other yummy things. I liked it!
First up was their delicious Wagyu Beef Carpaccio. This version included blue cheese and it was rich, flavorful and I ate more than one:)
Next was the outstanding Salmon Avocado Roll with basil emulsion on top. This sushi was one of @CarlosEats favorites! I may have tried more than one myself;-) The basil emulsion was amazing.
Then we sampled the Jumbo Gulf Coast Shrimp, which were firm, succulent and flavorful. Again, I may have had two of these!
The awesome crab bites were next, which were based on their Jumbo Blue Crab Cakes. As you can see from the photo, they were another big hit!! I lost count on these; food circled the room several times!
It was hard for me to pick a favorite because I really liked all the hors d’oeuvre, but the Spicy Tuna Roll was truly a morsel of yummy goodness!
Besides the beautiful venue and awesome food, I met Jeff Houck, food writer for Tampa Tribune, and Carlos Hernandez, a USF student studying business, who blogs and tweets about food in Tampa Bay as CarlosEats. It was really a great time! (Jeff is in the background talking in the photo below and Carlos is in the foreground, with a Flirtini in his hand. I may have had one of those too:)
Dine Tampa Bay runs from August 3rd through August 17th with over 130 restaurants offering prix fixe menus. AQUA’s looks yummy and I’ve gotten hungry again just writing this!
If you’re looking for a location with beautiful views and great food for a special event or wedding, consider The Westin. Here are some of the amazing views from the roof!
Thanks to Ron and the boys for coaching and playing football, so I could attend Dine Tampa Bay’s #FSEatUp at AQUA with my wonderful friend Isabel!