Meet Up/Eat Up (@GrillSmith)

Dine Tampa Bay Restaurant Week is in full swing and we couldn’t be happier.  After the Celebri-Chef Cook-Off last week it’s amazing we could even fit anything else into our full stomachs, but we just couldn’t pass up the eat up happening at GrillSmith on S. Dale Mabry. I was excited to get back into the restaurant as it had been over a year since I’ve been there but after last night I definitely won’t wait that long again.

Last night Nicholas, Ryan and I headed over to the restaurant and were led to a private dining area. We were introduced to Shelly, the Senior Marketing Manager, Jeff, the Sales and Catering Coordinator and Jared who is in charge of pr and social media. Our server Megan came over and let us know it was happy hour. I had heard from Nicholas that GrillSmith has one of the best happy hours in town so I was excited to check it out. The happy hour runs  every day from 4-7 and includes  $5 martinis and wine specials for around $4, plus much more! I grabbed a Stella (shocker) while Nicholas went for the white wine. We took our seats as the other diners filed in. The table included two menus- one for the tasting, and one was their Dine Tampa Bay pre–fix menu. After reviewing them we were ready to jump in.

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We started with the Crunchy Ahi Tuna Wontons. One thing I loved about this eat up was that they brought out an example of how the meal would be presented had we ordered right from the menu, but brought everything out as a sharing plate which was a great idea and definitely encouraged conversation between everyone. The ahi tuna was served on top of a wonton with a scoop of avocado salad and was great alone, but when we added the sesame thai sauce it added just an extra kick.

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Next we would be sampling the Spicy Thai Shrimp. I’m not one for spicy things but this was just the perfect amount of sriracha aioli to satisfy my taste buds. It was the kind of appetizer you could start eating and then forget to stop, but we forced ourselves to slow down before we were too full for the rest of the dishes.

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Next we moved onto the main courses. Billy, the President of GrillSmith served us their Lemon Feta Chicken. This dish was served with artichoke hearts (one of our favorites) and sun-dried tomatoes. While the meal was extremely tasty, one of the other diners made the comment of “Where’s the feta?” And I quickly realized mine was lacking as well, but it was still a delicious meal.

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After the chicken was devoured it was time for Billy to bring out the Tomato Basil Pasta. Remember in our Magnificent Manly Meatballs post where I mentioned how amazing GrillSmith’s bruschetta is? Well they obviously know how amazing it is too and incorporated it into this dish. It was really hard to determine which dish I liked better and I’m still contemplating it as I write this post. The two were so different that it’s honestly a tie. You’ll just have to try both for yourselves.

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Charging on… Billy brought us out an item not on the tasting menu, but is apparently one of their most popular dishes- their Filet Tip Eggrolls. A few of us decided to give this item a taste and quickly saw why they are a customer favorite. The roll was composed of mushrooms, caramelized onions, bleu cheese, and obviously filet tips. It comes with a duo of sauces, a Dijon-Horseradish and in true eggroll condiment fashion- Soy Sauce. I went the nontraditional route and opted for the Dijon-Horseradish. Suggestion for next tasting: Include this item. It was definitely my favorite of the night.

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After some spicy dishes it was  time for something sweet. Cue the Mini Brownie Parfait, a variation of their regular menu item, the Ultimate Brownie Parfait. Although it was just a mini tasting it was the perfect amount to satisfy my constant sweet tooth. If ordering off the menu we suggest sharing with someone else.

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Restaurant Week is well underway and we’ve been cruising from place to place to take advantage of these amazing menus at tons of restaurants in the area. Send us a tweet or post to our Facebook and let us know what places you’ve eaten and which ones you’re dying to try! Maybe we’ll meet ya there!

Happy Restaurant Hopping!- Allison

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