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Council Oak Steaks & Seafood offers diners a ‘social hour’ worth trying

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Full disclosure: I was invited to Council Oak Steaks & Seafood for a media dinner where food was served complimentary. These opinions are my own and do not reflect Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.

Tampa is a happy hour town. You can wander to most bars and find a decent happy hour menu with cheeses, small bites, and discounted cocktails on any given day of the week. Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tampa is doing things are little differently at Council Oak Steaks & Seafood.

Instead of offering heavily discounted appetizers with tiny bites, Council Oak has opted instead to provide diners with shareable entries that offer complexity in flavors that you might not find anywhere else in Tampa. The price points will run anywhere from $ 10 to $ 40 depending on the item.

The most noticeable item on the menu, which occurs daily from 3PM-6PM for a limited time, is the Japanese Wagyu Carpaccio ($ 15). I am a fan of beef carpaccio in general, but the bold flavors of the wagyu on top of a crostini is not to be missed. The heavy flavors of the meats on the menu almost ensures you are going to want beer or a cocktail to wash down your food and luckily they have provided some great choices.

During my visit I had the Vina Cobos Felino Malbec ($ 12) which was a great red to pair with the meat dishes, especially the Council Oak Prime Burger ($ 22), rich with flavor and an egg with yolk that will run all over your tongue. The portion is generous, but the price certainly makes this something you want to share. The added truffle fries are just another layer in a meal that will most certainly be a pleasant trip for diners.

The Council Oak Bacon ($ 14), aged in-house, is for true believers only. Four thick slabs of bacon will arrive on your table with a tiny side salad. The balsamic reduction will perfectly complement the fatty pork in your mouth. It reminds me of a millionaire’s bacon, but more refined.

For those looking for something on the lighter side, there is the Council Oak House Salad ($ 11). This salad features salami, prosciutto, bacon, tomatoes, egg, mozzarella, and house dressing. It is an excellent salad and perfect with some wine. The tomatoes and dried egg yolk on top is my favorite part. The salami is also excellent and noticeably not too salty.

There are several other options on the social hour menu such as Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail, Tuna Tartare, Caesar Salad, a N.Y. Strip Steak Sandwich, and a Beef Tenderloin, but personally I wanted to experience things I can’t find anywhere else. I would still be interested in trying them in the future though after seeing how masterfully everything was served at Council Oak for social hour.

Social Hour at Council Oak Steaks & Seafood offers excellent options that can be shared by diners before a night on the town. The elegant environment of the bar complements the menu that seems to have been carefully planned. I recommend stopping by soon to try it.

Restaurant Name: Council Oak Steaks & Seafood

Venue: Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Tampa

Address: 5223 Orient Rd, Tampa, FL 33610

Phone Number: (813) 627-7600

Website: http://www.seminolehardrocktampa.com/dining/fine-dining/council-oak-steaks-and-seafood

Carlos Eats

November 21, 2019 |

Social Hour at Council Oak Steaks & Seafood now available (Tampa)

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Full disclosure: I was invited to Council Oak Steaks & Seafood for a media preview of their new Social Hour menu. I was offered a complimentary meal in exchange for my opinion about their menu. Opinions are my own and do not reflect Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino or any affiliates.

There are few restaurants in Tampa that offer Happy Hour deals on the weekends, but Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino has a few offerings for those of us looking both on weekdays and weekends.

Council Oak Steaks & Seafood has joined the list of places to put on your happy hour radar with their new Social Hour that is now offered daily from 4PM-6PM. I recently tried a wide-range of menu items with other local bloggers and Instagram users and many of the dishes were great.

The Social Hour dishes are not available during regular dining hours are thought of as a unique draw for the juggernaut of Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa.

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My favorite is the Skuna Bay Salmon Tartare ($ 15). This dish has some excellent salmon paired with Citrus Crème Fraîche and has a really amazing flavor profile.

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A close runner-up is the Fried Green Tomato Caprese Stack ($ 13) – which is a must-share dish. Truly excellent flavor profiles are found throughout and there is an obvious effort by the chef to make this menu different from your average happy hour re-hash menu.

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If you’re craving some meat, I recommend the Grilled Beef Tenderloin Skewers ($ 17) which really show you the attention and care to detail the Council Oak Steaks & Seafood has to their meat. The blended herb chimichurri is breathtakingly unique.

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As far as cocktails are concerned my favorite drink on the menu is their Cucumber Gimlet ($ 10) made with Effen Cucumber Vodka, Elderflower, Pear Nectar, Lemon Juice, and Sparkling Wine.

The drink prices are fairly affordable for a casino and the food is made to be shared, but if you’re really hungry you might need to order a few appetizers to be truly satisfied or maybe just head on over for a true steak dinner. 

Social Hour is held in the Council Oak Steaks & Seafood Lounge which is open Sunday to Thursday from 4PM to 11PM and Friday & Saturday from 4PM to 1AM. Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino is located at 5223 Orient Road, Tampa, FL, 33610.

Check out the Social Hour menu here: http://www.seminolehardrocktampa.com/files/1634/Council-Oak-Social-Hour-Menu.pdf

Carlos Eats

December 2, 2018 |

The Rez Grill Hard Rock Tampa happy hour impresses

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Full disclosure: I was invited to The Rez Grill for a tasting of their happy hour menu. Any opinions displayed are my own and do not represent Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa.

Last week I went out to The Rez Grill for a happy hour tasting (called “Social Hour) at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tampa. Guests can enjoy food and cocktails for just $ 7 from 3PM-6PM from Wednesday-Saturday.

During my visit I tried to stick to things I didn’t try during my last tasting. I do recommend the Benton’s Ham based on my last visit.

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My favorite thing I tried was the banh mi! It was incredibly delicious and totally a great deal. We liked it so much that we ordered it twice. This banh mi is gourmet, the bread perfection, and the chef makes the Pâté from scratch and it shows. Also the pork…so good!

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The second thing I would recommend is the Smoked Fish Dip. The fish itself depends on the day you visit, but I had Rainbow Trout in my dip and it was truly delectable down to every last taste.

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The chopped salad is what you would expect from at traditional restaurant, it had some remnants of a 1905 salad to it. Not a bad option when you’re sipping on some of their sangria.

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Note: The sangria at The Rez Grill comes in a caprisun pouch and is called When We Were Young. It’s a novelty that is really catching on. The sangria was excellent and was clearly soaked in plenty of fruit. They thankfully put the straw in before I had the pouch, saving me the trouble of trying to put the straw into the pouch.

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For cocktails I only tried the 1944 Mai Tai which packed a punch and was more than enough for me during the visit. I’d really like to try more of the drinks in the future and I’m actually going to return this week for happy hour again.

Free parking at Hard Rock Tampa and this menu certainly makes The Rez Grill and attractive happy hour spot that I highly recommend that you check out soon.

Join the Tampa Bay Foodies Club for a Meetup on Wednesday, 6/13: http://www.meetup.com/Tampa-Bay-Foodies-Club/events/251532483/

Carlos Eats

June 16, 2018 |

Oishi launches early bird sushi happy hour (Channelside)

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Full disclosure: This is a sponsored post for Oishi Sushi located in Channelside. I was invited to taste the sushi in exchange for writing up a post about their new sushi happy hour and for my opinion on their sushi. Any opinions written are my own and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the sponsor.

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Oishi Ultimate Japanese Cuisine located in Channelside has launched an early bird sushi happy hour for hungry fans to enjoy sushi at more than reasonable pricing. The special is every day from 4PM-7PM except during special events.

Enjoy Gyoza, Shumai, and Karage (Japanese Fried Chicken) for just $ 4 during happy hour. Sushi rolls are $ 5 or $ 6 and include favorites such as the Rainbow Roll, Volcano Roll, Hi-5, Rock Lava, and more.

Hibachi is also discounted during the early bird special to $ 12-$ 14.

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It had been some time since I visited Oishi (or Channelside) and was really impressed with how good everything tasted.

Oishi seems less busy now that the Tampa Riverwalk has taken much of the thunder of Channelside, but the product still tastes fresh and approachable.

I remember a similar thing happening in the past with Qachbal’s Chocolatier downstairs. The shut down of the movie theater in Channelside really hurt the local businesses there.

Love boat sushi from Oishi

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During my visit I tried the Double O Roll, Fire Fighter Roll, Hurricane Roll, and Sex on the Moon.

I normally wouldn’t order sauce on my sushi and keep my rolls fairly simple, but these rolls had balance and you could taste each part well. The caviar and roe on top of the rolls was a nice touch.

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My favorite roll I tried was the Hurricane Roll ($ 11.50) which is spicy octopus, conch, avocado, and fish egg inside a roll topped with white and red tuna, onions with spicy mayo, and eel sauce on the side. I am not normally a fan of octopus – but I gobbled it up.

Another favorite was the Sex on the Moon ($ 12.95) which has cream cheese, asparagus, avocado, eel, shrimp tempura, smelt roe with tuna, tempura flakes, eel sauce, spicy mayo, caviar, scallion, and sesame. Cream cheese and asparagus in my sushi rolls are not my thing normally, but I was impressed at the flavor combination. I recommend it.

If it was up to me, I would have some live music and try to have more events and promotions to bring people back to Channelside – the plaza is still great for having events – it has to compete more now that the Riverwalk is busy with tourists and locals though.

I hope local businesses like Oishi pull through – if you haven’t been in awhile I recommend heading back for a taste – the happy hour is more than fair.

See full happy hour menu:

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BONUS: Since Oishi is located next to Thai Thani – they also have delicious Thai Tea 🙂

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Restaurant Name: Oishi Ultimate Japanese Cuisine

Cuisine: Japanese, Sushi

Neighborhood: Downtown Tampa, Channelside

Address: 615 Channelside Dr. Tampa, FL 33602

Phone: (813) 228-9202

Website: http://oishitampa.com

 

 


Carlos Eats

June 11, 2017 |
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