Union New American a step above the competition in WestShore District

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Full disclosure: I was invited to sample the menu at Union New American. Any opinions express here are my own and do not represent the restaurant or staff there.

Union New American is one of WestShore’s hottest new restaurants with elegant decor and a modern look from Next Level Brands (Boulon, Forbici). The local restaurant stands out in a neighborhood filled with older steakhouses and chains. It’s proximity to Tampa International Airport and I-275 makes it a convenient for anyone on both sides of the bay.

I checked out the restaurant for dinner tonight. The first thing I noticed was how beautiful the bar is. The seating is comfortable and spacious. There were big parties there, including some people stopping by after the Bucs game.

I started off with the Lychee Lover cocktail ($ 18), which features Drumshanbo Gin, St-Germain, Tart Grapefruit, Lychee Lavender Cordial. It was a very refreshing cocktail and I swore I almost tasted Calpico. It was very Japanese. I could drink it down very easily.

My guest enjoyed a glass of Frank Family Cabernet Sauvignon ($ 28) from Napa Valley. A solid choice.

For an appetizer, we shared the Wood Fired Shrimp ($ 24) made with Calabrian Chile, White Wine, and Garlic Butter Sauce. The sauce was exquisite and each bite of shrimp was delicious. The plating was memorable. It could make a good shareable over a drink if you are only craving a few bites.

We also had the Parker House Milk Bread ($ 6) made with Cultured Butter, Honey, Fresh Thyme. The bread was our favorite. My guest has never had milk bread and it isn’t that common in Tampa, although it should be. It was decadent. Flavorful. Sweet and salty.

The Pepino Papi ($ 18) features Codigo 1530 Blanco, Mr. Q Cumber Soda, Thai Herb Elixir. This drink tastes very similar to a Pimm’s Cup and I think adding Pimm’s would be the only perfect add-on. You can’t even tell it is tequila, but it is very refreshing and packs a punch.

For the main course I decided to order a few sushi rolls.

The Union Roll ($ 44) is made with Alaskan King Crab, Wagyu Tartare, Asparagus, Black Garlic Molasses, Truffle Aioli. This roll is obviously filled with premium products. Personally, I can only eat a little wagyu before I feel overwhelmed, but it was good. I think they should sell the Alaskan King Crab and have the Wagyu Tartare as upcharge. The fried Alaskan King Crab was incredibly delicious, we loved it.

Korean BBQ Salmon Roll ($ 24) comes with Salmon, Cucumber, Charred Allium, Gochujang, Sesame Oil, Honey, Togarashi. This roll was a unique take on Korean BBQ. I wasn’t sure how the gochujang would work with it or if it would be too spicy, but I am happy to report that it was the correct blend of flavors. I think the roll would be even better if they tried torching the salmon on top. Just an idea though.

Kojo’s Rainbow Roll ($ 25) features Spicy Tuna, Scallion, Cucumber, Crowned With Avocado, Salmon And Yellowtail. This is pretty much your premium rainbow roll that you will find at most sushi bars. This is a good way to see the difference between the sushi at Union and some typical sushi bars. It’s flavorful, but not quite as unique.

We also tried the Shrimp Fried Rice ($ 19) with Carrots, English Peas, Scallions. The rice was moist and delicious. Honestly it’s one of the best fried rice dishes I have enjoyed in Tampa. They have a plate of Iberico Pork that comes with fried rice and would consider that after trying this. Recommend this!

My guest ordered the Green Circle Farms Roast Chicken ($ 39) with Confit Vegetables and Onion Jus. This dish felt very French and savory. I enjoyed this dish as well, but think I made the right choice with sushi.

The Wood Fired Cauliflower ($ 14) really hit the spot and is great for being both a healthy vegetable item that also tastes great.

The vibe at Union is not pretentious, which is nice for locals to enjoy. I think the vibe feels elegant though. I noticed many guests celebrating birthdays or on dates. The menu serves a variety of American dishes, Asian food, and Steakhouse classics. It’s a little bit of everything.

The New American Old Fashioned ($ 18) made with Makers Mark, Butter-washed Laird’s Apple Brandy, Brown Sugar Cinnamon and Cherry-Vanilla Bitters was the perfect way to end the meal with a classic drink that washed down all the flavors in my mouth.

Overall, the food quality at Union New American is a step above the competition in the area. There is an obvious effort to create a change in WestShore and provide something local and different. I think Union is worth visiting and a great place to go on a date or have a celebration. They also offer lunch and a private room for events. Also – please make sure you try that milk bread and fried rice!

Join me on Substack at Tampa Today News.

Restaurant Name: Union New American

Address: 1111 N Westshore Blvd, Tampa, FL 33607

Phone Number: (813) 768-9989

Website: uniontampa.com

Menu: uniontampa.com/menu

Carlos Eats

November 13, 2023 |

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