If you follow me on Instagram, I apologize – you’ve seen all these photos.

Tampa isn’t somewhere I have on my list of “places to visit” – however, we try and go to one out-of-town ECU game each season and Tampa seemed like a fun place to watch the Pirates play.  And let’s be honest, any excuse to get out of town is a good excuse to me.  The weekend was amazing and we even made it on t.v.  Here’s a recap of the weekend via Instagram.

We stayed at the Epicurean Hotel and I’m pretty sure this hotel was meant for me.  It’s a foodie’s Heaven.  I have requested a repeat trip…and I rarely do that.

We kicked off the weekend on Friday afternoon with a couple of drinks at the hotel bar.  The bars at this hotel aren’t your hotel bars – quality drinks and ingredients.

Later on that evening, we headed to Ciro’s, a Speakeasy that I was dying to visit.  Super secretive, you have to call in advance to get the password for the night.  And once inside, it’s like stepping back in time.  The cocktails were strong and classic and we devoured an order for Duck Fries.

Friday night we dined at Mise en Place and had the pleasure of enjoying a tasting menu.  While the food and wine was fantastic, the service didn’t make me excited to be doing the tasting.  I was hoping the waiters would get into the menu and would really describe what I was eating with passion – oh well.  The braised short rib risotto was by far one of the best bites of the entire trip.  I’ve never tasted risotto so complex.

A 7pm kick off really threw off my original plans but it all worked out.  After a much needed massage, we headed to lunch at Datz.  Big Guy found this restaurant online and I was really impressed with the service and the food.  A different kind of game day tailgate but I’ll take it.

We randomly ended up going out to a tailgate lot a couple of hours before the game.  With a cooler packed with our essentials:  champs, vodka and OJ, we headed to watch the Pirates play.

We ended up running into a few folks we knew which made it even more fun.

During the game, I got a few text messages letting me know that we were famous.

Thankfully I wasn’t doing anything embarrassing.

The next morning we were up ready to enjoy a full day in Tampa.  First up, riding bikes to find coffee.

Oh, how I crave being able to ride bikes to get coffee and walk to grab a glass of wine.

Brunch Sunday was at The Refinery.  A lovely, yet small restaurant that I never would have come across had I not seen a recommendation in a magazine.

We started off with a round of ManMosa – basically, a big mimosa.  Hey, it was a true Sunday Funday.

The menus change with the seasons and I ended up going with Greens, Eggs and Ham:  collards, shoulder ham, poached eggs, biscuit & pot likker in a bowl of grits.

Seriously, the best grits I’ve ever tasted.

After a little more exploring, we headed up to the rooftop bar at the hotel for a drink before getting fancied up for dinner.

On Sunday night, we had reservations at Bern’s, which was truly a unique culinary experience.  If you ever get the opportunity to dine at Bern’s I highly suggest it.  The food and incredible but the service is impeccable.

It’s dinners like this that I never want to end.  We wined and dined and then went on a tour of the kitchen which was amazing.  They have 80 staff on the floor each night.  The kitchen was hustling but calm all at the same time.  My favorite part of the evening was the tour of the wine cellar.   The most expensive bottle they had that evening was $30,000.  Yes, you read that right.

I’ve never been surrounded by so much wine.

After the tour, we were seated in the dessert room where we shared a couple of the most incredible desserts.

An unforgettable evening.

And now I’m here.

Back at work.

And day dreaming about our next adventure.



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