Happy Foodie Friday, my friends! If you haven’t heard of Ulele, one of the “Top 100 Restaurants in the U.S. by Open Table”, than I have to assume you’re living under a rock. Located in Tampa Heights, Ulele is a restaurant you’ll want to dine at!
When I told my husband I’d be attending an event at Ulele, his only reply was, “no fair.” He too has been jonesing to dine at, “One of the Best New Restaurants in Florida by Florida Trend.” I know for sure, we’ll be visiting again very soon. Not to mention, my husband, a fourth generation Tampa boy, would love the history behind Ulele
The restaurant is named after Princess Ulele, the young daughter of a local Tocobaga chief, Hirrihigua, believed to have saved a member of a Spanish expedition out of love. A story that sounds quite similar to the Pochantas tale, but decades before the story we all know. A bronze statute of her surrounded by a water and fire will be displayed outside, soon.
From their website, “Ulele (pronounced You-lay-lee) celebrates the vibrant fusion of ingredients from Florida waters and land once home to many Native Americans, including the young princess Ulele. Expect intricately flavored, visually appealing dishes prepared on the 10′ diameter barbacoa grill.”
Visually appealing is a huge understatement, ya’ll. Each dish was prettier than the last, and I couldn’t tell you which plate I enjoyed eating the most. Yes, I can. I lied to you; a perfectly cooked filet mignon, from Strickland Farms in Myakka City. Or maybe it was the mac and cheese we started with [no photo, because I was too busy beginning a gloriously elegant food coma, if such a thing exists]…no, no, no, I lied again. My favorite dish was for sure the Squash Gratin: horno roasted squash, zucchini, red onion and tomato, with a Manchego crust.
I truly couldn’t tell you what my favorite dish was, so instead I will just share my photos.
…and dessert! Be still, my heart!!
Ulele also brews their own beer on site, and we were lucky enough to meet Head Brewmaster, Timothy Shackton. A man you can tell, that is so very passionate about his brews. Ulele’s beers are minimal in ingredients and as a girl who enjoys commercial beers and not too many crafts, I can tell you that Buckhorn’s Black Lager, named after our city’s mayor, was my absolute favorite – cold fermented Schwarzbier containing a blend of dark rye malts and oatmeal. If that isn’t saying something, than I don’t know what does.
There is so much history behind Ulele, and local support and buzz within the community. Things like this make my heart so very happy! Please visit Ulele [make a reservation!] and see for yourself, my foodie friends. Happy Friday!
Have you been to Ulele yet?
*I did receive dinner with the Tampa Bay Bloggers in exchange for my review. I promise all of these fabulous opinions are my own*