There is so much to explore and get involved with at the Epicurean Hotel and it’s surrounding SoHo neighborhood. During our recent three night stay, we tried pretty much everything. Here are our “Top 10 things you Must Do” while visiting this chic Tampa getaway.
1. Dine at Élevage
At the Epicurean’s restaurant Élevage executive chef Chad Johnson has prepared an exceptional menu, elevating some of your favorite dishes into culinary masterpieces. The list includes some southern specialties, inspirations from his Kentucky roots, and even a nod to Tampa’s Legendary Bern’s Steak House’s famous aged steaks. At the top of my list were the Cedar Plank Salmon, Fried Green Tomatoes, and the Epicurean Salad. Make sure to order the Blackened Blue Crab Deviled Eggs for a special treat! The cocktail list includes great staples like the Epicurean Old Fashioned, which was so great my husband ordered it three days in a row. I started off my stay with a Strawberry Clover Club at the bar, and wish I had one one in front of me now. Yum!
2. Wet Your Whistle on the Rooftop at the EDGE
At dusk, make your way to the rooftop lounge appropriately named the EDGE. While a bit warm in the summer, spring and fall see swarms of socialites pack in the elevators to mingle and rub shoulders at this trendy hang out. Mixologists create new specials each week of small batch private label liquors. If you are looking for a fashionable escape for drinks and laughter, the EDGE is your spot.
3. Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth at Chocolate Pi
Privately owned by Bern’s Steak house’s Executive Pastry Chef Kim Yelvington, this French Patisserie showcases tasty macarons, and tempting pastries. Enjoy a specialty soda, coffee, or hot chocolate with made from scratch marshmallows. Tip! Check in at Chocolate Pi on your Yelp App and see what you earn. No I’m not telling, you will have to see for yourself:)
4. Unwind at Evangeline Spa
Named after a figure in a famous poem Bern Laxer cherished, Evangeline Spa is a culinary inspired escape. Food and Wine based skin and body care melt away the cares of the world. We enjoyed a couples package including a soak in the light therapy jacuzzi tub and massage. For me a great spa experience is almost spiritual. Evangeline, nailed it!
5. Bike Bayshore Blvd
Get outdoors and enjoy Tampa’s sunny weather. Ride one of the Epicurean’s bikes (at no charge) a short distance to famous Bayshore Blvd and see Tampa’s skyline at it’s best. Grab a picnic to go or stop at the local shops for some retail therapy.
6. Make a Splash Poolside
Cool down after your ride at the pool. While it’s relatively quiet during the week, during the summer weekends feature a neighborhood party complete with DJ and specialty poolside menu.
7. Tour Bern’s Steak House
Put your visit to the Epicurean in context by visiting the legendary Bern’s Steak House and requesting a tour. Located directly across the street, you will be enlightened as you travel through this well oiled machine. The vastness of the operation is astounding. I think you will agree there is nothing quite like Bern’s. Learn about the transformation from burger joint to world class steakhouse, and find out just how many bottles of wine (including extremely rare vintages) are housed in Bern’s private collection (Hint: The answer might blow your mind). Bern’s Steak House’s partnership with Mainsail Lodging and Development turned into the foodie destination that is the Epicurean. Seeing where it all began will really open your eyes.
8. The Epicurean Theatre
Meet famous chefs and hear them discuss their favorite recipes, and personal anecdotes in this state of the art cooking theatre. Multiple cameras capture the live action and display on the big screens as you inhale the aromas of fresh ingredients coming together in front of you to create world class plates. Then enjoy them for yourselves while trading stories with like minded enthusiasts. A guaranteed night to remember.
9. Explore the Art
A tremendous amount of time, thought, and effort went into the curation of the Epicurean. While you are tasting and drinking all the delicious fare, make sure to take a good look around and meander through the halls to appreciate the details. Light fixtures inspired by whisks, giant replicas of forks, knives, and meat tenderizers, Tampa memorabilia, antiques discovered in Bern’s personal collection on display for your to touch and feel, and wine crates turned into walls… you will be delighted at the character.
10. Peruse the Library
Though much of the hotel is quite modern, take a walk back in time to the library where you can cozy up with vintage cook books, and a glass of wine.
You are only limited by your imagination at the Epicurean. Seek out this iconic destination and engage with birds of a feather who flock together to indulge in the joys of the culinary universe.
For truly at the Epicurean Hotel “Pleasure is the Greatest Good”.
Enjoy the Journey!
xo- Amy West
Read my full review of the Epicurean Hotel – “A Standing O for the Epicurean“
See more images from my Epicurean experience on facebook here.