CopperFish is Golden


Recently, I had the opportunity to dine at CopperFish Seafood Grill & Oyster Bar with some fellow bay area bloggers. The event was nicknamed #BloggerFish. Owners Gordon Davis and wife Lorena wanted to show off what they have done with the menu since taking over the restaurant. I am happy to say that the menu was a huge success.

I started the evening off at the bar with a Southside Royale. This was a light and refreshing cocktail consisted of champagne, gin, and other refreshing aromatics such as mint.

2015-04-30 18.37.24The waitress then brought out some sweet and spicy fried shrimp. CopperFish’s take on “Bang Bang” shrimp. These were a huge hit and I loved the freshly sliced jalapeno I got to combine with the shrimp that gave the dish its peppery bite.

2015-04-30 18.42.46

We got a chance to see the mesquite wood fired grill put to use. Well we didn’t actually get to see it, but we did get to taste what came off of that grill, glorious plump oysters with just a smattering of hard cheese melted about. I would’ve eaten these all night long.

2015-04-30 18.47.06

After a little while we were whisked away to a back room appropriately nicknamed, “The Cottage”. This room had one large table that could seat about 18 people and the decor was so serene and cozy. They usually rent the room out or hold functions there.

2015-04-30 19.11.35

It was great that I got to share this room for the evening with the Davis’ and fellow bloggers. It was truly a great time eating, chatting, and of course taking a few photos.

A simple, yet well executed bibb salad made its way in front of me while I devoured homemade sourdough boule. I loved the crispness of the salad with julienned apple and a sharp vinaigrette.

2015-04-30 19.32.37

My main entrée consisted of black grouper that was thick cut and had a fabulous meatiness. It was clean tasting, cooked perfectly as to retain some moisture with just a smidge of sauce and was accompanied with a brussels sprout, fresh mushrooms, and squash hash. I love that each entrée has a different side that comes with it. Too often restaurants just offer the same sides for numerous dish and you don’t get the sense of individuality.

2015-04-30 20.13.41Last but certainly not least I indulged in some outstanding chocolate souffle. It was gooey on the inside and light and fluffy on the exterior. I broke open the center and put a dollop of vanilla ice cream on the inside as well, just because.

2015-04-30 20.49.45 2015-04-30 20.53.07

The evening was great insight into the care that the Davis’ have put forth into this venture. Flying farm raised beef in from Colorado, sourcing mesquite wood from Texas, harvesting seafood locally. All while not making things too stuffy. Trying to keep the atmosphere intriguing, yet inviting and casual. I would definitely visit CopperFish again and urge you to do the same.

Buncha Mumbo Gumbo


Give a man a bowl of gumbo, he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man how to make gumbo, he’ll apparently eat for eternity.

The weekend. The perfect time to whip up a batch of food that will last a few meals during the upcoming work week. I’ve been trying to get in the mode of making batch food since I don’t have as much time on my hands with the little one now in the fold. What I thought was going to be a nice big batch of gumbo turned into a monster batch. I’m pretty sure it’ll last us this week and I will have to portion the rest out and freeze it. Not a bad problem to have with food as delicious as chicken, smoked sausage, and shrimp gumbo.  Continue reading Buncha Mumbo Gumbo

Khachapuri, Georgian Cheese, Bread and Egg Awesomeness


I could be Georgian. According to a 2009 survey, 88% of Georgians prefer khachapuri to pizza. If being Georgian meant that I would always get to consume a dish filled with runny rich eggs, doughy baked bread, and gooey cheesy deliciousness, then dammit, call me Georgian. By Georgian I don’t mean that state north of Florida either, I mean the Republic of Georgia located right in the middle of Europe and Asia. Such simple yet fabulous cuisine.

I ran across a recipe from my favorite blogger, Lady and Pups, specific to this dish. It took me a while to get around to making it with baby Arya monopolizing so much of my time these days. It is a pretty tall order to add new recipes to my repertoire being a new dad and all. Really the dish is as easy as could be, if you’ve made pizza before you can make khachapuri. You prepare a dough, make a thick bechamel laced with tons of cheese, form the dough, spread some salty oily tapenade on the dough, fill with cheese mixture, bake and top with a raw egg yolk, at least that’s the version I made. Depending on the region, the make up of the dish will vary, just like pizza. Heh.

Continue reading Khachapuri, Georgian Cheese, Bread and Egg Awesomeness

#GiveAndGrub, Sticking it to Hunger One Meal at a Time


Hunger facts:

  • From 2008 to 2012, the average number of families in Hillsborough County living below the poverty level was 16.5%—higher than the state average, which was 15.6%, according to Feeding America Tampa Bay.
  • An estimated 700,000 people in the region are struggling with hunger—250,000 of those people are children, according to Feeding America Tampa Bay.
  • 37% of the members of West Central Florida households that Feeding America Tampa Bay serves are children under 18 years of age.

Give and Grub is such a fantastic concept and it would be amazing if more businesses had the foresight to use their influence. I was invited to check out this particular food truck, which is usually parked outside Amalie Arena (home of the Tampa Bay Lightning) with a group of fellow bloggers and I was amazed with the quality food as well as the quality staff heading up this operation. For each gourmet menu item sold or “#GiveAndGrub” used on Twitter, Laser Spine Institute will donate one meal to a hungry child or family in need.

Give and Grub Blog event-3

All of the dishes are named after Tampa Bay Lightning players which is a nice local twist. My favorite dish of the evening was their Hedman’s Steak Tacos. These are slow marinated skirt steak, house roasted corn Pico de Gallo and Tijuana rice and topped with a spicy chipotle ranch. I loved the fact that they double up on the taco shells. So many places fail at this and you end up with a soupy mess of ingredients with a disintegrated shell.

Give and Grub Blog event-11

Give and Grub unveiled a new dish as well. The Thunder Steak Sandwich accompanied with Cross-Check Sweet Potato Fries. The cheese steak sandwich consists of grilled steak, smoked gouda, sautéed onions and mushrooms on a freshly baked roll. The sweet potato fries are topped with sea salt, marshmallow and butterscotch drizzle. I couldn’t stop eating those damn sweet potato fries.

Give and Grub is a leader in social media, here are their links:

Website: http://www.giveandgrub.com/

Twitter: @GiveandGrub

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/giveandgrub

Instagram: http://instagram.com/giveandgrub/

Locate: http://www.giveandgrub.com/where-is-give-and-grub/

I’ll leave you with some great photos from the event. Just writing this post has made me crave some of this fabulous food.

Give and Grub Blog event-6 Give and Grub Blog event-5 Give and Grub Blog event-7 Give and Grub Blog event-8 Give and Grub Blog event-9
Give and Grub Blog event Give and Grub Blog event-4

Broccoli Rabe and Salami Pizza


I made an awesome pizza last night for the wife and myself using my favorite method of pizza making. The broiler+Baking Steel method. The dough had had 4 days to cold ferment in the fridge. Ridiculous flavor!

After a layer of fresh garlicky tomato sauce ladened with sticky estra virgin olive oil I hit the pizza with some grated Pecorino Romano. For the heft portion of the pizza I added blanched and chopped broccoli rabe as well as sliced dried Italian salami and sliced Margherita brand pepperoni. I just love how the pork products get those crispy edges and create glorious pockets for that cheese to settle in. Low-moisture mozzarella works for me most of the time and that’s what I used here. You can sub in cubes of fresh mozzarella if you wish.

You can find my previous post about how I create my pizzas HERE. Nothing goes better with a great pizza than a great beer. So indulge and enjoy. Cheers!

Broccoli rabe and pepperoni pizza with bba barleywine-5 Broccoli rabe and pepperoni pizza with bba barleywine Broccoli rabe and pepperoni pizza with bba barleywine-6

Blueberry/Peach Vietnamese Cinnamon Ice Cream atop Apple Cheddar Waffle


Blueberry-Peach Ice Cream atop apple cheddar waffle

 

Nice and easy late night dessert.  Homemade ice cream from the freezer and leftover apple cheddar waffles heated back up in the toaster.  Roll it up and enjoy your waffle ice cream sandwich.  Would be great for brunch too.