Foodie Adventures,Happy Hour Somewhere,Tampa Eats

Foodie Adventure: California Pizza Kitchen New Menu

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It’s Foodie Friday!    I had the amazing opportunity to preview the new tastes and ambience of  the California Pizza Kitchen at International Plaza as part of a special sponsored blogger event.  The California Pizza Kitchen new menu has some pretty impressive additions, making this one of my favorite foodie adventures this year.   Ironically, only one of the new dishes was a new pizza.   I’ll be the first to admit it; I had not been to a CPK in quite some time.  When I did go, I never ordered anything other than pizza.    When a place with “pizza” in its name starts  expanding beyond that, I get a little worried.  However CPK’s new menu additions were overall winners.  If you haven’t visited since the end of June this year, then I’ve got several reasons to entice you to go.

Pizza

The newest pizza is the Sunny Side Up Bacon + Potato Pizza.   It has potatoes, Nueske’s applewood smoked bacon, caramelized leeks, parmesan, mozzarella, and topped with 2 sunny side up eggs.  Eggs on pizza was very adventurous for me, but one bite and I was sold.

Cpk pizza

Appetizers/Salads

Now these next 2 dishes changed my life.   They have introduced a new appetizer, Brussels and Bacon Flatbread.  I hated Brussels Sprouts as a kid and in my opinion, they had no place in my life.  But this fortuitous experience broadened my horizons.  They also used roasted Brussels Sprouts as a side dish and I loved them.  In fact I enjoyed them so much that I was inspired to do some experimental cooking of my own with Brussels sprouts at home. [Brussels Sprouts That Taste Good]

Cpk brussel sprouts

The second life-changing dish was the Harvest Kale salad, with baby kale, toasted farro, butternut squash, Napa cabbage, shaved pear, marinated cranberries, spiced pecans, goat cheese, and a citrus vinaigrette.   The unassuming star of this show was the butternut squash.   I have cooked with butternut squash but never had I eaten it cold this way…mind blown!   I’ll be adding that one to the rotation.   There are a lot of players in this salad, but they came together with a big party in my mouth!

Cpk harvest salad

Libation (that’s fancy talk for drinks!)

CPK has quite the drink menu.  There is a great variety of wines, two types of sangria, and wine flights.  There are also some great new cocktails, handcrafted and made fresh, the way cocktails are meant to be.

Blueberry Ginger Smash – Jack Daniels, Agave nectar, ginger, fresh blueberries, lime, and cranberry juice

Cpk blueberry ginger smash

St. Germain Blood Orange Sangria  – St. Germain elderflower liqueur, bacardi lemon, chardonnay
St. Germain is my favorite liqueur on the planet so I was super geeked about this one!

St Germain

California Roots – Sdveka vodka, fresh avocado, mint, agave sour, fennel salt rim
This green cocktail knocked everyone’s socks off.  Avocado in a drink is simply just not the norm.   This was a winner and worth a trip after work every Friday just to drink this cocktail!

Cpk cocktail

Main Plates

Roasted Garlic Chicken + Seasonal Vegetables – crispy skin chicken breast  in lemon garlic sauce with hearth roasted potatoes, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and Mediterranean herbs

I loved this dish.  The chicken was moist and tender and so full of flavor.   This was my favorite entrée of the day.

Chicken cpk

The other notable main dishes were the fire grilled rib-eye topped with a creamy bleu cheese butter (that butter should be sold by the pounds!), hearth roasted halibut, and cedar plank salmon.   I enjoyed the halibut and it was complimented well with the butternut squash farro with kale.  I won’t rate the salmon, since I’m just not a salmon person.   However, it came with a corn and spinach succotash topped with feta that was very good.

Cpk new entrees

Dessert

The desserts stole the show!!  In fact I toyed with the idea of making a separate dedicated just to them.  It took pure gluttony and the will to be greedy for me to taste them all, but I battled through it, for foodies everywhere.

Desserts cpk

Pumpkin Cheesecake – pumpkin cheesecake with a ginger crumb praline crust with fresh whipped cream and drizzle of  praline sauce

S’mores – Belgian chocolate pudding in a jar with dark chocolate chunks, graham crackers, topped with toasted marshmallows.   This is not your girl scout’s s’mores.  It is über rich and very decadent.

Butter Cake – It’s like the most moist buttery yellow cake your grandma ever made topped with ice cream.  So good!

Salted Caramel Pudding – Caramel pudding, black cocoa cookie crumbs, fresh whipped cream, caramel sauce and natural sea salt
I don’t know who was first to bring this salted caramel craze to the forefront, but God bless them.   CPK, outdid themselves with their take on this latest food fad.  This dessert in a jar was so good, that I named him.   His name is Sam, Sam the Salted Caramel Pudding.    Just get it, okay?  Order it, pig out, and promise yourself you’ll run it off in the morning. (I think I might have to put that phrase on a t-shirt)

Sam cpk

There are so many great new options and I love the risk and experimentation California Pizza Kitchen has taken to really bring something new and fresh to the dinner table.   Now I must break the bad news to you.   The only location in Tampa with the new menu right now is the International Plaza location.  In fact, Tampa, Boca Raton, and Naples are the only locations in the state of Florida with the new menu.   It’s being rolled out across the various markets, so if you aren’t one of the lucky cities, then just hold out a little while longer.

Sponsored CPK GIVEAWAY

Because I love my readers and I want you all to have a chance to experience a new food-venture (and because California Pizza Kitchen was so generous), I’m giving away a $50 e – gift certificate to California Pizza Kitchen!  It starts today, November 7th and ends at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, November 10th.  Winner will be announced on Tuesday, November 11th.

Good luck!  Click the giveaway image below to enter!

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“Foodcation….it’s a thing.”

Lauren Gay – Outdoorsy Diva™

 

$30 to Spend on Treats from Shari’s Berries, $15. Deal ends 11/21/2014

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15 Comments

  • Reply
    Steph
    November 7, 2014 at 7:28 pm

    oh! I cannot wait to try all of these amazing sounding goodies! I hope I win!

    • Reply
      Lauren
      November 7, 2014 at 7:38 pm

      Good luck Steph!

  • Reply
    Jacqueline Warme
    November 9, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    I want to try the salted caramel pudding!!

    • Reply
      Lauren
      November 9, 2014 at 6:40 pm

      You will love it Jackie!

  • Reply
    Sandra
    November 9, 2014 at 7:14 pm

    I’ve never tried kale, and usually shy away from super trendy foods, but that Harvest Kale salad looks amazing! I love all of your photos Lauren, you have done a great job at convincing me that a trip to the CPK needs to be in my near future 😉

    • Reply
      Lauren
      November 9, 2014 at 9:48 pm

      Thanks Sandra! Good luck.

  • Reply
    Lali
    November 9, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    Love CPK!!! Would so love to try these additions… Haven’t been there in a while myself

    • Reply
      Lauren
      November 9, 2014 at 9:48 pm

      Thanks for reading and good luck!

  • Reply
    TJ
    November 9, 2014 at 9:28 pm

    I’ve always loved CPK. In even more excited with the new menu. The Kale salad looks amazing and so does the pudding. Can’t wait to try the new menu.

    TJ

    • Reply
      Lauren
      November 9, 2014 at 9:48 pm

      Thanks for reading TJ! You will love it! Good luck.

  • Reply
    Tamara Duval
    November 9, 2014 at 10:37 pm

    Did someone say Sangria?

    • Reply
      Lauren
      November 10, 2014 at 12:40 am

      Yes…yes I did! LOL The cocktails were impressive

  • Reply
    Sabrina Tshiamalenge
    November 9, 2014 at 10:40 pm

    Thanks for sharing this info! I must say the flatbread pizza and the desserts look delicious!

    • Reply
      Lauren
      November 10, 2014 at 12:41 am

      Sabrina thanks for reading! Good luck!

  • Reply
    Cametra Edwards
    November 10, 2014 at 4:48 am

    I really want to try the brussel sprouts dish. My mom used to make us eat them and I thought they were disgusting! So I’d love to try them as a tasty side-dish!

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