One of the things I love most about travel is trying new foods. I don’t get a chance to jet set internationally as much as I would like but I find that trying cuisine from another country can quench part of that urge. Today’s Foodie Friday adventure takes us to France! I had the pleasure of dinner at South Tampa’s Piquant Hyde Park. I had my first taste of Piquant at the Hyde Park Blogger Stroll where I fell in love with their croissant doughnuts. I was really looking forward to the full dining experience of French inspired food.
I agreed to give Chef Rosana, executive chef and owner, the ultimate control of my dinner choices. Whatever she brought to the table I would be willing to eat. I knew I would be in good hands.
I started the evening with a fantastic blackberry cocktail made with my all time favorite liqueur, St. Germain. If you haven’t had St. Germain yet you are really missing out on life. Get your cocktail game up. St. Germain is made from the elderflower which is only found in the French Alps so it makes sense that a French inspired restaurant has a cocktail menu full of concoctions made with this delectable French liquer. You really can’t go wrong with any of the cocktails. We also toasted to the 2nd year anniversary of my blog with a glass of champagne. Hooray! A little late but very much appreciated. Thanks Chef Rosana!
The first appetizer of the night was the boules de fromage. These yummy round balls of gooey goodness are fried balls of smoked gouda cheese with an aioli sauce. These are Chef Rosana’s grandmother’s recipe and they are divine. Who needs cheesesticks when you can get these?
Next, Chef brought out moules et frites, mussels with leaks in a white wine cream Pernod garlic butter lemon sauce with a side of fries. Mussels and fries is a completely new concept to me. Chef Rosana told me the proper thing to do is to dip the fries into the sauce. The mussels in this sauce were to die for. After devouring the mussels I dipped a crispy golden fry into this sauce I have dubbed creamy crack sauce. So good!!! It was hard to show some restraint because I knew there was more food on the way but I could not stop dipping my fries in this creamy crack.
Truthfully I was already stuffed by this point…well because fries and creamy crack sauce. I’m weak. I couldn’t resist. But I had to do it for the blog and find space for the main course. I wasn’t sure what Chef would choose. With choices on the menu like short ribs, lamb, or scallops I wasn’t sure what to expect. Chef brought the fresh catch of the day which was pan seared salmon over a creamy serrano & white wine risotto, provençal sauce. The salmon was very fresh and cooked perfectly. All of the flavors of the fish with the risotto was tres bon!
Chef Rosana had one final surprise in store for me. I didn’t know where I would find the room but a foodie has to do what a foodie has to do! For the grand finale I was served a beautifully plated dessert with an equally beautiful name — Valrhona chocolate cherry croissant bread pudding. I happen to really love bread puddings but I had not had one made from croissants before now. Magnifique!
It was truly a wonderful evening, especially with the warm hospitality of Chef Rosana and Chef Ricardo and the Piquant staff. If you get Kenneth as your server then consider yourself blessed for the evening because he’s fantastic. If I haven’t convinced you yet of how awesome this place is, just follow their Instagram account for more foodie inspiration. Add a little international flair to your holiday plans this season by having a group dinner gathering or even letting Piquant cater your holiday event. Don’t forget to grab some tasty baked goods from the bakery counter and tell them Outdoorsy Diva sent you!
Piquant Hyde Park provided my meal free of charge in exchange for sharing my honest opinions with my readers. Full disclosure.
Lauren G. , Outdoorsy Diva™
“Adventure is a lifestyle.”