Élevage is the flagship restaurant of Tampa's newly opened Epicurian Hotel, which promises to awaken and indulge the senses of its guests. Developed by well-known Tampa restaurateur David Laxer, of the Bern’s restaurants, Élevage continues his family tradition of expertly prepared, high-quality dishes.
The menu is the creation of Executive Chef Chad Johnson, a 2012 James Beard Best Chef South semi-finalist, who takes classic dishes from around the world and prepares them with a creative, contemporary twist. His goal is to take those foods we have grown up with or are familiar with and prepare them in a way that both surprises and satisfies.
The ambiance and decor of the restaurant remain refreshingly down-to-earth — Photo courtesy of Elevage
Some examples of Chef Johnson’s culinary flair include the appetizer fish and chips, which do not feature breaded cod and French fries. Instead, you get squares of seared tuna paired with fried pickles and potato crisps. The hangar steak entrée, usually known for its beefy flavor but tough texture, at Élevage can be served rare and yet is melt-in-your-mouth tender. Even the classic American burger is re-imagined using duck stuffed with fois gras and duck confit.
The theme of re-imagining familiar favorites is carried through the entire menu with a wide variety of mouth-watering appetizers, soups & salads and entrées. The dessert menu is no exception, featuring the Untraditional Float and red fruit shortcake.
Fans of the dinner service will rejoice in the fact that this is a hotel restaurant and so also offers breakfast and lunch. Many have already declared their favorite to be the popular weekend brunch.
While the food may have been elevated to rarified heights, the ambiance and décor of the restaurant remain refreshingly down-to-earth. Dark wood tables and leather banquets combine with contemporary light wood and metal finishes, providing a comfortable and contemporary space. Lovely tiled floors and enormous floor-to-ceiling windows add light and airiness, but also contribute to the restaurant being somewhat noisy.
Make sure to arrive early or stay late and enjoy spending some time at the Edge Social Drinkery, the hotel’s beautiful rooftop bar. This amazing outdoor space features plenty of intimate seating and serves small plates and cheese boards along with a selection of signature cocktails. Designed by Director of Spirits Dean Hurst, the menu features versions of famous cocktails from around the world.
Élevage is a welcome, sophisticated addition to Tampa’s food scene. It's quickly become a favorite among locals and visitors alike.