Monday, April 2, 2012

Ceviche at the Ponce de Leon Hotel in St. Petersburg, Florida

The original Ceviche Tapas Bar and Restaurant opened in Tampa in 1997.  There are now five locations opening spots in St Pete, Sarasota, Orlando and Clearwater.  It is a popular Spanish Tapas restaurant with over 100 hot and cold tapas along with paellas and cazuelas.  Fresh products and authentic style cuisine is very evident in all the dishes combined with an exclusive Spanish wine list pairing nicely with the menu.

The St Pete location is known for its cavernous flamenco room, outdoor dining and downtown location in the historic boutique hotel, the Ponce de Leon.

The Ponce de Leon Hotel in St Pete
Some of the dishes we tried with friends include the Ensalada de Calamares ($5.95), a calamari of grilled and marinated miniature squid and squid slices with fresh herbs and sweet peppers.  We also tried the Garbanzo Hummus ($4.95) which is a traditional purée of garbanzo beans, olive oil and roasted garlic served with carrot and celery slices and crostinis.  Both were prepared well and offered enticing flavors that kept us going back to the dishes.

With so many dishes offered, we asked the server what some of the highlights are on the menu.  Along with our friends’ advice that dined at Ceviche previously we were able to piece together the perfect meal for the four of us to share.  Several dishes have the option of tapas portion or a larger portion, we chose tapas throughout.

Ceviche St Pete Dining Room
The server highly recommended the Pargo a la Andaluza ($9.95), a grilled red snapper with onions, peppers, capers and sliced garlic.  The fresh snapper and flavors were a highlight of the meal for me; this was my favorite dish of the evening.  We also ordered the Banderillas Mixtas ($9.95), an assortment of skewered grilled tenderloin, mild chorizo, marinated chicken and fresh vegetables.  This offered a little of everything for everyone.  The tenderloin was incredibly tender and appetizing but the entire dish was perfect.
Garbanzo Hummus
We thought we needed to tried some fried food as well and elected to go with the Croquetas ($6.95) which are fresh chicken and smoked ham folded into béchamel and deep fried; as well as, the Patatas Bravas ($4.95), a delightful dish of fries potatoes tossed in a spicy homemade aioli.  Again, we celebrated our decisions by polishing off every plate.
Patatas Bravas
We had to have the perfect accompaniment so while they were out of my first choice for Albarino; we thoroughly loved the Don Olegario 2007 Albarino ($43.00).  The fresh acidity and bright citrus were precisely what we were looking for over this amazing meal.

Contact Information
(727) 209.2299
10 Beach Drive
St. Petersburg, FL  33701

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