SPONSORED CONTENT: Sizzlin' hot — The Rez Grill now serving at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

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SPONSORED CONTENT: Sizzlin' hot — The Rez Grill now serving at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Courtesy Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino

The newest eatery at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa is now open — The Rez Grill. The restaurant celebrated its grand opening the weekend of January 5.

It comes as the latest completed part of Seminole Hard Rock Tampa’s multi-million dollar and multi-phased expansion and renovation that was started in 2017.

The AAA Four Diamond-rated Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino is owned and operated by the Seminole Tribe of Florida. One of the largest casinos in the world, its guests come for the highstakes table games, slot machines, state-of-the-art Poker Room and a Mezzanine Level Casino with more than 500 premium and high-limit slots.

“While the name ‘The Rez Grill’ pays homage to the Seminole Tribe of Florida and the Indian Reservation, we aspire to be a destination not just for Hotel and Casino guests, but for Tampa locals and tourists alike,” states Dawn Lazo, Vice President of Food and Beverage, in a release.

The American grill concept was created by the restaurant’s Creative Culinary Director, Frank Anderson. The Caribou, Maine native is a graduate of Southern Maine Technical College and trained at the Italian Institute for Advanced Culinary & Pastry Arts. His past record includes working as Chef de Cuisine at the James Beard Award-winning Son of a Gun and Travel & Leisure’s pick for Best Seafood restaurant (2012), Animal, both in Los Angeles.

click to enlarge SPONSORED CONTENT: Sizzlin' hot — The Rez Grill now serving at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Courtesy Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino

“Bringing on someone of Frank Anderson’s culinary talent to open The Rez Grill at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino shows our continued commitment to providing our guests the best in service,” Dawn says.

The restaurant’s menu is composed of finer versions of well-known comfort foods that are diner favorites, such as entrees like Florida caught Shrimp and Grits cooked up with Congaree and Penn Farm grits, country ham and soft egg; and The Rez Burger, a fanfavorite that’s piled with cheddar and American cheeses, tomato, caramelized onion and the chef’s “magic sauce.”

There are also handmade pastas and prime ribeye selections, in addition to a fun take on Chicken and Waffles with the Whole Bird Fried Chicken. This family-style way of sharing a whole chicken and mini waffles comes with a side of herb citrus butter, maple syrup and hot sauce to slather them up.

“We have worked so hard over the past few months to create an exciting chef-driven menu that caters to Tampa locals, tourists and Casino guests,” Frank comments. “The menu is diverse in flavor and approachable for all dining levels.” Menu items are made with local and sustainably farmed ingredients.

A selection of 10 starters includes such inventive choices as wood-grilled artichokes with lemon-pepper butter and garlic aioli, and grilled king crab with grainy mustard butter and chimichurri.

“I love the crab and the flavor that results from the wood grill,” Frank shares. “The chimichurri cuts right through the richness of the grainy mustard beurre blanc, which makes for a perfect combination of flavors.” But it just might be The Rez Grill’s bar that will be calling the name of, casino and hotel guests and diners alike with its handcrafted cocktails made from house syrups and juices. Spirits range from bourbon and whiskeys to American-made vodkas and gins. Highlights from the drink menu are the grill’s namesake cocktail, The Rez, made with house-infused pineapple tequila, mint, lime and club soda; the salty-and-sweet Nacho Libre, a blend of Western Son Prickly Pear Vodka, house sour mix, hibiscus and an oversized Mezcal ice cube; and an early crowd favorite, When We Were Young— made with light rum, coconut rum, beet, ginger and carrot juice.

"The carrot juice really makes the drink stand out in my opinion,” Frank adds. “It also reminds me of a Capri Sun, because it is served in a bag with a straw that sticks out.”

Guests will find three of the four micro-breweries on tap are local, including Cigar City, Barrel of Monks and Coppertail Brewing, along with an extensive list of 100 wines.

The Rez Grill's contemporary 5,000-squarefoot space was a collaboration between designer Laurence Lee Associates and architect Klai Juba Wald to create the vibe of an old-fashioned pub, with sleek leather bar fronts, weathered wood beams, and walnut wood with creme-colored moldings, giving it an almost elegant feel. The 120-seat restaurant also features Bentwood and cane chairs, Pullman-style banquettes and long dining tables. Glass windows line the restaurant, giving a peek into the restaurant for hotel guests passing by. The restaurant’s open kitchen features a Jade wood-burning grill with burning cherry wood from Florida for an even more local twist.

SPONSORED CONTENT: Sizzlin' hot — The Rez Grill now serving at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Courtesy Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino

The Rez Grill finds itself in good company. The restaurant is an addition to the property’s list of already award-winning, Zagat-rated restaurants; Council Oak Steaks & Sewwafood, Fresh Harvest Buffet, Rise Kitchen & Bakery, Rock ’N Raw Sushi Joint, Jubao Palace and Hard Rock Cafe Tampa.

The Rez Grill’s hours are Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday from 5 to 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 5 to 11 p.m. The restaurant is closed Monday and Tuesday. Free parking in the Orient Road, Lucky Street and Winner’s Way garages is available, but guests can all utilize valet parking available for $20

The Rez Grill, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, 5223 North Orient Road Tampa, 813-627-8120 

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