For non local peeps, Tampa Heights is a let’s call it……evolving neighborhood. However some great restaurants have been coming into the area and a lot of projects have been popping up revitalizing the area. It is such a beautiful location surrounding the river and with easy access to downtown.
The restaurant was the visionary of the well known Columbia Restaurant Group which that restaurant is a landmark when people visit this area and Ybor city. Ulele is named after the Tocobaga Indian Princess who apparently saved the life of the Spanish conquistador Juan Ortiz. There is a large statue in her honor at the front of the building. The menu is a very farm to table concept where the meat is listed down to the local farm it was raised on.
I met my girlfriend Veniece on the most gorgeous sunny Saturday for lunch. I love trying lunch at higher end places. The menus are usually more affordable so you can try a few different options. The building opens up onto the patio with a gorgeous view of the waterfront.
Definitely was bustling. I thought I almost heard the waitress wrong when she said that wait would be an hour and a half. I said “sure for two” and gave her my number for a text alert. Restaurants always say that and the wait is never that long. We stalked out two seats at the bar and got down to the most important part…..figuring out which of the fantastic sounding specialty cocktails to narrow it down to.
I am not a huge cocktail drinker by any means but I do love a light and refreshing drink especially when it’s warm out. Nailed the drink choice. Not too sweet or tangy. It was just perfect and didn’t kill my stomach afterwards like some overly sweet drinks do.
Ring of Fire on the left and Native Summer on the Right
We were talking and catching up and noticed it had been 45 minutes after staring at the amazing menu for too long we decided to order.
Let me tell you what those burgers were legit. You know I’m a self proclaimed burger connoisseur and this one was delicious. We also split the portbello mushroom burger. Amazing. We got a side of the chimichurri sauce which had avocado in it. I want to put that over all fries from now on.
After we ordered our food and had it served…..an hour and a half later I got a text that our table was ready. Next time I will definitely do open table.
I really liked the concept of local ingredients and FL history. The decor and artwork on the inside was museum worthy. I overheard all the servers talking about how rare the pieces were and from what private collections they were acquired from. I definitely want to go back to soak up all the history and culture the next time.
So my overall opinion is that the spot is absolutely gorgeous and such a treat for a beautiful weather weekend. I do want to go back for dinner but definitely with a reservation! Great new Tampa gem which is already making National top lists which is pretty impressive considering they have only been open for a few months!
Do you go to the newest openings or do you wait for all the hype and excitement to die down? Is there an area in your local city that they are revitalizing and all the new trendy spots are heading there? I can’t wait to go back! xoxoxoxo