The Tampa Staycation Guide: Part I

This Weekend’s Getaway: The Epicurean


*Header Photo via Epicurean Hotel
 
Looking for a weekend getaway? Sometimes the best escape is right in your home city. The weeks can get busy and sometimes you forget all there is to do and see in the city you live in! Catch a Lightning game, visit the NEW Tampa Indie Flea, shop at the Premium Outlets, experience cinema history at The Tampa Theatre and delight in our burgeoning culinary scene.  
 
With several boutique hotels downtown, you can now see your city through lavish, luxurious eyes. 
 
 
Where to stay:
 
 
 
Location: 1207 South Howard Avenue, Tampa, FL 33606
 
What They Offer:
·      Valet Parking
·      Free WI-FI
·      Outdoor Pool WITH a Connected Bar (probably the best thing ever)
·      Rooftop Bar
·      A Spa
·      Wine & Spirit Store Connected to the Lobby
·      Free On-Site Bike Rentals
·      Concierge Services with In-Room Dining
·      137 Rooms & Suites (full kitchen optional)
·      Shoe Shining
·      Epicurean Theatre (offers various classes, events, & discussions)
 
Average Rate Per Night: $250 ++
 
 
 
The Epicurean Hotel is beautifully designed. The interior has a rustic vibe and is adorned with modern accents. The lobby is directly connected to the bar and lounge area. Even mid-week, the room was filled with visitors enjoying coffee and breakfast pastries. 
 
The Epicurean is more than just a hotel. They also feature a wine shop and high-end restaurant (but more on that later).
 
It’s located in Hyde Park, which is in the midst of a foodie and business renaissance. 
 
 
Where to eat – Fine Dining:
 
Formerly Side Bern's, Haven is a mecca of fine dining and artisan cocktails. The Stuffed Marrow Bone (red wine braised short rib, horseradish & mustard sauce) is divine, as well as the unique Goat Tacos (chipotle, cabbage, passion fruit guacamole). The restaurant offers charcuterie boards that will elevate your palate beyond belief. Their cocktails are sensational. We highly recommend the Haven Toddy (four roses bourbon, tempus fugit creme de cacao, reyka vodka, buddy brew turbo dog espresso). We warn you, this will ruin you for future cocktails.

If you have a sweet-tooth then you need to experience their Dirt Pie (valrhona chocolate mousse, coffee soil, cardamom, scotch gummy worm). It's your childhood refined. 

Haven, 2208 West Morrison Avenue. 

 

 
Want a night in? The Epicurean's full foodie experience is nothing to sleep on. Saunter down from your room and dine with Elevage. Start out with their BBQ Oysters and Steamed & Grilled Artichoke (korenekie olive oil, parsley, balsamic aioli). The Duck Paprikash (crispy duck confit, buttermilk dumplings, kale, spicy paprika cream) is unlike any dish we've indulged in before. If you're looking to put your appetite to the test we suggest you order up the Lamb T-Bone (merguez sausage, roasted leeks, manchego, romesco verde).

If you want to make it a classic dinner we suggest ordering Epicurean Old-Fashioned (Michter's Small Batch, Aged Old Fashioned Syrup) or Dean's Martini Russell Henry London Dry Gin, Dolin Dry Vermouth, Orange Bitters). 

 
 
Where to eat – Casual:
 
Less than two miles from the hotel is Square 1 Burgers. The restaurant boasts a laid back atmosphere but serves food that exceeds even the highest standards. All of their Angus beef is 100% humanely raised, and free hormones and antibiotics. We're also pretty big fans of the 3-4-5 happy hour. From 3-6pm, and 9pm until they close, Square 1 offers $3 drafts, $4 wines, and $5 select cocktails. 
 
Their Double Bacon Boomer Sooner is a tower of savory goodness. Paired with their fried pickle chips and their famous X-Rated milkshakes, Square 1 has managed to redefine comfort food. 

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Written by Dex Fabian

Dex Fabian

Dex Fabian is the co-founder of I Love the Burg and That's So Tampa. A graphic designer by trade, Dex has been witness to Tampa Bay's explosion to become one of the hottest regions in the nation. In 2009, he helped develop the brand for I Love the Burg and in 2014 developed the branding for That's So Tampa and has been a regular contributor to both ever since.