Monday was Ryan’s birthday and with Dine Tampa Bay’s Restaurant Week in full swing, our team thought it would only be appropriate to check out a place on the list. With a $35 prix fixe and a menu that looked pretty appetizing, the birthday boy made his choice to snag a reservation for 5 people at Coast.
R Kelly said it best when he said, “After the show it’s the after party, after the party it’s the hotel lobby.” Well the biggest problem with our experience at Coast is the fact that we were able to watch as the airport shuttle dropped off its patrons and they paraded their way through the hotel lobby up to their rooms. The lack of dim lighting and the choice of elevator music really helps begin your “hotel lobby” dining experience. Located at 5312 Avion Park Dr. inside of the Hilton Garden Inn, we were anticipating a place that is more like Aqua (located inside of the Westin Hotel). Instead, we got the ambiance of a continental breakfast at ANY family friendly hotel you have ever been to.
After we got over the fact that we were in the lobby, Scratch that, we still AREN’T over it, we moved on to the menu. The Dine Tampa Bay menu looked pretty good, but at a $35 price point, it was more enticing for Allison and I to pick from the regular menu. Rob and Ryan opted for the three- course menu, choosing an app, main course and dessert (little did Ryan know, we had brought a cake to celebrate his big day. Oops!).
Once our waitress gave us some time to figure out our menu selections, we placed our orders. Rob opted for the Crab Portabella as an app and Ryan went with the Lobster and Toast (more so because Allison and I told him we wanted to try it). For dinner, I went for the Grilled Chicken Rigatoni, which the waitress explained was “a little spicy”. I said it was fine and looked forward to a delicious meal. Allison opted for the Coast House Salad with grilled chicken because she is a sucker for “candied walnuts”. Rob and Ryan both chose the Espresso Crusted Pork Tenderloin from the Dine Tampa Bay menu that was served with baby vegetables and fingerling potatoes.
When the dishes arrived, everything looked delicious! The appetizers that we ordered were full of flavor and tasted very fresh. Allison’s arugula based salad arrived and after the first bite, she realized she is not fond of arugula. Nothing against Coast; Allison just forgot she isn’t a huge fan of it. WOOPS! As for my dish, everything was cooked well and it smelled AMAZING, HOWEVER, after one bite, my mouth and throat were on fire and I needed water ASAP. The dish was beyond “a little spicy” and was full on “BLAZING HOT”! The waitress later explained the heat from the dish comes from a chipotle pepper reduction, so just be forewarned for the future that the dish is spicy. Bottom line…I brought the leftovers home and ate them for lunch the next day, so it obviously wasn’t TOO spicy! The pork tenderloin that the boys had looked amazing as well and the taste was right up there. They both said they would highly recommend it.
On to…DESSERT! Now obviously, we brought Ryan a vanilla buttercream cake from Publix (the best cake in town), but as the Dine Tampa Bay menu works, the boys got to choose a dessert option with their meal as well. Rob opted for the Warm Apple Tart (which I would have IMMEDIATELY skipped because it had “bleu cheese” in its ingredients), and Ryan chose the Vanilla Panna Cotta. The cake came out with their desserts and we had ourselves a little sampling of each. Allison and Rob both enjoyed the apple tart, while Ryan and I tasted the panna cotta. All in all, the dishes were good and then we moved on to the cake. Luckily, we saved the best for last and ended Ryan’s birthday dinner on a high note. I don’t know that we will be venturing back to Coast anytime soon, but if you do, we want to hear ALL about it!