In early May, NHIE got a sneak peek of Ulele in Tampa Heights, a restaurant which celebrates and honors Tampa Bay’s history. Last weekend, we sent our friend Megan from I Run For Wine to check out the final project. Here’s what she had to say about the great time had at Ulele!
Hi NHIE fans! I was honored to be part of Ulele’s media night on behalf of NHIE on Sunday night. I first learned about Ulele in June of 2013 when I met Keith Sedita, Ulele’s managing partner. From that day, I knew there was no question Keith was passionate about Ulele, owned by Columbia Restaurant owner Richard Gonzmart. With the overwhelming positive media coverage Ulele has received over the past week, I am sure by now you know the background of the building and the amazing food which is offered. I want to highlight the amazing craft cocktails, wine and beer offered at this establishment.
My jaw dropped the second I walked through the double doors I knew that Ulele was more than just a restaurant. Keith found me right away and gave me a quick tour of the restaurant which showcases art and furniture which was locally sourced. The tabletops were made from a 100-year old Florida barn, the bar was made in Ybor City.
I quickly found my way to that bar made in the city I live in and ordered a glass of wine from an extensive list. There are many wines available by the glass which makes me very happy. The wine cellar is located inside the glass enclosed staircase to the second floor.
After finding a few friends, we decided to check out the hand crafted cocktail list, experiencing what Ulele had to offer. I can proudly state I was the first person to order the Pisco Morado – a beautiful cocktail with Fontana Pisco, house-made Chicha Morado, fresh lime juice & simple syrup.
The Native Summer, made with Nolet’s Gin, John DeKuyper Elderflower Liqueur, fresh lime juice, simple syrup and cucumber slices was my surprise of the night. I am not a fan of Gin, however, this drink was delicious and refreshing
The Princess Ulele Caiphirinha with Leblon Natural Cane Cachaca, Canton Ginger Liqueur, simple syrup, muddled fresh lime and pineapple would be a cocktail my fiance would flip over. If you like drinks that are on the sweeter side, you could easily put a few of these down without realizing it.
I have a weakness for Dirty Martini’s, so when I saw the Dirty Richard Martini, I sat there a little confused. Made with TIto’s Handmade Vodka, Noilly Prat Original Vermouth – they freeze the olive in an olive juice ice cube.
The Magbee Manhattan was named after James T. Magbee, a circuit court judge who was a reported drunk in the 1800’s. The Spring that Ulele sits on was once named the Magbee Spring but was renamed to the Ulele Spring a few years back. The drink named after the judge was the strongest drink I tried this night, made with Ulele Barrel Selected Knob Creek Bourbon & Carpano Antica Formula Sweet Vermouth.
The Pyrat Old-Fashioned was a delicious take on the classic cocktail. Made with Pyrat Rum XO Reserve, Sugar in the Raw & Angostura Bitters.
If Oyster shooters are your thing, you’re in luck – Ulele has Patron Oyster Shooters – Fresh Oyster, Sangrita, Patron Anejo tequila. They also offer an alcohol free version.
One of the most impressive features of Ulele is that they have it’s own brewhouse; 15-barrel stainless steel brewing system and will serve its own craft brews. Brewmaster Tim Shackton is passionate about his beer and his favorite is a fruit beer called ‘Wedding Beer’, because he has provided it for many friends weddings. Wedding beer is a cold fermented, fruit lager brewed with blueberries and a blend of red and black berries. Other beers include “Ulele Light” (light lager), “Magbee’s Honey Lager”, “Rusty’s Red” (amber lager), “Water Works Pale”.
I don’t know about you guys, but I am suddenly thirsty! Cheers – Megan