By no means would we consider ourselves gamblers. BUT, when the food at a restaurant is that good, we don’t mind meandering our way through a casino to get to it. Last Wednesday, that’s exactly what we did. Council Oak at The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Tampa invited us to come and try their $10 “Wine Down Wednesday” menu in the Council Oak Lounge. Having been to a Hard Rock restaurant before and had a great experience, we knew we had to jump on the opportunity.
Ryan had a late night at work so I enlisted none other than our favorite wino, Megan from I Run For Wine, to join in the fun! Megan and I met in Ybor at Carne Chophouse for a drink during their happy hour before making our way to the Hard Rock. Carne is a great spot to grab a drink before a night out because they offer $2 Finlandia Martinis all day every day until 7pm. Unfortunately or fortunately, I am tequila lovers, so this was no problem for me!
We eventually made our way towards the casino (a quick and easy 15 minute drive on I-4), and found our way to the restaurant. Walking up, my eyes set on this large glass window overlooking the prep kitchen for the butcher on site. He was working on cutting all of the different cuts of meat offered fresh each night in the main restaurant. We will definitely have to visit again to try the main dining experience. But I also took notice of the large Wine Down Wednesday advertisement out front of the doors that boasted the $10 specials all night in the lounge.
We found a seat at the bar and got to ordering! We started with the obvious….WINE! We each ordered a glass of white, one sauvignon blanc and one chardonnay, and quickly moved on to the food menu. For one, neither myself nor Megan are big fan of Bleu Cheese and we noticed that many items on the menu included that as an ingredient. No need to worry, all of the cheese options were able to be subbed out, so we were still able to choose from the whole list.
We figured we would start slow and if needed, we could continue placing subsequent orders since most of the dishes were smaller, shareable items. For round one, we ordered the Grilled New York Strip Flatbread (sub Mozzarella cheese) and the Council Oak Sliders. Ok so in the end, we left after ordering 3 orders of the sliders because they were just that good! I brought home a pair for Ryan to try and even after a day or two in the fridge, they still were perfect! The flavor was on point and they were cooked to perfection! The sliders were definitely a fan favorite for us foodies, but don’t get me wrong, the flatbread was good too. Then we ordered a Charcuterie Board with mixed cheeses, jam, honey, some cured meats and toasted crostinis. We loved all of the fixings that came with this dish and I would definitely order it again when I go back for the next Wine Wednesday.
The atmosphere of the lounge was great. The lighting was low (a bit tricky for pictures but we made it work) and the service was pretty quick once the order was placed. What we really liked was the entertainment. Not only did we have seats facing out into the casino so we could people watch like it was our job, but their was a live band playing that night. They killed in playing some classic tunes from our younger days. It was great! (Check out a clip on our Instagram)
All in all, we were extremely pleased with our Wine Down Wednesday experience at Council Oak Lounge and would definitely recommend it for the affordability for the food and wine at just $10 EACH! This deal allows guests to really dive in to experience the various flavors Council Oak offers and what’s really cool is that the wines by the glass offered during Wine Down Wednesday are typically only available by the bottle on other days of the week. Reservations are not required for “Wine Down Wednesday” and guests can enjoy a “wined down” night of sipping and tasting from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. every Wednesday. So head there this week.