When you name your restaurant after a small town on the outskirts of Hillsborough County, you better be ready to bring all the charm and warmth of old Florida, while still entertaining me with some modern and fun twists. Mission accomplished at Wimauma
There is something so quaint and non-pretentious and welcoming about Wimauma
, that you can't help but want to linger there talking to Amy or Chef Gary. Even when the restaurant is completely full (a considerable wait has been reported on some Friday and Saturday nights), Amy always makes the time to visit the table and talk to you, and Chef Gary is often spotted making the rounds to talk to guests. One thing is clear and that is Tampa's newest restaurant husband and wife team are loving life and loving the restaurant business.
Amy speaks passionately about the food. This isn't a sales pitch, she truly loves her husband's cooking. She makes me want to try everything on the menu but sadly I must narrow down my options for dinner. Fortunately when we visited a little over a week ago, we had a large enough group (4 of us) that we were able to try a few of the appetizers. My favorite were the Crispy Florida Fried Oysters with Guacamole and Smoky Tomato Jam. One bite of these succulent sweet oysters with an absolute perfect fried crust and I suddenly wished I had ordered an extra plate. The smoked tomato jam and creamy guacamole brought everything together in one perfectly balanced mouthful. A close second for me were the Cracker Meal Crusted Fried Green Tomatoes with Crispy Country Ham Watercress and Buttermilk-Ranch Dressing. Apparently I have never had good fried green tomatoes before. These were amazing.
Although I certainly could have feasted on Chef Gary's appetizers all night at Wimauma, we moved on to entrees. I could not resist the Pork Two Ways which included Smoked Pork Loin with Seared Pork Belly, White Beans, Collard Greens, and a Sherry Mustard Vinaigrette. Everything was cooked to absolute perfection and paired beautifully with the Lock & Key Meritage
(a blend of Bordeaux grapes from California).
A fantastic evening ending with two must have desserts - Peanut Butter and Jelly Creme Brulee (sounded strange but can't seem to get it out of my head) and my new favorite addiction - a Bacon Infused Dark Chocolate Brownie served with vanilla ice cream (of course). This brownie had the most amazing slightly crispy exterior while maintaining soft fudgy gooey insides.
If you haven't had a chance to try out Wimauma for yourself, I would rush on over for some great Florida inspired few with a few fun new twists.
Jodi a/k/a tampawinewoman