Monday, August 1, 2011

Park Square Cellar, Lithia, FL

I've heard it said (or maybe I read it on Yelp) that "Brandon is where all good, non-chain restaurants go to die". Don't let this be so. Let's all get off of our white-bread-and-Velveeta-snarfing lemming arses and support this beautiful east Hillsborough venue before the Outbacks and Red Lobsters of the world are our only options on this side of the county. Bloomingdale, Fishhawk and River Hills rezzies...I'm talking to you.

This is a lovely restaurant...and practically in our neighborhood! Cool, civilized and Feng Shui-positive, I felt like I was walking into an oasis on this Sunday afternoon. There were a plethora of beer choices and wines by the glass. I'd had a rough weekend, but was beginning to breathe again at this point.

Owner Shawn took excellent care of us as we noshed and sipped away the afternoon. The charcuterie plate was a generous and beautiful rendition of one of UD's favorite snack platters:

Bread stinginess is something my readers have heard me bitch about in other posts (something I hate almost as much as foil-wrapped butter pats), but there was no need to frown at PSC as they served it stacked high.

We also enjoyed a carb-ilicious order of handmade "Tater Tots Dauphine" with homemade curried ketchup which really turned on this repressed redneck girl and soothed the savage, hormonal beast within...probably saving a life that night. Unfortunately, there was a wine-related camera glitch which prevented these beauties from being presented in their best light. Oopsie.

Moving forward, Underdog and I shared an order of Orange Lavender Braised Duck with Thai Chili, Crispy Skin, Couscous and Haricots Vert for twenty-one bucks that made our repective tastebuds rejoice. The duck meat was moist and flavorful, and the the couscous and crispy green beans were the perfect accompaniments.

Of course, I never actually WANT dessert's just one of those things my better half foists upon me. When he suggested the Dark Chocolate Soufflé with Madagascar Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, who was I to sass him? This was a beautiful thing...dense, decadent and not overly sweet (which I appreciate in my declining years). So good.

Park Square Cellar is an exceptional restaurant offering what is probably the most interesting menu east of Ybor. If you don't embrace and patronize this fabu bright spot in the culinary wasteland that is Brandon/Valrico, you will only have yourself to blame for us not having nice things. Not to mention the fact that I might hurt you (just kidding...that chocolate souffle really took the edge off).

Park Square Cellar on Urbanspoon


  1. The Chef yelled DUCK...and they were right! That looks gorgeous and I bet it was wonderful!

  2. Looks like another fabulous meal! I'm from the UK (Katecat on Low Carb Friends) and from Friday will be in Siesta Key for 2 weeks vacation.Do you by any chance have any suggestions for eateries in that area?
    I love your reviews, food porn always makes me happy and I also spend my life photographing meals I have out :D

  3. Hi, Katecat! In Sarasota, I love Cafe L'Europe in St. Armands Circle, which is a beautiful area of shops, restaurants and galleries on nearby Longboat Key. There's also a Columbia restaurant in St. Armands, which is Florida's oldest restaurant (not that particular location, but the food is the same as the original one in Tampa)which I think is kind of a "must do" for Florida visitors. Have a wonderful time...the beaches are fabulous in Sarasota!

  4. Many thanks for the prompt response, will certainly look those 2 up.
    Really looking forward to getting there, the condo we are renting is right on the beach. Also looking forward to trawling through local supermarkets for things I can't buy in the UK! It's a shame Virgin Atlantic have cut their baggage in the last few years :(