I'm thrilled to report that there is a new shining star in the downtown Tampa dining scene (thank gawd...if this keeps up, Tampa Bay may actually become a "foodie destination" one day instead of simply a sprawling metropolitan area awash in chain restaurants and tourist traps).
Oenophiles, perk! Crumb & Cork has over 100 wine offerings on the menu with many obscure selections you won't find on every corner. Wine flights are also available (something you really don't see that often in Hillsborough county).
The interior is invitingly chic, sleek and minimalistic while avoiding any sense of sterility. I usually detest live entertainment when I'm dining (mostly because it's almost always too freaking loud), but found the jazz singer performing during our brunch visit today to be delightful and appreciated the fact that the volume was dialed down to a convo-friendly level. UD and I decided to forego a table and brunch at the inviting looking bar, where we received excellent and highly attentive service. The owners were both present and obviously heavily invested in ensuring customer satisfaction.
While the regular menu is heavy on cheese, charcuterie (which we are dying to return and try), sandwich and salad offerings, the Sunday brunch menu is a bit limited (at least for now). No prob...I'd rather have a one-page selection of a few things done really well than phone book-sized menu of half-assed breakfast executions (and these guys have only been open for a week). I like their style. And I also like the $15 unlimited mimosas option (a great way to win Sweet Polly's undying devotion). UD and I both signed up for the "unlimited", but you can also purchase a bottle of your choice of one of Crumb&Cork's many sparkling wine offerings and receive a carafe of OJ at no additional charge if you prefer to be your own mixologist.
Food time! I adored my Prosciutto Wrapped Shrimp with Artisan Grits (stone ground, if my taste buds served me correctly). The portion size was perfect, filling and delicious...without fostering the American urge for an endless brunch trough ("endless" is only okay when it comes to mimosas).
UD reveled in his tender, Italian frittata with its slathering sauce of lovely creme fraiche. The little hash brown sidecar was delightfully crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside.
It didn't seem right to leave without a sweet finish, so we succumbed to a delectable slab of Key Lime Pie.
Crumb & Cork, I'm going to channel The Bachelorette and award you the "First Impression Rose". We will see you again very soon!
My blog entries contain the unmitigated, and sometimes unforgiving, dining truths and perceptions I experience as an ordinary restaurant patron. Every meal I post about has been fully paid for by one of the participating members of my personal dining party. I do not engage in the gratis blogger freebie dining events I'm constantly invited to attend and never will. If I ooze font-like love for a restaurant in my blog, it's because they totally earned it…not because they gave me free food or knew I was going to share the experience on the internet.