Posted: 4:30 am Wednesday, August 29th, 2018
By Ann Kelly
Brunch is my favorite thing. I reconnect with friends, get rid of the weekday stress and find delicious new restaurants to share with you. The Rez Grill at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa is now a definite favorite in Ann Kelly’s Kitchen. It’s no surprise they were named one of the Top Fifty Restaurants in Tampa Bay 2018 by the “Tampa Bay Times” in addition to the Award of Excellence from “Wine Spectator” magazine. Sitting down on a Sunday and letting the incredible Chef Frank and his talented kitchen crew create our brunch experience was one of the best decisions I’ve made in a long time. From the first bite of a tender biscuit with a surprising topping of Montreal Steak Seasoning to the aged ham tucked in between with a red pepper jam it was obvious I was in for an excellent and creative meal. For those cinnamon bun fans, well, I don’t want to ruin the surprise but when was the last time you were able to pipe your own frosting? Well worth the calories.
Since it is Sunday brunch you must try one of their cocktails. My favorite was all about presentation – think an adult version of a juice box with the Peach Sangria complete in the easy-to-handle pouch and straw. Just fun! And who would say no to a French 75 or Peach Bellini? ‘Tis the season to celebrate one of our favorite fruits and these work just fine. Another fun touch at The Rez Grill were the vintage plates used for sensational French Toast stuff with Marscapone cheese and the simple but very enjoyable Western Omelet with a fresh salad that was a perfect accompaniment. You’d also be doing yourself a real disservice if you didn’t try the Sweet Corn Agnliotti (a special off menu surprise from Chef Frank) and the Chicken and Waffles served with citrus butter, bacon jam and maple syrup. If you crave a little pasta make sure you try the house made linguine with clams that had a sauce not to be missed. It made me want to raid the kitchen for the recipe, but I settled for a take home box to enjoy it again later.
The Rez Grill is just the start of a re-imagining for the restaurants at the Hard Rock. Chef Frank has looked all around the world to find the best talent to assist and he’ll be the first to tell you he sets his expectations very high. His own experience in top restaurants is why he wants the best for the Hard Rock, and the best dining experience for us. He’s achieved that at The Rez Grill from attentive service from our server from Ft Myers – a lovely lady named Aaron who made sure I had a fantastic Mocha Latte to start and nice hot towel to finish. Just in case you thought I could actually leave brunch without something sweet to top the meal off I tried a very creative version of Chef Frank’s lemon meringue pie. You’ll never miss the crust again, and good luck putting down the spoon until you’re done. The Rez Grill is easily accessible from the Lucky Street garage. I’m not a gambler but I did feel like a winner with brunch at The Rez Grill. Give it a try soon and make sure to bring friends. Sunday Brunch is served from 11 am to 4 pm. For dining hours and special events please take a look here.