Saturday, September 13, 2014

edison: food+drink lab – Tampa, FL

My dad joined me for an hour long spin class last night – then afterwards we had worked up a huge appetite.  We originally headed to 717 South since he had a Creative Loafing deal, but there was an hour long wait (guess that’s expected for a Friday night), so we ended up at edison: food+drink lab (which was also packed, but we snagged the last 2 seats at the bar). 

I had been once for a work lunch, but this was my first time for dinner.  It’s on Tasting Tampa’s Top 10 List for South Tampa so I was eager to try more on their menu.  The chef and owner, Jeannie Pierola, worked previously at Bern’s Steakhouse for 9 years.  The restaurant is appropriately named – it is on the corner of W. Kennedy Boulevard & S. Edison Avenue, plus it experiments with unique combinations of dishes.  The décor also pays tribute to Thomas Edison with exposed filament light bulbs throughout. 

The menu changes regularly – it consists of several pages presented on a clipboard showing the “sparks” (starters), cold and hot starts (appetizers), solid + soluble (soup & salad), sharing plates, and entrées. 

Looking back on it, our eyes were way bigger than our stomachs (I blame our intense spinning workout).  We started off with the Escargot + Cippolini Onion Crostini with black garlic bagna cauda – which was absolutely amazing.  We decided we could have just ordered several rounds of escargot and been happy. If this is on the menu next time, I’ll definitely order it again. 

We then had the Pork Belly Bulgogi and Jumbo Soft Shell Crab a La Plancha appetizers.  The pork belly dish was served Asian style with sun ramen, poached organic egg, and spicy kimchi broth.  It was a totally original combination of foods that probably isn’t served at any other restaurant. 

The crab itself was great, but I also loved the spinach it was served over with fuji apples, pine nuts, raisins, and black garlic yuzu mojo (yuzu is a kind of Asian citrus fruit). 

Next we had the Jumbo Lump Crab + Butter Lettuce Salad.  It was served with haas avocado, pickled strawberries, palm hearts, cucumbers, and goat milk ranch. They didn’t skimp on the crab meat, and the dressing was very creamy (this photo doesn’t really do the salad justice…)

We could have easily ended with the salad, but we finished by splitting the Butter-Poached Maine Lobster.  I don’t think I’ve had lobster since we went to Maine last summer on a family vacation.  This one was served over sweet corn risotto, with haricot vert, fava beans, organic pea shoots, hazelnuts, sweet corn broth, and truffle foam.  The photo below is actually only half the dish (since we were sharing they served us separate plates).  I didn’t completely understand the truffle foam, but it looked fancy!  The flavors again were innovative and perfectly paired.  

At this point of the meal I was getting uncomfortably full, so I took half of my lobster dish home for Lance to enjoy (plus he deserved to try at least a small sample of our incredible meal after working late that night!) 

The meal was a bit pricier than I’d spend on a typical night out, but it is worth the splurge for a special occasion.  Probably a bit too fancy for a post-workout bite to eat, but it was a wonderful father-daughter date night!

edison: food+drink lab is located at 912 W Kennedy Blvd, Tampa, FL 33606 and is open 11:30 – 2:30pm then 5pm – 10pm Monday through Fridays, 5 – 10pm on Saturdays, and closed Sundays. 

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