GrillSmith Tasting Event

November 20, 2011 3 Comments by Champagne Girl

GrillSmith has always been one of my favorite places in South Tampa. My first visit to GrillSmith was back in 2006 and I was impressed by the delicious food and superior service. Since then, I have become a single mom with two children and have been so busy falling in love with Florida that I had not been to GrillSmith in a few years. I drive past it daily and it has long been on my mind. This past week I was invited to a tasting event to sample their new menus selections and was quickly reminded of how much I love their food!

GrillSmith has recently launched a re-branding campaign that includes an overhauled menu and a cutting-edge, revamped web-site. According to their press release: “GrillSmith’s new creative campaign centers around the GrillSmith, a man who perfected the artistry of the grill. Delicious, exciting food is the GrillSmith’s cornerstone and it must be served well, with a smile, in an atmosphere where patrons can relax and feel special. That’s how a great meal should be enjoyed. GrillSmith’s orders.”  I love the look and feel of their new site and the new menu items are spectacular.


Rested and refreshed from my recent trip to Santa Monica, CA to attend the International Food Bloggers Conference, I was ready to dive back into the Tampa food scene. On the evening of November 17th, I joined some of Tampa Bay’s top bloggers for a night of delicious food and great conversation at GrillSmith in South Tampa. It was an honor to be in the presence of such amazing bloggers and tweeters like That Girl Allie , Dive in Tampa Bay, Visit Tampa Bay , Andi, That Girl, and one of my favorite blogs, Healthy Tampa Bay Living. I can’t think of a better way to spend an evening in Tampa Bay than to taste food with fellow bloggers.

As soon as I walked in the door, I was warmly greeted by the host staff and Wendy Stewart of Front Burner Brands, the parent company of GrillSmith.  The smell of delicious food filled the air and I was escorted back to a private room to join the other bloggers.  Thus began my tasting adventure!

For their new menu, GrillSmith has some amazing items for their starters and small plates. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Mediterranean Platter: GrillSmith’s famous spinach artichoke dip and creamy feta spread, served with warm pita triangles and tortilla chips
  • Voodoo Cheese Fries: Creole seasoned fries finished with a New Orleans style white barbecue sauce, smoked Gouda, cheddar and Swiss cheeses, Andouille sausage and green onions, served with cilantro sour cream for dipping.
  • Spicy Thai Chicken: Lightly battered, flash-fried chicken cutlets tossed in sriacha aioli, served with hot and sweet honey glaze
  • Crab and Shrimp Cakes: Maryland-style cakes of jumbo lump crab and shrimp, served over sriacha aioli and topped with mango-ginger salsa
  • Calamari Duo: Lightly battered, flash fried calamari, served with traditional spicy marinara sauce and sesame Thai Sauce
  • Stoli Ravioli: Stuffed with grilled chicken, spinach and creamy ricotta cheese tossed in a Stolichnaya Vodka tomato cream sauce
  • Filet Tip Eggrolls: Tender, marinated filet tips with shiitake mushrooms, scallions, bleu cheese and caramelized onions, served with a due of Dijon-horseradish and soy sauces
  • Smoked Salmon Bruschetta: Smoked Norwegian salmon with capers, fresh basil, red onions, Parmesan cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and GrillSmith’s own lemon-feta vinaigrette on toasted crostini
Spicy Thai Chicken

Voodoo Cheese Fries

Smoked Salmon Bruschetta

Stoli Ravioli

Filet Tip Eggroll

Everything was outstanding and my favorites were the Stoli Ravioi and the Spicy Thai Chicken. The flavors in the Stoli Ravioli are incredible and the sauce is just perfect.  I am a huge fan of vodka sauce and their Stoli Vodka sauce is one of the best I have ever tasted.  The Spicy Thai Chicken is the perfect blend of spices and the hot and sweet honey glaze adds the perfect finishing touch. I was also impressed by the Voodoo Cheese fries. The flavors of the smoked Gouda and Andouille sausage are intoxicating. If you are looking for a crowd pleaser, I highly recommend the Voodoo Cheese fries paired with a craft beer.

I was starting to get full, but I was not going to let that stop me from trying the new entrees. Here is what we sampled:

  • Filet Mignon: Center-cut tenderloin filet, seasoned and fire-grilled to perfection, finished with a port wine reduction
  • Chicken Milanese: Sautéed, herb-crusted chicken finished with a lemon-butter white wine reduction, sun-dried tomatoes, golden raisins and capers, dressed with arugula and pine nuts in GrillSmith’s own lemon-feta vinaigrette, served over seasoned rice
The filet melted in my mouth and was grilled to perfection.  I could have easily eaten an entire filet myself. The port wine reduction was savory.
Filet Mignon
When I was presented with the Chicken Milanese, I was captivated by the beautiful presentation of the dish. Just one bite and I was in foodie heaven. I really enjoyed the combination of salty and sweet with the golden raisins and capers. The pine nuts and lemon-feta vinaigrette are the perfect touch!  I will be going back and having the Chicken Milanese with a glass of Sophia Blanc de Blanc, which is one of my favorite sparkling wines.

We were treated to a sweet ending to our evening with two decadent desserts:

  • Ultimate Brownie Parfait: Layered fresh whipped cream and chocolate mousse with warm brownie bites, finished with a raspberry-pomegranate preserve and caramel sauce
  • Chocolate Decadence: GrillSmith’s award-winning, made-from-scratch flourless mocha-chocolate cake topped with fresh whipped cream, served with raspberry coulis
Ultimate Brownie Parfait

Chocolate Decadence


GrillSmith has done an amazing job with their new menu items and superior service. I am so happy I was asked to be a part of this delicious evening and am anxiously awaiting my next dining experience.  Be sure to check out GrillSmith if you have not yet done so.  There are six bay area locations and you can view their menus as well as location addresses on the web site, GrillSmith. You can find them on Facebook by clicking here and follow them on twitter @GrillSmith.

I hope you all have a delicious Thanksgiving weekend!


Ciao for now,


Disclosure: All food was provided by GrillSmith Restaurant free of charge.


Grillsmith on Urbanspoon

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  1. Jennifer Alderfer
    4 years ago

    All that food looks AMAZING! I’ve never tried Grillsmith and now I’m going to have to go!


  2. Tender B.
    4 years ago

    The food was really good.


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  1. […] same. It was time for a change and they invited a few bloggers (That Girl Allie, Dive in Tampa Bay, My Other City By the Bay, Carlos Eats and myself to name a few) to experience this […]

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