Jazz Up Your Weekend Brunch at Timpano Italian Chophouse

June 25, 2012 No Comments by Champagne Girl

There is nothing more relaxing than a cozy brunch and good conversation on a lazy weekend day.  Over the weekend, I re-discovered an old favorite in South Tampa and sampled a few of their brunch items. This swanky place is none other than Timpano Italian Chophouse and is conveniently located in beautiful Hyde Park. Timpano will always have a special place in my heart, as it was there that I spent one of the most enjoyable and memorable evenings of my life…..my 30th birthday.

 

**photo courtesy of Blink of an Eye Photographic Arts

Located at 1610 W. Swann Ave in the heart of Hyde Park, Timpano has maintained  a strong presence in the Tampa Bay restaurant scene since opening in late 2004.  I was a frequent customer of Timpano for much of 2004/2005, but after the birth of my son in early 2006, my nights of going out for drinks and dinners became few and far between.  My friends are always talking about how wonderful Timpano is, and I decided it was time to go back for a visit. :)

This past Saturday I went to Timpano for a special menu tasting. I invited my friends Tom and Rebecca to join me and photograph the food. Tom and Rebecca own Blink of an Eye Photographic Arts and I had been admiring their work for quite some time. I knew it would be perfect since I actually met them both back in the days before I had children and worked at Timpano. I was really looking forward to reconnecting with them as well rediscovering my love of Timpano and their extraordinary food.

 

**photo courtesy of Blink of an Eye Photographic Arts

 

As the three of us walked in, we were warmly greeted by the hostess and shown to our table.  I looked around the restaurant and was instantly reminded of why I had been such a frequent customer.  With elegant booths and sexy decor, Timpano reminds me of some of my favorite places in San Francisco. I have always been a fan of big, comfy booths and white table cloths and Timpano certainly delivers. As we looked over the menu, I became almost intoxicated by the smell of french toast and butter that filled the air.  General manager,  Stephen Hickey, came to our table to welcome us and told me that not only would we be trying some of their signature menu items but some of their brunch items as well. So, before I take you on my culinary journey, I must tell you that because I sampled so many items, I have decided to write two features on this fabulous place. For now I will feature brunch, so start making your weekend plans to dine at Timpano because this post will have you craving Italian Style French Toast, Grand Mimosas and Bloody Marys!

When I think of brunch, the first thing to come to my mind is a decadent meal paired with a tasty libation such as a Mimosa or a gourmet Bloody Mary. Timpano, of course, offers both of these and more. Our wonderful server, Jason,  described their fabulous Bloody Mary Bar and invited us to create our own.

 

 **Bloody Mary and Mimosa, photo courtesy of Blink of an Eye Photographic Arts

 

As a Bloody Mary connoisseur, I was truly impressed with the selections of garnishes and tasty ”extras” offered at their Bloody Mary Bar. You have your choice of Spicy Tomato, V-8 or Red Hot Tomato and then you can let your imagination run wild as your perfect your cocktail. After choosing your mixer, you can begin to build your masterpiece with your choice of Caviar, Gorgonzola and Roasted Garlic stuffed olives. YUM!  Next you can create your own signature taste with tasty extras such as Worchestshire Sauce, Tabasco Sauce (Red & Green), Banana Peppers, Pickled Jalapeno, Old Bay Spice, Paprika, Kosher Salt, Limes, Horseradish, Caper Berries, Fresh Ground Pepper, and Celery Salt. For the grand finish,  you can then top it off with your choice of Celery Blossoms, Carrot Curls, Radish Chips, Jicama Sticks, Cocktail Onions, Scallion Sticks, and English Cucumber Sticks.

 

**photo courtesy of Blink of an Eye Photographic Arts

 

**photo courtesy of Blink of an Eye Photographic Arts

 

**photo courtesy of Blink of an Eye Photographic Arts

 

As I sipped on my Bloody Mary, Executive Chef Antoine Ludcene came to our table to greet us and told us he would be bringing out some of his signature dishes. We started with The Chairman’s Eggs Benedict which consists of Toasted English Muffins, Grilled Medallions of Filet and Poached Eggs topped with Hollandaise Sauce and served with Timpano Style Home Fries.  They had me at Grilled Medallions of Filet and this dish was nothing short of spectacular. The filet was grilled to perfection and the flavor of the Hollandaise was creamy and savory.

 

**The Chairman’s Eggs Benedict, photo courtesy of Blink of an Eye Photographic Arts

 

The next dish we tried was the Italian Style French Toast which happened to be my personal favorite.  Dolci and decadent, this was the best French Toast I have had in a long time. Filled with a Crispy Vanilla Bean Custard and topped with Fresh Berries and  served with Warm Maple Syrup, it is the ultimate comfort food. I would pair this with their Grand Mimosa which consists of Timpano’s House Champagne and Valencia Orange Juice topped with Grand Marnier Liqueur.

 

**Italian Style French Toast, photo courtesy of Blink of an Eye Photographic Arts

 

Our final brunch item was Belgian Waffles. Topped with Fresh Berry Compote, Whipped Cream and Powdered Sugar, this dish was another crowd pleaser. Fluffy and moist, the waffles were delicious. I especially liked the fresh berry compote and it really paired well with the waffles.  I took two home and they were just as delicious for breakfast the next day.

 

**Belgian Waffles, photo courtesy of Blink of an Eye Photographic Arts

 

In addition to the brunch items I tried, Timpano has some other classics that I can’t wait to go back and order such as their Egg & Cheese Pannini  (Farm fresh whipped eggs with Provolone Cheese, Capicola Ham and Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto, served with Potato Wedges) and The Sinatra Breakfast (Three Farm Fresh Eggs (Scrambled or Poached), Applewood Smoked Bacon, Timpano Style Home Fries and Sourdough Toast or English Muffin). Brunch is served from 11 am until 2 pm on Saturday and Sunday.

 

I really want to thank Stephen and Antoine for such a wonderful afternoon. Everything was fabulous and I am looking forward to my next visit. If you are looking for a new place for brunch in Tampa Bay, be sure and stop by Timpano and after your meal, take a stroll through beautiful Hyde Park Village.

 

**Executive Chef Antoine Ludcene and General Manager Stephen Hickey
**photo courtesy of Blink of an Eye Photographic Arts

 

I will be back later this week with Part 2 of my dining experience at Timpano Italian Chophouse. In the meantime, be sure to find them on Facebook by clicking here and follow them on Twitter @timpano_tampa.

 

Ciao for now,

♥ Tracy ♥

 

 

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