Catch Twenty-Three

August 3, 2012 No Comments by Champagne Girl

Today is the kick-off for Dine Tampa Bay’s Restaurant Week which runs through August 17th.  During the next two weeks, you can enjoy exclusive prix fixe menus consisting of delicious appetizers, scrumptious entrées and divine desserts at participating restaurants throughout Tampa Bay. I am really looking forward to dining at some of my favorite spots as well as discovering new ones. I will be sharing my delicious experiences with all of you! :)

Last weekend I finally made it to Catch Twenty-Three in Westchase, which is a place that has been on my list to visit for the past year.  I sampled some of their food at an event last year and was very impressed. I do not make it to Westchase very often, but on every visit I am always discovering something new and exciting. They graciously invited me to come in for dinner and preview their exclusive menu for Dine Tampa Bay’s Restaurant Week.

Located at 10103 Montague St. in West Park Village,  Catch Twenty-Three is a stylish seafood restaurant with a casual, Floridian vibe. Their menu showcases fresh seafood selections, steaks, chicken, pastas and more with both Latin and Caribbean influenced flavors. As I glanced over their menu, I knew I would have to plan on coming back a few more times because so many things caught my eye.

 

**photo courtesy of Blink of an Eye Photographic Arts

 

As my friends and I sat down, we were greeted by our wonderful server and offered a beverage. Since I was in a celebratory mood, I opted for a glass of bubbly and went with the Marquis De La Tour Brut from Loire Valley, France.  Delicate and floral, the Marquis was just what I was craving. As my friends and I chatted over wine, we were presented with a fresh bread selection that included a fresh loaf of banana bread topped with toasted coconut shavings.  Nice and warm, I cut a slice and just had to add whipped butter.  It was simply divine.

 

**photo courtesy of Blink of an Eye Photographic Arts

 

My friend Rebecca was not very hungry and just wanted an appetizer. Since their sushi looked so amazing, she went with the Volcano Roll. The presentation alone on this dish was enough to win me over. Ahi tuna, asparagus, cream cheese and avocado filled the inside while the outside was wrapped with warm spicy conch and krab meat. She loved it and I, of course, had to have a taste. It was even more delicious than it looked.

 

**photo courtesy of Blink of an Eye Photographic Arts

 

Since my other friend and I were both ordering from the prix fixe menu, we each ordered a different appetizer so we could share them. After hearing so much about their Braised Blue Cheese Mussels, my choice was simple. As soon as the server brought them out, I knew this was going to be a memorable dining moment in my life. Sizzling hot mussels with Applewood smoked bacon, lemon juice, white wine, blue cheese crumbles and mixed greens, this dish was beyond fabulous. Words cannot describe how much I enjoyed them. As the scent of warm bacon and fresh lemon surrounded our table, my two friends were drooling as they looked at my dish of mussels. They tried them and both agreed that they were outstanding. After the mussels were gone, we all dipped our bread in the creamy lemon sauce that still had chucks of bacon and blue cheese. Pure bliss!  It was the perfect ending to such a fantastic appetizer.

 

**photo courtesy of Blink of an Eye Photographic Arts

 

My other friend chose the Red Stripe Beer Calamari. I have had countless dishes of calamari in my life and let me just say, this was truly unique. Marinated for 24 hours in Red Stripe Jamaican Beer and topped with a roasted red pepper remoulade, this dish is magnificent. The calamari was perfectly fried and the remoulade added a tangy spice.  We also dipped calamari into to remaining sauce from the mussels…..incredible!

 

**photo courtesy of Blink of an Eye Photographic Arts

 

When it came time to order an entrée, I was torn. Everything sounded so good and I had a hard time trying to decide.  One item in particular kept jumping out at me so I went with the Stuffed Shrimp. Catch Twenty-Three did not disappoint with this one which was a beautiful plate of four jumbo shrimp stuffed with super lump crab meat, ginger and cilantro.  It was served with a garlic, key lime and white wine sauce and a choice of a side.  I wanted to try two sides so I went with coconut rice and green beans.  This dish, in my opinion, is the quintessential Floridian dish. The shrimp were nicely sized and packed with flavor. I loved the garlic, key lime and white wine sauce which really accentuated the flavor of the stuffed shrimp.  The green beans were the perfect touch.

 

**photo courtesy of Blink of an Eye Photographic Arts

 

The other item I really wanted to try was the Paella.  Growing up in Northern California, I used to frequent a Spanish restaurant in Palo Alto called Iberia that to this day remains my favorite spot in California for Paella. Seeing that Catch Twenty-Three offered this classic Spanish dish on their menu, I knew I had to try it.  My sweet friend ordered it so him and I could share each other’s entrées. When his dish was brought out, I was captivated by the colors and the scent of fresh seafood. With shrimp, mussels, chicken, chorizo sausage, peas, onions and tomatoes, this dish was not only a feast for the eyes, it was a delicious taste of Latin and Caribbean fusion. I LOVED the addition of the chorizo which really gives this dish a unique flavor. It was served in a white wine,  garlic and saffron broth over rice. I must say, they do an awesome job on their Paella and I think I found my new spot for Paella in Tampa Bay. :)

 

**photo courtesy of Blink of an Eye Photographic Arts

 

As full as we were, we still had dessert to order and I already prepared for this wonderful meal by going to the gym earlier that day.  I was ready for a sweet ending to my evening and we ordered a couple of desserts so we could taste more than just one. Out first dessert was Key Lime Pie which has quickly become a favorite of mine.  Sweet and tangy, their Key Lime Pie was terrific. I loved that they brought us two slices and it was a good thing because not a single trace was left on the plate.

 

**photo courtesy of Blink of an Eye Photographic Arts

 

Since I loved their banana bread so much, I also ordered their Banana Bread Pudding. Made with their famous banana bread, Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia ice cream and topped with Myers’s Original Dark Rum Sauce, this dessert rocks! I am a huge fan of Ben & Jerry’s and LOVE Cherry Garcia ice cream. This was the perfect trio of flavors and the rum sauce was sweet and decadent. They gave us a large slice and we were only able to eat half. I took the rest home and had it with coffee the next morning.  You MUST try this if you dine at Catch Twenty-Three.

 

**photo courtesy of Blink of an Eye Photographic Arts

 

I had such a fabulous evening with great food and great company. Catch Twenty-Three is truly a gem in Westchase and I am anxiously awaiting my next visit.  Be sure to check them out during restaurant week and who knows, you just might bump into me as I plan on going back next week.  Here is a link to their prix fixe menu: Dine Tampa Bay Menu

You can find them on Facebook by clicking here and follow them on Twitter @Catch23Tampa.

 

Address: 10103 Montague Street Tampa, Florida 33626

813-920-0045

Hours of Operation:

Monday – Thursday: 4:30pm – 9:30pm

Friday: 4:30pm – 10:30pm

Saturday: 4:30pm – 10:30pm

Sunday: 4:30pm – 9:00pm

 

 

Catch Twenty-Three on Urbanspoon

 

Have a delicious weekend!

-Tracy

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