Council Oak Steaks & Seafood and The Rez Grill, both fine dining establishments located within Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa, have once again been awarded the highly-esteemed Award of Excellence by Wine Spectator Magazine.
Council Oak Steaks & Seafood was recognized for its wine list which features more than 300 fine wines from more than 13 countries, while The Rez Grill was recognized for its equally admirable 100-bottle wine menu. Each restaurant has staff trained in all the exacting nuances of proper wine service in order to meet the high standards and qualifications for the prestigious award.
This is the 12th straight year Council Oak Steaks & Seafood has been honored by the magazine, while it is the second year The Rez Grill has received the impressive acknowledgment.
“We’re thrilled to announce that Council Oak and The Rez Grill are returning recipients of this elite award by Wine Spectator for their world-class selection of wines,” said Dawn Lazo, Vice President of Food & Beverage at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa. “Our team members are on a constant mission to seek out the finest selection of wines that will cater to the palates of our distinguished clientele.”
The path to receiving this honorable accolade includes a unique process whereby restaurants provide staff with an intensive six-week training program with wine training as a key component. In addition, regularly scheduled informational meetings on the topic are held, including visiting wine experts who share their expertise during special staff seminars. Each food server is educated on wine and regularly tested on this knowledge.
The Award of Excellence recognizes wine lists that offer interesting selections and are appropriate to their cuisine and appeal to a wide range of wine lovers. To qualify, the list must present complete, accurate wine information. It must include vintages and appellations for all selections, including wines available by the glass. Complete producer names and correct spellings are mandatory, while the overall presentation and appearance of the list is also taken into consideration.
After meeting these basic requirements, lists are judged for one of three awards. The Award of Excellence is offered for lists that feature a well-chosen selection of quality producers, along with a thematic match to the menu in both price and style. Typically, these lists offer at least 100 selections.
About Council Oak Steaks & Seafood
After its 2007 opening inside Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa, Council Oak Steaks & Seafood quickly became Tampa’s number one destination for prime steaks, fresh seafood and an award-winning wine list served in a contemporary upscale atmosphere. It’s considered fine dining at its best. All steaks are dry aged 21-28 days and cut right in the restaurant’s very own on-site butcher shop. The fresh fish is line-caught in Florida and the Alaskan king crab legs are right from the Bering Sea. Custom saltwater tanks also keep the live Maine lobsters fresh. The namesake for Council Oak Steaks & Seafood comes from an actual tree located on the Seminole Tribe of Florida (STOF) reservation in Hollywood (Fla.) where ceremonial and official STOF business is conducted.
About The Rez Grill
Opened in December 2017, The Rez Grill at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa is an award-winning restaurant helmed by Creative Culinary Director, Frank Anderson, whose pedigree includes running the kitchens at James Beard-awarded, Los Angeles-based restaurants, Animal and Son of a Gun. Anderson has curated a menu that offers elevated comfort foods including items straight from the kitchen’s wood-burning grill to hand-made pastas and dishes meant for sharing – playfully categorizes as “table participation.”
About Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa
Owned and operated by the Seminole Tribe of Florida, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa is one of the largest and most successful casinos in the world offering award-winning gaming, hospitality and entertainment. The casino features more than 4,000 of the hottest slot machines, 138 table games and a state-of-the-art Poker Room featuring 46 tables. Additionally, the property offers a smoke-free Mezzanine Level Casino. The hotel is AAA Four Diamond rated and the property proudly offers seven award-winning restaurants, including the upscale dining venues Council Oak Steaks & Seafood and The Rez Grill. Renovations and expansions set to debut in the fall of 2019 include a new hotel tower with over 500 rooms, three ultra-lavish pools and expansive gaming space. The property will also unveil a new Rock Spa® & Salon, meeting space, entertainment venue, arrival experience as well as new food and beverage options. The resort is located off I-4 at North Orient Road and Hillsborough Avenue, about 10 minutes east of downtown Tampa. For more information, please call 866-502-PLAY or visit us online and via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.
About Hard Rock International
With venues in 74 countries including 186 cafes, 241 Rock Shops®, 29 hotels and 12 casinos, Hard Rock International (HRI) is one of the most globally recognized companies. Beginning with an Eric Clapton guitar, Hard Rock owns the world’s most valuable collection of music memorabilia, which is displayed at its locations around the globe. Hard Rock is also known for its collectible fashion and music-related merchandise available in global Rock Shops and online at https://shop.hardrock.com. HRI owns the global trademark for all Hard Rock brands including Hard Rock Live performance venues. The company owns, operates and franchises Cafes in iconic cities including London, New York, San Francisco, Sydney and Dubai. HRI also owns, licenses and/or manages hotel/casino properties worldwide. Destinations include the company’s two most successful Hotel and Casino properties in Tampa and Hollywood, FL., both owned and operated by HRI parent entity The Seminole Tribe of Florida. Another exciting Hotel & Casino location includes Atlantic City. Hard Rock Hotels are located in vibrant city and resort destinations such as Bali, Cancun, Daytona Beach, Desaru Coast, Ibiza, London, Los Cabos, Orlando and Shenzhen. Upcoming new Hard Rock Cafe locations include Kathmandu, Nepal, Kyoto, Japan, Asuncion, Paraguay, Puerto Madero, Argentina and Chandigarh, India. New Hard Rock Hotel, Casino or Hotel & Casino projects include Amsterdam, Berlin, Budapest, Dublin, Madrid, Maldives, New York City, Ottawa, Sacramento, Dalian and Haikou in China. In 2018, Hard Rock International was recognized as a Forbes Magazine Top Employer for Women and Land Operator of the Year at the Global Gaming Awards. In 2019, Hard Rock International was honored as one of Forbes Magazine’s America’s Best Large Employers and Forbes Magazine’s Top Employer for Women. For more information on Hard Rock International visit www.hardrock.com.