Council Oak Steaks & Seafood and The Rez Grill, both fine dining venues in Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa, have been awarded the prestigious Award of Excellence by Wine Spectator Magazine.
Council Oak Steaks & Seafood boasts a menu of over 300 fine wines from more than 13 countries, while The Rez Grill has its own impressive 100-bottle wine list. Each restaurant has staff trained in all of the exacting nuances of proper wine service.
This is the 11th straight year Council Oak Steaks & Seafood has been honored by the magazine, while it’s the first year The Rez Grill has received the Award of Excellence.
“We’re proud that both Council Oak and The Rez Grill were recognized 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. “Team members at both restaurants continually strive to deliver an unparalleled guest experience.”
Both 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 and every 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 salt water 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
The restaurant is the most recent addition to the property, which began a multi-million-dollar expansion and renovation in 2017. At the helm of the American grill is the newly appointed Creative Culinary Director, Frank Anderson, whose pedigree includes having run the kitchens at James Beard-recognized 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 categorized as “table participation.”
About Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa is the premier entertainment destination of Central Florida. Owned and operated by the Seminole Tribe of Florida, the property is one of the most successful and largest casinos in the world. Located off I-4 at North Orient Road and Hillsborough Avenue, about 10 minutes east of downtown Tampa, the casino features high stakes table games, thousands of the hottest slot machines as well as a new smoke free slots area offering more than 850 popular games. Additionally, there is a state-of-the-art Poker Room featuring 46 tables and an art deco-inspired Mezzanine Level Casino with more than 500 premium and high limit slots. The hotel is AAA Four Diamond rated and the property proudly offers seven award-winning Zagat-rated restaurants, including the upscale dining venues Council Oak Steaks & Seafood and The Rez Grill. The only place to rock one’s body and soul, Rock Spa® & Salon, is also available along with a plethora of VIP services. 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 75 countries, including 182 cafes, 24 hotels and 11 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 greatest 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, Hard Rock Live performance venues and an award-winning website. HRI owns the global trademark for all Hard Rock brands. 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 company The Seminole Tribe of Florida, as well as other exciting locations including Bali, Cancun, Ibiza, Las Vegas, and San Diego. Upcoming new Hard Rock Cafe locations include St. Petersburg, Fortaleza, Casablanca and Chengdu. New Hard Rock hotel, casino or hotel-casino projects include Atlanta, Atlantic City, Berlin, Budapest, London, Los Cabos, Maldives, New York City, Ottawa, Dalian and Haikou in China. For more information on Hard Rock International, visit www.hardrock.com.