This month Seminole Hard Rock’s Council Oak Steaks & Seafood joined forces with High West Distillery to bring a four-course pairing dinner to please any palate. Last Thursday, I was lucky enough to experience the dinner and unbelievable whiskeys that were paired specifically with the menu prepared by Chef Dave Puatu. Here’s a recap of my amazing experience.


The Hors d’oeuvres

The evening began with a mouthwatering selection of hors d’oeuvres including smoked salmon, rabbit confit and mini pastrami burgers. The standout was the house-smoked salmon, which was served in miniature house-made sesame cones and garnished with osetra caviar and sea salt.

There were five whiskey cocktail pairings throughout the evening, with the first called Payday. This cocktail was an outside-the-box take on margarita. It included High West’s silver whiskey, simple syrup, and fresh lime juice. Each drink of the night was creatively named in theme with High West’s origin of Park City, Utah.


The Courses

The first course was a beautiful deboned and roasted guinea hen, which Chef Dave Puatu noted “tastes like chicken, with an overtone of turkey.” This was finished with an English pea puree, spring onion, surprisingly tart and wonderful gooseberry, guinea hen jus, and red sorrel.  The course was accompanied by the Lost Prospector – a refreshing and attractive mix of High West Distillery American Bourbon, muddled blackberries, simple syrup, St Germaine, fresh lemon and mint.


The next course was a perfectly cooked and seasoned cold smoked trout, accompanied by a champagne vinaigrette, scallop froth, everything bagel crisp, salmon caviar, and shaved purple asparagus salad. This was complemented by the lightly smoky Fools Gold, a twist on a French 75, containing High West’s Campfire (a blend of malt scotch and rye whiskey), Chandon champagne, fresh lemon and orange juices.


Served next was their grilled and deliciously tender honey-chipotle glazed wagyu hanger steak. The dish was presented with a beautiful mix of morel mushrooms, smoked heirloom carrot Puree, and salsa verde. It paired perfectly with theYippee Ki-Yay – a sturdy sipper and limited release barrel finished double rye. By the time this course came around, our four whiskey pairings had us swaying to the very talented live performance.

The final course was a sweet tooth’s dream, with a strikingly presented truffle assortment by award winning Chef Stefan Schubert. A notable favorite of our table was his deconstructed PB&J truffle, a perfect bite of sweet and peanut buttery bliss. Complimenting these treats was a sweet and salty whiskey chocolate martini called Widow Maker. This was made from a champion mix of High West’s double rye, Frangelico, Godiva chocolate liquor, and simple syrup and finished off with a choco-gelato foam and caramel sea salt rim.

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Experience for Yourself!

Now that your mouth is watering, there is a little bad news. This specific meal was a one-of-a-kind dinner… and will not be repeated! Before you get too upset, however, the light at the end of the tunnel is that creative and unique dinners like these happen every month within the walls of Council Oak. Be sure to tune into Seminole Hard Rock’s social channels for upcoming (and equally impressive) pairing dinners, as each month they also work with a different brand representing beer, wine or spirits.

The next dinner event featuring Old St. Pete Distillery takes place on Thursday, August 18th. Check out a sneak peek of the menu below. Tickets can be booked by calling 813.627.6630.

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Photos courtsey of Leo Arbonies, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa