Taste of The Grove Media Event: Ybor City Welcomes the Newest Restaurant & Bar 7th + Grove

I hope you're all ready for Ybor City's premier restaurant and bar 7th + Grove. Saturday I joined other local bloggers and influencers at the "Taste of the Grove" media event to showcase the new restaurant space and menu. Not only did we get a chance to test the delicious curated menu by Chef James Glenn, we got to meet the partners (and HBCU graduates) Dr. Vondalyn Crawford, Dr. Jamaris Glenn, and Khalilaa McDuffie to hear their vision for 7th + Grove7th + Grove name and title 7th Avenue stands for inclusion and representation with nods to Cuban Black African culture. Grove--the second part of the restaurant name--draws aesthetics from the plants, but also a place where you can flourish explains Dr. Jamaris Glenn, Partner. "You can come and be your own self".

"Their goal was to change how Tampa sees soul. Every dish is named after a song because their vision was to marry the songs with the food to bring back those memories of being at home hearing great R&B and smelling something good cooking in the kitchen" says Dr. Jamaris Glenn.

Some examples of this are:

"Can We Talk" by Tevin Campbell

"Rock the Boat" by Aaliyah

"Happy Feelings"

"Everyday People" 

And likewise, the drink names are named after different flowers and plants. Everything from the Signature craft cocktails to the hand painted murals on the walls have been meticulously executed with Tampa and its eclectic residents in mind. As Dr. Jamaris Glenn explained "This is a place where you can come and be your own self".

The space boasts not one, but two separate areas to congregate and eat in a 9,400 sq. ft expanse. The right side having a full eating area with tables and another bar. Come by and see Kelvin Williams the head mixologist or Spencer for some eclectic drinks. 

Some of their signature cocktails areas follows:

The Solidago
Drunken Marigold
Poison Ivy
The Grove Mule
Honeysuckle Spritz
Jungle Wildflower

Spencer explains that they use fresh ingredients always and that includes the grenadine and ginger juice which is cold pressed daily; the drinks are seasonal also.

One of the signature drinks offered that night was "Jungle Wildflower" which was made with fresh Ginger juice, pineapple, lemon juice, Kool aide grenadine, dark rum, orange and cherry liquor .

When meeting Chef James Roberts the first question I had for him was what inspired his collard green egg rolls? The Egg rolls not gluten free he confirmed, but he exclaimed that he was inspired by other cultures for example Asian food which is were he got the idea for the collar green egg rolls. 

Cornbread Rules Everything Around Me
Chef James holding "Awaken My Love" (Lolli pop fried chicken)

Tonight's tasting menu as follows:

Hey Mr. DJ
Tart pickled green tomato salad with fresh arugula + house bacon + blue cheese crumble + sweet pickled red onion and blue cheese vinaigrette. 

Cornbread Rules Everything Around Me
Cheddar + Jalepeno + Sweet creama

Awaken My Love
Fried chicken Lolli Flight
sour reaper hot sauce + bourbon bbq + grove sauce (their signature herb lemon pepper

Everyday People
Gulf shrimp + smoked gouda grits cooked in duck fat + Creole pan sauce + fried pickled okra

Can We Talk
Blackened Turkey breast + sweet potato mash + Bourbon and peach gastric.

Hey Mr. DJ
Everyday People

This can be prepared gluten free omitting the fried pickled okra

When it comes to the foods offered at 7th + Grove they do not have a gluten free menu, but some menu items can be modified to make them gluten free. When speaking with Chef James he did explain that there is no dedicated frier, but he does have a pan set aside in an area where nothing else will be cooked in that pan that contains gluten to avoid cross contamination. He is even willing to make their fried green tomatoes with just cornmeal (my favorite) and pan fry them us Celiacs.

Sauce bar

"Taste of The Grove"- sponsored by Belaire Rose

Mirror photo booth provided by Reflections of Me



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