Wednesday, October 15, 2014



1810 N Highland Ave
Tampa, FL 33602

ULELE (YOU-LAY-LEE) just opened in Tampa in August of this year. It is located on the Riverwalk, North of downtown Tampa, right next to the newly renovated/restored Water Works Park.

When we first pulled up to Ulele, there was a , “OK where do we park?” moment. But no worries, complimentary valet is there for you! 

It was a downpour last night and running to the doors under an umbrella didn't allow for any views of the amazing Waterworks Park.

Once we walked through the doors, we met our friends at a table by the bar where everyone was waiting until our table was waiting. Everyone had a drink in their hand, and so I annoyingly asked to try them all. Right next to the bar is an open-air grill with flames crackin’ and food cookin’. Great restaurant atmosphere.

The décor of the restaurant is eye catching from the beginning, starting with a glass enclosed wine cellar located under the staircase. The building is also highlighted with stained glass windows, modern sculptures(including a huge horse statue), and industrial accents. Just Gorgeous.

What we ate:

Oysters: These babies were huge! Two different people at our table ordered Oysters. Personally, I don't like oysters, but all were eaten and smiles were seen. 

Lobster Cake: Small appetizer (One large patty). Paired with a cucumber and ginger salad. Delicious

14 oz NY Strip Topped with buttery sauteed crab (Night Special): The hubs and I shared this plate. The steak was perfectly cooked to our liking and the crab on top was a superb partner.

Berkshire Pork Chop: This was ordered by my friend sitting right next to me, so obviously I snuck a bite. And a tasty bite it was. 

Squash Gratin: Roasted zucchini, summer squash, onions, and tomatoes topped with a cheese (manchego) crust. This was basically my meal, since the hubs almost devoured the steak.

White Cheddar Popcorn Mashed Potatoes: This deliciousness was hiding under our steak.  With garlic and cheese, you can’t go wrong. Then they top it with white cheddar popcorn and your mashed potato world will never be the same.

Mac and Cheese:  I’m not hard to satisfy with mac n cheese. As long as it’s creamy and cheesy, I’m sold. This was no disappointment.

White Limas and Collards: My favorite side. Simply collards and lima beans sautéed in olive oil, and garlic. A bowl of green heaven.  

Drinks: Ulele has their own on-site brewery!

Ulele Light: While this beer wasn't a huge success, it wasn't bad. Just a simple light beer.
Wedding Beer: A Fruit based beer and table favorite.
Native Summer: Also a table favorite. A Gin based cocktail served in a tall glass filled with cucumber slices. .
Moscow Mule: This wasn't on the “Handcrafted Cocktail” list but the hubs ordered one anyways. OK OK, I know we just need to stop ordering these at restaurants. If you want to try a good Moscow Mule, ask my sister-in-law to make you one.

The complaint box:
Our main food dishes took little longer than expected to come to the table. We had a rather larger party, and I was taking a tour of the restrooms and outside sitting area (when it stopped raining) to really care anyways.

Score Card
On a scale from 1-5 stars (in the high end restaurant category) Ulele gets a 5! It’s been a while since I was so impressed with almost everything about a restaurant. It is just an overall neat place. The food, décor, staff, everything was unique.  I highly recommend having a date night or night out with some friends at Ulele!


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