The South’s Best New Hotels 2015

Southern Living Magazine

#3 | The Epicurean Hotel

Tampa, FL

David Laxer of Bern’s Steak House fame – he’s the son of the original owner, Bern – opened this food-focused hotel in Tampa’s à la mode Hyde Park neighborhood in December 2013. Here, the beach meets the barn with simple, time-worn materials—leather, hemp, and cowhide. Retro-inspired, basket-clad cruiser bikes sit in the lobby (available daily; just ask at the front desk), and comfy sitting areas evoke the air of class and warmth. Élevage, the property’s 80-seat restaurant, is led by executive chef—and two-time James Beard Best Chef of the South semifinalist—Chad Johnson. Try the Sunday Supper, a modern take on a dish that Chad’s grandmother reserved for God’s day: White beans are stewed with pork shoulder ribs glazed in a cider vinegar barbecue sauce and served with cornbread in a madeleine pan. But it’s not all old-school. Right inside the lobby, the ultramodern Epicurean Theatre is a culinary classroom that rivals any Food Network studio. Lessons range from Vodka 101 to Tea & Chocolate Pairings, and are taught by industry insiders such as bartender Dean Hurst from Bern’s Steak House. You may even get a lesson from chef Chad himself.

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