New spot in South Tampa- "Wimauma" is up and running
Former Knife & Co Chef Gary Moran and his wife have opened Wimauma on South Macdill in the space formerly occupied by Delizie (just south of Mad Dogs & Englishmen). Contemporary Florida Seafood is the theme, the menu is solid, and the prices are pretty excellent. Went with a group of friends a couple nights ago, tried probably 2/3rds of the menu, everything ranged from good to great. 7 people splitting dishes with beers (and wine for the lady) - just over $100.
I should note that it's ladies night every night until NYE, so ladies get free wine or draft beer each night until then! They're oak-smoking a number of their own meats and veggies, and they've got an adjacent plot of land out back where they're growing some herbs and such. Also they're using an awesome but well hidden farm in South Tampa (near Interbay and 2nd) for local free range eggs, honey, mustard greens, etc.
Our table's favorites were the Disco Fries, the Oyster Bacon Pan Stew, and the Fried Oysters with Guacamole, Cilantro, and Smoked Tomato Jam. Menu pic attached.
Had a very late dinner at Wimauma last Friday night. I promise to never again make fun of their name by calling them Wachovia, WeekiWatchee or Walmart. i have to say i was really impressed; was expecting to be disappointed and i was shocked outta my shoes at how delish everything was. every single thing.
first, i enjoy having a bunch of small plates; who wants to commit to a lot of something when you could have small plate after small plate of a lot of wonderful little bites? (sigh). started out with a couple of glasses of Stella while nibbling on those super-wet boiled peanuts and looking at the menu.
ordered a few small dishes that had been recommended...first was rhnault's recommendation, Fried Green Tomatoes w/crispy country ham, watercress & buttermilk ranch vinaigrette. hellllo, lovah. i loved that the tomatoes were cut in big chunks instead of slices. this dish was delish. Amy (who was quite lovely, by the way; we were the last table, she had a glass of wine in her hand, had a sense of humor about her "reputation in the media") recommended the Salt & Pepper Fried Okra w/ cilantro, jalapeno, fried garlic and shallot (an homage to yummy house) which was wonderful. then, of course, HAD to have the Crispy Fried Florida Oysters w/Guacamole, cilantro and smoked tomato jam. Mama Mia, i'll have what SHE's having. the fried oysters go surprisingly well with the soft guacamole, and oooh that nice sweet little dollop of jam pulled the whole thing together into one perfect bite. We actually had to order a second plate of the oysters. By the way, my guy hates seafood (and cheese, and ALL dairy, and anything mousse-like or pudding-like in texture, etc etc ) he's a real meat-n-potatoes guy, but he loved the oysters, i still can't get over it. it's all he talks about, he wants to go back.
we added a wonderful bottle of Chilean Savignon Blanc, and ordered the Country Mac n Cheese with English Peas, Cheddar, Benton's Bacon & Scallion. Really, really nice. My guy had the Southern Style Fried Chicken Bucket w/ French Fries, hushpuppies and honey mustard sauce. the chicken was really tasty, crust was panko. one small piece of chicken was dry, most were moist and fine. french fries were good, had some kind of batter or light coating on them. i found the hushpuppies to be a bit dry and tasteless; it was really the only thing i didn't LOVE.
wait...dessert. he had the Key Lime Pie (fabulous) with fresh banana ice cream (delish) and Basil Chantilly (mind-boggling). and now, three days later, he's still talking about how good it was.
i had the Grits Creme Brulee with Champagne Sorbet. I have never liked grits, but they gave the creme brulee a wonderful texture, almost like little tapioca pearls or soft rice, a nice contrast to creme brulee's nothing-but-smooth consistency. i just loved it. the champagne sorbet alone would have been a wonderful dessert, but on top of the creme brulee, it was heaven.
very, very, very nice and good. warm staff who were surprisingly helpful and well-versed in all components of all dishes (despite critiques i've read). i was very pleased and wish the morans well in this venture. i even like the fact that they feature local artists' canvases on the walls (for sale, too. very cool). Really impressed. :)
We went to Wimauma last week based on this thread, and, on balance, were not impressed. The place is a million times more casual than we had anticipated, and the prices were on the high-ish side, though not outrageous, all things considered.
We had the fried green tomatoes, the fried oysters, the shrimp and grits, the hush puppies, the garden salad, the collard greens, and one other item that escapes me.
Of everything, I would only describe as excellent the shrimp and grits. Yes, I know everyone has shrimp and grits and now, but despite the fact that it has jumped the shark as a dish a few times already, this preparation was excellent. Grits were flavorful and creamy, shrimp cooked just right, and fresh-tasting. All of it had a depth of flavor so pronounced, I wondered if the rest of the dishes came from the same kitchen.
Which leads to me to the rest of the dishes: the only other thing I'd say was good was the fried green tomatoes a la Yummy House Salt and Pepper Tofu/Calamari. Very nice big chunks (I'd never had them prepared in huge chunks -- it works beautifully), still tender, but cooked through, and great "salt and pepper" flavor, just like YH.
I did not like anything else. My general impression was: good effort, but not even close to deliciousness. Oysters and their batter were rubbery. Flavor of a plain guac and the other ruby-colored sauce really didn't bring much to the party. The collards were ok, but no depth of flavor. Hush puppies were absolutely terrible - chalky, floury, crumbly, almost not cooked through. Even the flavor was bad. Garden salad was almost as bad as the puppies. Limp, slightly brown iceberg lettuce, likely sitting in the walk-in 3 days too long, served with that refrigerated chill still on it. If the dressing was home-made, it didn't matter: it was poured over the salad, not dressed. The other salad toppings, were just that: toppings. Nothing made me think that these ingredients were not from Publix, bought a few days ago, and just sitting in the fridge since.
Wine list looked interesting, but expensive. I had a California zinfandel for $10 a glass. Stemware was ok, but where wine by the glass seemed to be an average of $12, I'd expect better (or cheaper prices). Wine was served warm (not a problem if you're giving it to me for $5/glass).
My wife and I agreed that we might not have been so hard on the place were the prices lower. And that's not necessarily to say the place is expensive per se, it's just expensive for what it is, IMHO.
I agree. it's one of my new favorite restaurants in Tampa. They do that nouveau Southern thing well. And what I love about them is that it's all locally-sourced. The menu changes about every other day depending on the ingredients local farmers bring them. It was hands down the best shrimp n grits I've ever had. The citrus mahi mahi and the beef two ways were also incredible. Delicious fried green tomato appetizer as well. The only thing that was a miss were the desserts. We tried a peach cornbread cobbler and some sort of vanilla ice cream over a bacon brownie, the cobbler was too dry and the brownie way too salty for my liking. Sadly they had run out of the pb&j creme brulee, which I would have loved to try.
I'll definitely be back.