The History of Ulele

September 9, 2014
dinner at ulele

Are you a Pocahontas fan? Well, it turns out Pocahontas’s story may have been an adaptation of Ulele’s story. Ulele was an indian girl who threw herself in the fire to protect 17 year old Juan Ortiz in the name of love. And that’s how the story goes.

It seems pretty fitting that the new talk of the town restaurant in Tampa Heights would be name after such a love story because the work that went into renovating the 1903 structure to what it is today could only be referred to as a labor of love. The beautiful high ceilings and ornate wood siding as well as the beautiful iron sculptures throughout Ulele has a fancy yet comfortable feeling. Sophisticated, yet accessible.

But enough about their story and their building, lets get to the food. My favorite part of any menu has always been the appetizers. I feel that if a restaurant has a nice choice of appetizers, then you really get a feel for what the restaurant has to offer. So at our table we ordered the lobster cake, lobster claw, pulpo carpaccio and the charbroiled oysters.

The lobster claw was served in a big tall stainless steal martini glass which I personally don’t like, because I’m short and the plate is at face height, but I really enjoyed the corn and avocado bites mixed in with the cocktail sauce. As for the lobster cake, what it lacked in presentation it sure made up in flavor. Remember don’t judge a book by its’ cover…

Now for the big winners. The pulpo carpaccio was amazing. I liked how it was paper thin, thinner than sashimi but it packed great flavor with the spicy condiment. My second favorite were those charbroiled oysters. Those oysters were like little fluffy goodness cooked just right with cheese on top. Can it get better than this?

The answer is yes. Let’s start with the bone-in sirloin. It was perfectly seasoned and cooked right to temperature. And yes, there was popcorn on the mashed potatoes. I love the fun aspect of ulele. The pork shank was melt in your mouth tender and the chutney just put it over the top.

The restaurant also offers great cocktails as well as locally brewed beers. And if you are a tequila or bourbon fan be sure to try Ulele’s own Patron and Knob Creek bourbon which were made especially chosen by Ulele.

We truly enjoyed our dinner. The restaurant is beautiful and the location right on the water can’t be beat. They do offer a kids menu, so I see myself coming back soon with our kids to grab a bite to eat after playing in the splash pad nearby.

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  • Reply Nikki September 9, 2014 at 5:21 pm

    The Native Summer was my favorite cocktail! I love all of the gourmet dishes steeped in history and Florida ingredients.
    Nikki recently posted…One More Thing: Stories and Other StoriesMy Profile

    • Reply xiomeeks September 10, 2014 at 1:36 am

      I had the Caipirinha and it was delicious. I’ll have to try the native summer next time!

  • Reply Melanie @ modernmami September 9, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    Sounds like a great place! Thanks for sharing a bit of their history too!
    Melanie @ modernmami recently posted…Back to School Lunch Idea: PB & J Fruit Kabobs {Recipe}My Profile

    • Reply xiomeeks September 10, 2014 at 1:37 am

      You are welcome. It’s such a cool detail.

  • Reply Leila September 9, 2014 at 7:20 pm

    This sounds like the dream restaurant for my hubby! Wow! We will have to put it on your list of “to try” if we ever venture that direction (which is def on my bucket list!)
    Leila recently posted…My Dream Man by Marie Solka {Book Review}My Profile

    • Reply xiomeeks September 10, 2014 at 1:37 am

      If you ever get the chance to come down this way, you should definitively check it out.

  • Reply Shary September 9, 2014 at 8:02 pm

    I live in the Tampa Bay area and have not heard of this place. I’ll have to go find this treasure!
    Shary recently posted…Making Expired Breast Milk LotionMy Profile

    • Reply xiomeeks September 10, 2014 at 1:38 am

      Yes, it’s part of a big redevelopment in the Tampa Heights area. The city has even built a new splash pad and a Riverfront walkway is on the works too!

  • Reply Crystal H September 10, 2014 at 3:37 am

    I’m so jealous! I have been dying to try Ulele! I start school next week, so I am trying to save up money for tuition and will not be going anytime soon. Really bad timing. Something about the words “pork shank” really excite me. 🙂
    Crystal H recently posted…True Sol Omega 3 Fish Oil + Giveaway #Truesolomega3My Profile

  • Reply Diana @ Nanny to Mommy September 10, 2014 at 4:26 pm

    Sounds simply wonderful! Wish I lived closer!
    Diana @ Nanny to Mommy recently posted…The Importance of DHA in Your Toddler’s DietMy Profile

  • Reply Rena (An Ordinary Housewife) September 10, 2014 at 6:56 pm

    DH is from Tampa and his family is still there, so we usually go at least once a year. Sounds like this is a good “date night” restaurant if the grandparents will watch the kids!
    Rena (An Ordinary Housewife) recently posted…Tasty Tuesday: Ranch Parmesan Crusted ChickenMy Profile

  • Reply Ashley @ Love.Marriage.Baby September 11, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    I wish we had something like this where I live! This looks so tasty!!!!
    Ashley @ Love.Marriage.Baby recently posted…9.11.01 {We Will Never Forget}My Profile

  • Reply Claire September 12, 2014 at 8:57 am

    That’s awesome! I love lobsta!
    Claire recently posted…Tips and Tricks Thursdays//Budget TravelingMy Profile

  • Reply Taralyn September 14, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    Sounds and looks like an amazing place to eat!

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