Heaven in Haven

My last post, I eluded to the fact that Hubs and I had a date night! And what a date that was!! We went into Tampa…whoa…like 30 minutes from home…to hang out.  We did some shopping for our upcoming Spring Break va-cay with the boys and my sister and her tribe. 

I had read about a resturant on a great blog Eat a Duck some time last year. SN: follow them!!!   We are always looking for other resturants, away from the “norm”.  It peaked my interest because of the extensive Scotch and Whiskey offerings they offered. I immediately knew Hubs would like this place.  

Haven in South Tampa is a different kind of dining.  Small plates, great offerings of meats and cheeses, a variety of cocktails and a huge variety of cocktails, wine, and spirits. #score 

We had a great seat because we were right in front of the huge TV for March Madness basketball! 

 We started off well!😉

  Hubs and I opted for red wine instead of scotch (next time, Haven…next time!).  A tasty Chilean Carmenere

 ….and a hand selected array of cheese and meats 

 Let me say…the funkier the cheese, the better.  And if you have the cheese coupled with the sampling next to it…oh my!!  The cheese in the forefront (the white),on the left, was cheese made with sheep’s milk. That was a first for me! It was like butter…like texture.  Our meats, Iberian ham, Hog head cheese (sounds gross but delightful) and Bison summer sausage. Double oh my!!!  And then…. 

 OLIVES!!!  My favorite…any which way you can give it to me!  They were pitted olives but who cares??? They were yummy!

The resturant has an array of small plates, very similar to tapas if you are familiar.  They don’t call themselves that type of resturant, but that’s the best comparison that I can give.  It’s typical that a part of our size have any where from 4-6 dishes for dinner. 

 From left to right: Malaysian pork ribs, Burrata & Cremer potatoes, Conchinita Pibil Tacos

  Lobster & Hog Jowl Fricasee and Lemon Thyme Gnocchi (with Crab)
  Skirt steak and Bone Marrow

For a complete menu description, check it out here.

I love the variety of foods and there were many things that I hadn’t had before!  I stepped out of my comfort zone during this meal!   The  seafood dishes were a real first for me, as I usually don’t like seafood.  The only thing I could not bring myself to ingest was the bone marrow.  I thought I could…ala Food Network style, but I couldn’t.  I’m thinking of it came to the table a different way or Hubs spread on the bread  before I saw it, I would have eaten it.  It’s smelled great! But I generally have a problem eating something that I am aware of the function in the body…like organ meats and such. 

We were so full, dessert was even an option! 

We had such a pleasurable evening during our night at Haven.  If you are ever in Tampa, FL, please add this to your list of places to eat.  

 👍The Leyva Stamp of Approval👍

Thanks for reading! Eat up!❤️

Any resturants you’ve tried lately you want to share? I’m all ears….!

Hey! Have you been to…..

The Fresh Market? Well, I haven’t….until yesterday!  

 It’s been open for a while here in Valrico, but I haven’t had a chance to go on that end of town. (You know…kids!!!).  I had a moment by myself (after Costco), so I ran with it!  If you’ve have the pleasure of shopping at Whole Foods, that’s the kind of luxury you can find in The Fresh Market (TFM). It provides all of the organic, gluten free, non GMO products right before your very eyes!  I’m not sure the size of TFM, so I can’t say if this is a “normal” size or a “small”.  

When you walk in, this is what greets you and you know you are some place special!  I felt like I was cheating on Publix! 😏
I tried not to be a creeper but I tried to get as many shots as possible (without someone questioning me!!).  This started the produce section….

  I saw my Honey Crisp apples on sale for $2.99/pound!! That’s a STEAL!!! 

The deli was amazing….salad bar, OLIVE BAR, you name it! 

   Like the others, you take what you want and pay by the pound.  The deli also had hot meat and cold cuts, all sorts of cheeses… 
Great selection of pantry items, I tell ya! I went there specifically for one type of pasta that I’ve heard about to try and couldn’t find locally. Mind you, we have a Whole Foods in Tampa, but who the HELL wants to drive 30+ minutes for some damn pasta? I’m not THAT high maintainence! 😉. But I found it here!!! 

 I made it…and it was good, BTW. 

On to the section that ALWAYS gets my attention..ALCOHOL!  

  Our favorite and the price is NICE!!  
 The store has a great wine selection for you wine lovers, and the prices aren’t too shabby either!  Then the beers…a nice selection and you can create your own 6 pack.  

Like nut butter? Why not make your own……? 

 I tried Almond Butter 

 …which was a first because I’m used to eating the jar stuff!  If you’ve not had this before, it isn’t sweet like the butter in the jar.  It’s an acquired taste but it wasn’t bad!  I’d go back to try the others!  😉

There wasn’t a spot in the store that you couldn’t try something! Since the holidays are approaching, there were many foods to try for the season! I resisted, because I’m on a mission….AGAIN! 😂

I was looking for Ezekial bread but they didn’t have it (or I didn’t look hard enough, which is ALWAYS possible!).  I found a suitable option. 

   I’m trying to keep the sugar count low and pay attention to ingredients more.  This looks like a good option and I shall say…I SCORED on this find!
Oh…I found something kind cute in the “water” section…

 …this Fred water bottle is able “refillable and recyclable”.  Well, aren’t they all, you ask??  Fred prides themselves in providing a product that is free of all the BAD stuff in plastic bottles of today.  So therefore, you can refill it without worry! And CUTE ALERT….it’s shaped like a flask! 

All and all is was a fun trip to the store. I don’t really enjoy going to the grocery store,probably because I don’t cook! But this was fun, exploring new foods to try and taste. 

For those of you that haven’t been (and you have one close)…go check it out! I don’t think you’ll regret it.  If you like Whole Foods, you’ll LOVE The Fresh Market. 

****Disclaimer- All of the opinions about my visit to The Fresh Market were my own.  I have not been compensated for these opinions. 

What did you do this weekend?