On Wednesday evening, I had the pleasure of attending a dinner event with some wonderful folks from GM in the Southeast. Remember back in July when I attended the Chevy Fit4Life Tour and I got to test drive the 2012 Buick Enclave. Well, the people who made all of that possible were in town and wanted to get together with the influencers and organizations they have worked with in the past to brainstorm future ideas.
The dinner was held at AQUA Bar and Grille, which is located at The Westin Tampa Bay on Rocky Point. I had the opportunity to try some of the food from AQUA at the Dine Tampa Bay Kick-Off Party and really enjoyed it. In other words, I was really excited to see what the restaurant experience was like.
The hotel is located right on the water and the restaurant is situated so that patrons are able to take full advantage of the gorgeous views. I arrived a few minutes early so I could wander around and take a few photos, which I love doing. The hostess showed me back to where our group was meeting and I introduced myself to everyone that was already there. Our table was already set out with our menus for the evening.
As the rest of our group started arriving, I was thrilled to see Caroline and Christie. I know Caroline from the Tampa Bay Lady Bloggers group and I met Christie at the Chevy Fit4Life Tour. Honestly, I felt a little out of place up until that point because I didn’t recognize anyone else.
[Photos Courtesy of Caroline]
Once everyone was there, we sat down and went around the table introducing ourselves and what projects we have worked with GM in the Southeast on. I was thrilled to find out that their outreach programs have helped so many great organizations and families throughout the Tampa Bay Area!
After the introductions, we placed our drink and dinner order. Then the conversation really got started. Caroline and I both ordered the Berry Berry Blue martini. It is made with blueberry vodka, sour mix, simple syrup and muddled blueberries (from the menu) and it was absolutely delicious. I really had my eye on the Dragon Berry Mojito but they were out of the Dragon Berry Rum so I will be going back just to try that drink. The flavor of the martini was definitely blueberry with a hint of alcohol. It was a little stronger than I am used to but I really enjoyed it.
The salad course came out with our drinks. (Perfect timing!) Everyone was served the same market salad, which included mixed greens, goat cheese, grape tomatoes, candied pecans, apples, and a champagne vinaigrette. I loved the salad choice even though mine was missing the tomatoes.
The salad was wonderful blend of sweet and savory, chewy and crunchy without anything being too overpowering. The dressing provided a subtle sweet flavor that really balanced everything out. I would definitely order this salad the next time I am here!
After everyone was finished with their salads, the dinner course came out. Once again, Caroline and I had our sights set on the same meal. We both ordered the Citrus Atlantic Salmon, which came with an heirloom black bean ragout and a smoked tomato gazpacho. The last time I ate salmon was at the summer menu tasting event for Seasons 52 and I was really craving it.
The salmon was amazing. It was moist and tender on the inside with a perfect seared crunch on the outside. The seasonings that crusted the filet were delicious and provided a pop of flavor to the fish. The black bean ragout and the tomato gazpacho were a perfect pairing for the fish. They didn’t take away from the salmon but rather added a unique, zesty flavor.
The salad and dinner courses were so delicious that I cleaned my plate and was a little nervous I wouldn’t be able to enjoy dessert. This girl LOVES her sweets! When the server brought out the cheesecake, I knew I could eat more. The cheesecake was a banana caramel cheesecake and it was just as delicious as the rest of the meal was. My favorite part was probably the graham cracker crust!
The evening was filled with great food, wonderful conversation and exciting prospects for the future. I can’t wait to go back to AQUA and to see what happens next with GM in the Southeast.