Monday, May 9, 2016

Escape to Cafe Dufrain

It was a balmy evening so we were very happy to be seated outside on the patio with beautiful views of Hillsborough Bay. The Tampa Bay Times Forum is just across the bay and we dined against the backdrop of thunderous roars from the fans cheering their team on.
This is an interesting part of town. Harbour Island is a little triangle of land that sits between Tampa's mainland and Davis Islands, and it has a cool vibe with its lovely townhouse type condos and rentals and trendy restaurants and shops. It's kept very clean and beautifully landscaped and has the feel of a 'walking' community, especially the promenade along the river. Cafe Dufrain is pretty and our waiter was gracious and very accommodating. It's the little things you notice, like when after having just cleared the salad plates away I dropped a bit of tomato and a few moments later he glided by and surreptitiously swiped it away without drawing attention to my sloppiness and kept moving. Clearly he keeps a keen eye on his tables. I liked that.
Since they don't offer a small side salad hubby and I shared the Greek Salad, the highlight of which was the little mound of potato salad buried under it. Hubby was so impressed with it that he ordered an additional side portion. Long a great fan of potato salad, he's taste tested it at hundreds of restaurants in the many years I know him and found most of them wanting. For him the perfect potato salad has a little drop of pickle juice in it and this one seemed to be a winner.
I ordered their "Local Shrimp Tacos" with the house-made potato chips....and it was very good with just enough heat from the jalapeno crema and pico de gallo to make my taste buds dance. The chips were well done and not at all greasy and I ate every bit of them.
Hubby opted for the Dufrain Steak Burger which also came with chips and he enjoyed it. There's not much you can say about a burger except that it was prepared as ordered as this one was and the dressing was tasty.
Ken's plate was quite impressive - deep jewel toned slices of Spicy Tuna Tartare with a Wasabi and Sriracha Aioli (the spicier the better for Ken). I'm puzzled why they called it 'Tartare' since it was sliced rather than diced up. In any case it was declared yummy and as you can see the presentation was beautiful.
The menu is a little pricy however they had some reasonably priced options and we went with those. Cafe Dufrain boasts that more than three quarters of their menu items are sustainable, organic and/or locally grown, and while this is a noble and admirable effort in keeping with the growing health conscious trend, it does come at a price. They couldn't persuade us to stay for dessert because we were headed to Kaplantown for coffee, laughter and conversation and the most gorgeous bowl of berries I'd ever seen. Look at Cheryl's fancy presentation! It definitely put a smile on my face.
We'll be heading back to Harbour Island to check out some of the other eateries soon I'm sure. We never get tired of exploring Tampa Bay and all it has to offer.
Café Dufrain
707 Harbour Post Dr., Tampa, FL 33602 | 813.275.9701
Cafe Dufrain Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato View my food journey on Zomato!

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