The small type: Since 1905, the Columbia Restaurant provides offered Spanish and Cuban-inspired dishes and drinks that signify a long-standing genealogy and family history. Started by a Cuban immigrant in Tampa, the Columbia remains a local favored due to the conventional foods and friendly service. Over the years, individuals from world-wide have come for the glamorous cafe to celebrate engagements, anniversaries, birthdays, as well as other monumental times. Now, the fourth and fifth years in the household owns and functions 13 various restaurants throughout Florida. If you’re looking for great dinner with a good antique family members sense, you can easily reserve a table into the spectacular and intimate eating spaces in the Columbia eatery.
For the past 30 years, my children’s preferred vacation destination has-been an oceanfront lodge in Sand Key, Fl. We have now eliminated there over twelve times to build mud castles, spot dolphins, and eat delicious dishes on patios ignoring the Gulf of Mexico.
We now have thoroughly explored the town’s bistro option, looking around from the finest local joints around, nevertheless only very happens your one restaurant all of us enjoy a lot of is within strolling distance in our resort. The Columbia Restaurant’s white-linen tablecloths, attentive solution, and mouth-watering meals create the go-to area for dinner.
Whenever we happened to be young ones, my personal parents would get united states a cheddar pizza as they went to this intimate Spanish cafe alone; but we currently enjoy tapas and wine just as much while they would, therefore we’ve begun crashing their unique night out â occasionally delivering along dates of your own.
Since 1905, the Columbia Restaurant features wowed clients with Spanish and Cuban meals and an old-world atmosphere. Though itis the earliest restaurant in Fl, business continues to be run from the descendants in the original founder. Every item about menu has actually a tale behind it, and many in the dishes have-been handed over from one generation in the Hernandez Gonzmart household to another. Family tradition is a large a portion of the Columbia’s diet plan, background, and way of service.
“The staff can be some like family members,” stated Michael Kilgore, the principle advertising Officer for all the Columbia. “quite a few workers stay for 20 or 30 years. Among the situations we love about all of our group is actually the length of time they stay with you. They are available here in order to find a house.”
You may enjoy this comfy and welcoming atmosphere in your next night out by visiting any of the Columbia’s seven different restaurants. The Columbia eatery currently acts visitors in Tampa, Sarasota, St. Augustine, Clearwater Beach, and Celebration. Whether you are drinking wine on a picturesque balcony or watching flamenco dancers light up the stage while you consume tapas, you are certain to have a remarkable evening from the Columbia.
In 1905, a Cuban Immigrant went a Saloon That Became a Sensation
The Columbia eatery can trace its background back to Dec. 17, 1903 â equivalent time the Wright brothers effectively tried society’s first plane. That has been whenever a Cuban immigrant named Casimiro Hernandez Sr. began running a saloon for a nearby preparing organization in Tampa’s Ybor City.
In 1905, the industrious business owner switched the saloon into popular 60-seat cafe recognized for their authentic Cuban coffee and snacks. Soon after their achievements, Casimiro bought a restaurant across the street and changed it into a striking kitchen. In 1930, his daughter took over control and operation of the thriving bistro.
Throughout Great anxiety, his boy Casimiro Jr. created the first air-conditioned kitchen in Tampa. He hoped their trendy look and elevated party flooring would draw individuals to the bistro that assist them forget their unique worries for every night. The Don Quixote area was popular, and also the Columbia could hold the doors available even though many some other organizations collapsed.
In 1953, Casimiro Jr. passed the Columbia onto their just youngster, Adela Hernandez Gonzmart, an experienced musician who’d satisfied the woman spouse, Cesar Gonzmart, within Tampa bistro. This theatrical pair introduced activity and art with the Columbia, establishing a showroom that managed many skilled Latin performers and artists. Under Adela and Cesar’s leadership, the Columbia expanded to Sarasota along with other locations in Florida.
Nowadays, certainly Adela and Cesar’s two sons has had the reins and held their family’s business heading. Richard Gonzmart has-been operating at his family members’ restaurants since he had been 12 years old, thus he or she is intimately acquainted with their atmosphere and record. Richard can in fact point out the table on Columbia eatery where the guy along with his girlfriend had their own basic big date more than 43 years back.
“There’s a lot of love here, and then we have outstanding story,” mentioned Michael. “significantly less than 15 restaurants in the United States tend to be family-owned and most 100 years outdated, therefore we’re in pretty elite organization.”
Fl’s earliest restaurant features a satisfied and enduring history rooted in meals, family members, and enjoyable. Michael told you the 5th generation regarding the founding family members is currently getting groomed to take control 1 day. Richard’s daughters and nephew have chosen to take on productive administration parts within restaurants and generally are ready to maintain household tradition choosing additional years into the future.
The Columbia might acknowledged with some of the highest awards inside the cafe market, including induction into Nation’s eatery News’ “okay Dining Hall of popularity,” obtained the “notable Restaurants of united states (SiRoNA) Award of Excellence,” Florida Trend’s “Golden Spoon Hall of Fame,” and Wine Spectator’s “good honor of Excellence.”
Dig In! A Delectable Menu of Sharable Tapas & Indulgent Desserts
The Columbia Restaurant establishes a lavish table and offers an enjoyable escape from everyday activity. It seduces your sensory faculties as soon as you walk-in the doors. You’re enclosed by greenery, water fountains, and artwork since sounds of fun and the scents of new fish meals waft through the atmosphere. Before my order also gets to me personally, my personal lips is definitely watering with expectation. Thankfully, each guest gets their own newly produced loaf of Cuban breads, thus I have one thing to meet my personal tastebuds while I wait.
The 14-page menu is full of great food but additionally provides easy dialogue starters for daters just learning one another. Each entrÃ©e, appetizer, and treat comes with an enticing information and interesting history details. As an instance, the cafe’s coconut frozen dessert was actually a favorite of ice-cream business person Gustavo Hernandez, the next daughter for the initial Columbia creator, and after this this nice dish is served inside the respect.
From the vegetarian paella (Spanish rice blended with hearty vegetables) to your shrimp supreme (shrimp wrapped in wafer-thin bacon), the foodstuffs at the Columbia are bursting with taste. The shareable dishes, called tapas, make this restaurant well suited for lovers on a night out together since you can come better with each other by discussing small plates of empanadas, sliced chorizo, croquetas, or stuffed peppers. To make a budget-friendly meal by ordering some of the appetizers together â keep in mind to save lots of space for dessert!
The TrÃ¨s Amigos churros was an excellent option for partners because they’re tactile, nice, and just a tiny bit dirty. You’ll be able to drop the piping-hot churros in candy, caramel, or guava sauce so there’s something for all. In addition, Columbia’s signature White Chocolate Bread Pudding is an indulgent treat excellent for splitting with a date who’s a taste for white candy and rum sauce.
In 2017, the Marriott Traveler blog called the Columbia Restaurant among St. Augustine’s leading date-night spots, encouraging partners to “focus on Columbia’s well-known 1905 Salad, assembled table-side with a lot panache, right after which share a massive plate in the Paella a la Valenciana, overflowing with shellfish, fragrant grain, and chorizo.”
Your own passionate night will be-all more satisfying in the event that you pair together with your meal a glass of the Melanie Chardonnay, a refreshing wine known as after Melanie Gonzmart, Richard’s high-school sweetheart and wife.
Plus, at Columbia eatery, the sangria should die for. Honestly, referring by cup you could additionally divide a pitcher of white or purple sangria with a date to increase your own dining experience. Generously big cuts of fruit drift into the drink and infuse it with wealthy flavors. Whether you’re purchasing this traditional sangria or among the many restaurant’s household wines, the high-caliber beverages never let you down.
Michael told us the team makes an effort to provide inexpensive yet high quality wines to whet guests’ appetites. “the wine variety should always be completely fitted to the foodstuff we offer plus price,” he said.
Countless partners & households have actually Shared specialized Moments Here
When i do believe of this Columbia, I think regarding the evening we decided to have dessert for lunch, and my parents purchased churros, key lime pie, mango mousse cake, white candy loaves of bread pudding, and five spoons. In my opinion of my twin brother attempting grouper the very first time on our very own 20th birthday and stating excitedly, “just take my picture” because he planned to reveal his girl (who is now his girlfriend) he enjoyed eating fish everything she did.
In plenty techniques, the Columbia feels like our very own place, but my children is not the actual only real family members having generated thoughts only at that bistro and its six sister locations across Florida. People come to the restaurant anyway phases of life because it supplies a special atmosphere that sets well with any occasion.
Famously, Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio happened to be frequent visitors of the Columbia in the early 1950s. The Columbia personnel paid tribute for the couple additionally the warm thoughts they provided at the bistro by naming a dish after them. The Marilyn & Joe “Salteado” â a sautÃ©ed blend of tenderloin ideas, boneless chicken, shrimp, and pork â is a delicious reminder from the lengthy reputation for relationship within the Columbia’s eating spaces.
Whether you’re going on a first date or honoring a marriage anniversary, you will discover closeness and passion achieve the comfortable candlelight with the Columbia Restaurant.
“It’s a targets,” Michael mentioned, “for individuals feel like the Columbia is the perfect place to get to commemorate life’s goals.”
The Columbia Restaurant offers group Values towards Table
The Columbia eatery charms daters with authentic meals, divine atmospheres, and friendly solution. The machines, at the very least at all of our Columbia in Sand Key, look closely at their particular guests and tend to be quick to express “Welcome straight back” to loyal clients exactly who, like my children, end up time for the stylish eating spaces time and time again.
This long-standing dining business provides grown and changed through the entire many years, nevertheless hasn’t forgotten about their century-long household origins. Richard has committed intentions to offer diners and daters throughout Fl from inside the years into the future. “Our proprietor does not rest,” Michael mentioned with fun. “He’s always thinking right up something new.”
The Columbia group plans to start at least two brand new restaurants for the coming decades. One will be conveniently situated correct next door through the initial Columbia in Tampa. Casa Santo Stefano, set to open up in autumn 2018, can pay respect to limited town in Sicily in which most Tampa’s Sicilian immigrants emerged from â the genuine eating plan aims to bring these families a tasty indication of home.
Suffering leadership and high quality styles improve Columbia eatery and all the brother restaurants certainly impressive places in which singles and partners can invest a night together with those they like most readily useful.