The Quick Version: Since 1905, the Columbia Restaurant provides offered Spanish and Cuban-inspired dishes and drinks that express a long-standing genealogy. Created by a Cuban immigrant in Tampa, the Columbia stays a regional favorite due to the standard meals and friendly solution. Throughout the years, folks from world-wide attended towards the glamorous restaurant to commemorate involvements, wedding anniversaries, birthdays, also monumental minutes. These days, the 4th and fifth years of this family members possesses and works 13 various restaurants throughout Fl. If you’re searching for good dining with a good antique family experience, it is possible to reserve a table into the spectacular and romantic dinner rooms on the Columbia eatery.
For the past 3 decades, my loved ones’s preferred vacation destination has-been an oceanfront resort in Sand Key, Florida. We have now gone truth be told there over a dozen times to construct mud castles, spot whales, and eat delicious dishes on patios ignoring the gulf coast of florida.
There is carefully investigated town’s restaurant selection, looking around out the greatest local joints about, nevertheless simply so takes place that the one restaurant most of us enjoy most is actually within taking walks distance your hotel. The Columbia eatery’s white linen tablecloths, mindful solution, and mouth-watering food make it the go-to place for dinner.
Whenever we happened to be young ones, my personal moms and dads would order us a parmesan cheese pizza pie as they went to this passionate Spanish cafe by yourself; however, we have now enjoy tapas and wine as much because they carry out, so we’ve begun crashing their unique night out â sometimes taking along times of our very own.
Since 1905, the Columbia eatery has actually wowed clients with Spanish and Cuban dishes and an old-world ambiance. Though itis the oldest restaurant in Fl, the business enterprise still is operated from the descendants associated with the initial creator. Every product on menu provides a tale behind it, and many associated with dishes were passed from one generation of Hernandez Gonzmart family to a higher. Household practice is an enormous an element of the Columbia’s menu, background, and method of service.
“The staff can also be slightly like family,” mentioned Michael Kilgore, the principle Marketing Officer when it comes to Columbia. “quite a few staff stay for 20 or 3 decades. One of the things we like about the group is actually the length of time they stay with us. They arrive right here and locate a home.”
You may enjoy this comfortable and welcoming environment on your next night out by going to any of the Columbia’s seven various restaurants. The Columbia Restaurant at this time acts visitors in Tampa, Sarasota, St. Augustine, Clearwater Beach, and Celebration. Whether you are sipping wine on a picturesque balcony or enjoying flamenco dancers illuminate the phase whilst you consume tapas, you are guaranteed to have an unforgettable night at the Columbia.
In 1905, a Cuban Immigrant Ran a Saloon That Became a Sensation
The Columbia Restaurant can track its background returning to Dec. 17, 1903 â the same time the Wright brothers effectively tried worldwide’s first plane. That was whenever a Cuban immigrant named Casimiro Hernandez Sr. started working a saloon for a regional brewing company in Tampa’s Ybor City.
In 1905, the industrious entrepreneur switched the saloon into a well known 60-seat cafe noted for their authentic Cuban coffee-and snacks. Following his achievements, Casimiro ordered a cafe or restaurant nearby and converted it into an attractive dining room. In 1930, his boy got over control and process regarding the thriving restaurant.
Throughout the Great anxiety, their boy Casimiro Jr. built the very first air-conditioned dining room in Tampa. He hoped their upscale look and elevated party flooring would draw individuals to the restaurant which help them forget about their concerns for per night. The Don Quixote area was actually a winner, together with Columbia surely could hold their doors available even though many different businesses collapsed.
In 1953, Casimiro Jr. passed the Columbia on to his only son or daughter, Adela Hernandez Gonzmart, an experienced artist that has met her partner, Cesar Gonzmart, on Tampa cafe. This theatrical pair brought entertainment and art into Columbia, developing a showroom that hosted lots of skilled Latin dancers and musicians. Under Adela and Cesar’s authority, the Columbia expanded to Sarasota as well as other locations in Florida.
Now, among Adela and Cesar’s two sons has brought the reins and kept their family members’ company going. Richard Gonzmart has become functioning at their family’s restaurants since he had been 12 yrs . old, so he could be closely familiar with the atmosphere and history. Richard can suggest the table from the Columbia eatery in which the guy along with his partner had their unique very first time significantly more than 43 in years past.
“there are plenty of love right here, and we have the tale,” mentioned Michael. “lower than 15 restaurants in the usa are family-owned and more than 100 years old, therefore we’re in pretty elite business.”
Florida’s earliest bistro provides a pleased and enduring history grounded on meals, family, and fun. Michael told you the fifth generation of founding family members happens to be getting groomed to take over eventually. Richard’s daughters and nephew have chosen to take on effective management parts from the restaurants and tend to be prepared to keep carefully the household custom choosing many others many years to come.
The Columbia was recognized with a few on the highest prizes into the bistro market, such as induction into country’s eatery News’ “Fine eating Hall of Fame,” won the “Distinguished Restaurants of North America (SiRoNA) Award of quality,” Florida Trend’s “Golden Spoon Hall of Fame,” and Wine Spectator’s “good Award of quality.”
Enjoy In! A Delectable Menu of Sharable Tapas & Indulgent Desserts
The Columbia Restaurant establishes a lavish table and a delightful getting away from everyday life. It seduces the sensory faculties from the moment you walk-in the doorways. You’re in the middle of greenery, drinking water fountains, and artwork since sounds of fun together with odors of new fish dishes waft through the atmosphere. Before my purchase actually extends to me personally, my personal mouth area is often watering with expectation. Luckily for us, each visitor will get his/her very own freshly generated loaf of Cuban breads, therefore I have actually something you should meet my personal tastebuds while I wait.
The 14-page diet plan is full of good meals but in addition provides effortless talk beginners for daters only observing each other. Each entrÃ©e, appetizer, and treat comes with an enticing information plus interesting background information. Including, the cafe’s coconut ice-cream ended up being a popular of frozen dessert business owner Gustavo Hernandez, the 3rd boy with the original Columbia creator, now this sweet plate is supported within his honor.
From the veggie paella (Spanish grain blended with satisfying vegetables) to the shrimp great (shrimp wrapped in wafer-thin bacon), the foods in the Columbia are bursting with flavor. The shareable dishes, labeled as tapas, make this bistro suitable for couples on a date since you may come better collectively by sharing tiny dishes of empanadas, sliced chorizo, croquetas, or packed peppers. You can make a budget-friendly dinner by purchasing various of those appetizers collectively â remember to save lots of room for dessert!
The TrÃ¨s Amigos churros was an outstanding choice for partners because they’re tactile, nice, and simply a tiny bit messy. You can easily dip the piping-hot churros in candy, caramel, or guava sauce generally there’s a little for all. Additionally, Columbia’s signature White Chocolate Bread Pudding is actually an indulgent treat perfect for splitting with a romantic date who’s got a taste for white candy and rum sauce.
In 2017, the Marriott Traveler blog site called the Columbia Restaurant among St. Augustine’s top date-night spots, encouraging lovers to “start out with Columbia’s famous 1905 Salad, assembled table-side with a lot panache, and discuss a massive plate in the Paella a la Valenciana, overflowing with shellfish, fragrant grain, and chorizo.”
Your romantic evening will be all more enjoyable should you decide pair together with your meal one glass of the Melanie Chardonnay, a refreshing wine called after Melanie Gonzmart, Richard’s high-school sweetheart and partner.
Plus, on Columbia Restaurant, the sangria is die for. Really, it comes down by cup but you can in addition split a pitcher of white or yellow sangria with a night out together to increase the dinner experience. Amply big slices of good fresh fruit drift inside the drink and infuse it with rich styles. Whether you are buying this classic sangria or the restaurant’s family wines, the high-caliber products dont let you down.
Michael told you the group can make an attempt to offer inexpensive yet high quality wines to whet visitors’ appetites. “the drink choice is perfectly fitted to the foodstuff we provide as well as your price point,” the guy said.
Many partners & groups Have Shared specialized Moments Here
When I think in the Columbia, i do believe of this evening we made a decision to have treat for dinner, and my parents ordered churros, important lime pie, mango mousse cake, white chocolate breads dessert, and five spoons. In my opinion of my twin-brother attempting grouper the very first time on our very own 20th birthday celebration and saying excitedly, “just take my personal image” because the guy wanted to show their gf (who’s now his girlfriend) he liked taking fish just as much as she did.
In numerous techniques, the Columbia is like our place, but my loved ones isn’t the actual only real family members having generated recollections during this cafe and its particular six sister locations across Florida. Folks started to the restaurant after all phases of life since it supplies an unique environment that pairs really with any event.
Notoriously, Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio had been repeated guests of the Columbia in early 1950s. The Columbia employees settled tribute towards pair plus the enjoying memories they contributed from the cafe by naming a dish after them. The Marilyn & Joe “Salteado” â a sautÃ©ed blend of tenderloin guidelines, boneless chicken white meat, shrimp, and pork â is a delicious reminder associated with the lengthy reputation of relationship when you look at the Columbia’s eating areas.
Whether you are taking place a primary day or honoring a marriage anniversary, you’ll find closeness and enthusiasm flourish in the gentle candlelight of this Columbia eatery.
“It is one of the objectives,” Michael stated, “to have men and women feel as if the Columbia is the perfect place to come to celebrate life’s goals.”
The Columbia Restaurant has household Values to your Table
The Columbia Restaurant charms daters with authentic dishes, divine atmospheres, and personable service. The servers, about at our Columbia in Sand Key, pay attention to their guests and tend to be quick to express “Welcome right back” to dedicated consumers who, like my family, end up time for the stylish eating areas over repeatedly.
This long-standing dining organization features cultivated and changed through the decades, but it never forgotten about its century-long household sources. Richard has challenging plans to serve diners and daters throughout Fl during the years to come. “Our proprietor doesn’t rest,” Michael mentioned with a laugh. “He’s always thinking upwards new things.”
The Columbia group intentions to open at the least two brand new restaurants within the upcoming years. One will be easily positioned right across the street from initial Columbia in Tampa. Casa Santo Stefano, set to start in autumn 2018, are going to pay honor to a tiny town in Sicily in which most Tampa’s Sicilian immigrants arrived from â the authentic menu will bring these people a delicious note of residence.
Enduring leadership and high quality tastes make the Columbia Restaurant and all sorts of its cousin restaurants certainly amazing places in which singles and couples can spend an evening together with those they love most useful.