Located inside of Hilton Tampa Downtown, 211 Restaurant and Lounge is redefining the way hotels do cuisine. Long gone are the days when hotel restaurants were places visited by hotel guests alone. Now, helmed by a talented chef and driven by the pursuit of culinary excellence, 211 is solidifying its place in Tampa’s foodie scene as a place to experience a chef-driven meal in the heart of Downtown – for any occasion.
Spring in Tampa means warmer weather, lots of activities, and restaurants refreshing their winter menus to do away with heavier dishes and incorporate fresh flavors like fresh farm-to-table veggies, leafy greens, lush produce and the finest butcher cuts and poultry. 211 Restaurant and Lounge is taking full advantage of the season. In mid-March 2023, it launched a spring menu complete with its most upscale offerings yet underscored by elevated comfort food from new Complex Executive Chef James King.
“The culinary philosophy is the next. The next dish, next inspired experience, next idea. It always keeps the team fresh and with a greater creative perspective. We stay relevant and progressive with this approach and we always remember to cook with love,” he describes. “One of my main goals with 211 Restaurant and Lounge is to push people’s limits, while still keeping the menu familiar so there is a level of comfortability and variety. The inspiration behind this new menu is a balance of creative spins with approachable flavor profiles that surprise and delight.”
Chef James King brings more than 20 years of culinary experience to his new role as Complex Executive Chef of Hilton Tampa Downtown and Embassy Suites by Hilton Tampa Downtown Convention Center.
Prior to joining the Hilton Tampa Downtown and Embassy Suites by Hilton Tampa Downtown, the award-winning Chef King was based in Massachusetts and Connecticut working as an Executive Chef for several hotels. He received culinary training abroad at the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu in London before returning to the United States to complete his degree from Central Connecticut University.
Chef King’s goal is to provide a progressive vision for the culinary team. His visions are reflected at 211, where dishes are inspired by regional produce, international flavors and guests can experience a unique dining experience in a relaxed and contemporary setting. The lounge at 211 offers a more relaxed ambiance for kicking back with a beer, a bite, and something on the big screen.
“I am super excited about the team’s collaboration on the new menu. A few of my favorite items are Tacos Birria with the slow braised Florida cattle ranch short ribs, The Florida Fish Market featuring a different local fish with saffron, citrus, and fine herb butter and of course, our 36-hour fermented pizza riporto dough,” he describes. “Every day I task my team to take the food to the next level. I’m constantly teaching the chefs the benefits of being detailed and consistent so we know our guests always receive a superior culinary experience.”
When it comes to recommendations, the chef can’t pick just one.
“Honestly, I’m excited about every dish on the menu. From peel & eat shrimp to our ultimate Cubano sandwich, there’s a dish for everyone on this menu. Our culinary team is very proud to offer classic dishes with a special twist to Tampa residents and visitors,” he says. “Working with Executive Sous Chef German Huertas, we devised several ways to highlight slow-braised Angus beef short ribs, one of his favorite proteins. We’re excited to showcase the new Tacos Birria on the lunch and dinner menus. The tacos are served in corn tortillas mixed with pulled short ribs, guajillo chili, demi jus, onions, queso fresco and micro cilantro. The dinner menu features Not Too Short (a fun pun) on stand-alone Angus beef short ribs topped with a Cabernet demi jus accompanied with crushed potatoes, carrots, cipollini and Brussel sprouts.”
211 Restaurant and Lounge, in the heart of Downtown Tampa, is open daily serving breakfast, lunch and dinner from 7 a.m. -11 p.m.
Located inside Hilton Tampa Downtown, 211 N. Tampa Street Tampa, FL 33602.
For more information or to make reservations, please call (813) 204-3000.