We are both huge fans of Japanese cuisine, but lately we've been exploring outside out of our comfort zone and trying new things. Our new interest lately is meat and cheese boards, a.k.a. charcuterie boards. We never really grew up eating cheese and cured meat, so this is a whole new thing to us.
We heard there was a fairly new restaurant in town called Haven that specializes in house-made charcuterie and cultured artisanal cheese so we had to check it out. If you are a whisky fan, they have a huge selection of whisky as well. Whisky is another recent obsession of ours. Well, mostly speaking for Candy here.
Haven can get pretty crowded, so we decided to go when it was a little more calm and made a reservation for 5PM. When we arrived, we stopped to take a look at their beautiful outdoor seating area. It was like we were walking into a huge patio garden. Unfortunately, it was too hot and muggy for us to sit outside that evening, so we sat indoors, but it's beautiful inside as well.
We were pretty much the first people there, so we asked to be seated near the bar where one of the chefs was preparing a cheese plate. We ordered our drinks and then took forever to decide on our dishes. Everything sounded so interesting with so many choices of cheese, cured meats and entrees. We finally decided on a charcuterie board and three dishes: Fried Green Tomatoes, Fried Avocado and Shishito Peppers with Mozzarella Cheese and the Skirt Steak.
As we were waiting for our food, we went to visit the chef preparing all the charcuterie boards. He was very inviting and told us a little more about the restaurant and different kinds of cheeses they have. One thing we learned and will probably try next time is the 18-cheese assortment tray that comes with a cheat sheet that lets you keep track of what's what.
Service from the beginning to end was perfect and all of the dishes were delicious. Each dish was presented so nicely as if it were a piece of art and everything was very unique with interesting flavors. We both agreed that our favorite dish that night was the skirt steak.
When we received the check, it came out on a little wooden board with a small spoon attached to it. How cute! We've been noticing a lot of restaurants around Tampa getting creative with their checks and we love it.
Any cool charcuterie style restaurants in your hometown? We'd love to hear about it!
ADDRESS: 2208 W Morrison Ave., Tampa, FL 33606
HOURS: Mon - Thurs 5-10pm / Fri & Sat 5-11pm / Sun Closed
PRICE: $$$; $27 - $35 average price of entree
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