Restaurant preview: Ciro's Speakeasy and Supper Club in Tampa

ciros speakeasy front door

See? No sign. How posh.

They just opened less than two weeks ago but I just had to tell people about it… it’s quite possibly the coolest restaurant/bar Tampa has been offered in a long, long time. In fact, I almost didn’t want to write about it since keeping it to myself might keep down the crowds, like a super secret sale at Macy’s. But that ain’t right.

Ciro’s Speakeasy and Supper Club is the creation of co-owners Ro Patel and Gordon Davis, the brainchild behind Ceviche, Smoke and other successful South Tampa concepts over the years. Located in the former Ceviche space in the bottom of the Bayshore Royale condominium on Bayshore and Howard Ave., the dark, intimate interior glows with the light of a live jellyfish tank. It’s like walking into a cave, and since there’s no sign outside, you might think you’re in the wrong place. You aren’t… it, and doorbell you must ring to get in, match the “speakeasy” theme. As do the individual private rooms that you can reserve. Cushy, couch-like seating, block-out-the world curtains and a “service button” encourage, um, intimate moments. I anticipate an avalanche of wedding proposals in this romantic hideaway. Or at least drunken thoughts of them.

Jellyfish at Ciro's Speakeasy

Jellyfish Tank - photo by Noelle Zukas

In the bar, the elegant gliding of the graceful jellyfish mesmerizes you until you read the cocktail menu, whose refreshing inventiveness distracts even the most ardent nature lover. They use fresh, muddled fruit to craft customized, gourmet mojitos (just name your fruit….mine? Blackberry), revived specialty cocktails from the early 20th century or, should you crave something less exotic, the bartenders will make you just about anything. The attentive service borders on bend-over-backwards and be patient — everything is made to order. The wine list is small (10 or so selections) and well chosen (good choice= Au Bon Climat Hildegaard White Blend) but a bit one-sided, considering the food menu (too many big, oaky whites and I found the reds completely uninspiring), but Davis indicated things are tweaked constantly. One thing to mention: They pour Perrier Jouët Champagne by the glass for $12. Score.

As to be expected for a restaurant open 10 days, the food was hit and miss. Mostly hit though. Chef Ted Dorsey offers a menu of stellar, French-influenced winners: tender Wagyu Beef Tartar, sesame-infused Tuna Poke, and thick lump Crab Cakes. A miss was the Pork Belly Flatbread — too much bread and not enough caramelized onions and belly, but I think they’re still perfecting that one. Everything falls in the $10 to $20 range (with the exception of a few items) and portions are bigger than small plates and smaller than entrees. They also have a kickass artisan cheese and charcuterie plate, with offerings like Rogue Caveman Blue and Cypress Grove. You won’t go away hungry… my party of two women shared four menu items and we couldn’t finish them. Or maybe the cocktails filled us up…

Ciro’s is simply fabulous and gorgeous. The unique atmosphere and the fascinating cocktails are worth the trip from anywhere in the Bay area, and I predict the food will soon be perfect. Davis doesn’t host many failures. It will be my new hangout for cocktails and nosh food.

Ciro’s Speakeasy and Supper Club
2109 Bayshore Blvd.
813.251.0022

Open dinner only, closed Sunday & Monday
Parking: Valet after 7:00 p.m. Otherwise, park in any space, even though it’s labeled “Resident Only”

Ciros Speakeasy and Supper Club on Urbanspoon

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11 comments to Restaurant preview: Ciro’s Speakeasy and Supper Club in Tampa

  • Cazza

    damn…the secret is out…you are such a true friend to the local foodie! Can’t wait to go back there.

  • Linda

    Loved this place! My fiancé and I were very impressed. The Chef is creative with the menu selections. Great atmosphere. Perfect for a date or hanging out with friends. Very intimate and trendy spot.

  • Great place, great food, great service, great idea! I love it & would highly recommend it! Took a friend of mine from out of town & he loved it. Taking some family members very soon. 🙂

  • Gen

    Very cool concept. The food was very good. Lump crab meat martini is amazing. Some really good drinks. If you are a big vodka drinker, you’ll have limited options. My only complaint is that the service was slow. In a three hour time period, I was only able to order two drinks. I will admit I was with a group of friends and I understand serviing a group is more difficult. They were fabulous drinks and well worth the cost, but when you have a capacity of only 74 people in the whole place, getting drinks shouldnt really be an issue. But overall, I have to give it an A-.

  • Erin

    Just went there last night. We initially had a party of 6, so we were able to make reservations. One couple backed out, so it ended up being just four of us, but it wasn’t a problem. The cocktails and food were great! I can’t wait to go back!

  • John Laost

    Do not go here! Worst imaginable service! If you wanted to get treated badly the go to a Mcdonalds. They might treat you better!

  • Hugh

    This is my first ever remark about the many restaurants I have been to. My wife called Ciro’s to make a reservation for four for around 6pm. She was told we would not need a reservation if we were dining that early. We arrived at 5:40 were told by owner they were not open until 6 and we would have to come back after six. We were told our table for 4 would be set and ready for us when we returned. We returned about 6:15 and were told we would have to wait about an hour and a half for a table for four but they would set us at a small strip bar facing a blank wall or at 2 tables for 2. They then explaned that they only have 2 tables that will accommidate a party of four in the restaurant. Why did they not tell us to be there at exactly 6 or we would have to wait? They had given away our table. I will never eat there because they treated us like dirt. There are plenty of other places to eat. I think Gordon has picked an iffey partner to be in business with. I told Gordons partner, I assume he was Ro Patel that I hope they fall on their face because of the way we were treated. They were also trying to be cutsy with their concept crap while they were offending us with their lack of service. NO THANKS

  • Hugh

    I give Ciro’s a Zero. Just an after thought. No stars needed to rate this one.

  • Bellow

    No matter how “cool” the place may be, you can expect to be either turned away in the parking lot, told you need reservations, be told they do not take reservations, be told to come back in a couple of hours, be told they will call your cell when there is room available (then never call), and be treated rudely! It is not worth trying to go here with the attitude problem and profiling done here. I will not even go to the owners other restaurant (Smoke)because of the way I am treated here. There are plenty of other places to go for good food and ambiance, and be treated with repect.

  • cindy

    Was there for dinner last night, they told us a table would be available but after waiting for over half hour we decided to come back the next day, manager was apologetic and even gave us our drinks for free, it looks like a great place we are going there for dinner tonite

  • Jennifer Nadal

    I made reservations 2 weeks ago. It took me 2 days of calling (even after they were open) to even get someone to answer the phone so I could make a reservation. Earlier today, someone called to confirm tonight’s reservation and give me the password. When we arrived, they let us in the door (we had the password…remember, someone called ME to confirm our reservations), but they could not seem to find our reservations. The owner kept asking if we had booked it under another name. Why on earth would I book MY dinner reservation under someone else’s name? And how would I have the password to even get in if I didn’t have a reservation? He had no desire to even try to accommodate us. We even asked him to look us up by my cell phone number since that is the number they called. He wouldn’t even do that for us. He basically told us to leave, that he couldn’t help us. About an hour later, I noticed a missed call and new voicemail. Both from Ciros. It was the owner calling asking if we were the party that he did not have a reservation for earlier. The reservation was booked under a different person’s name, yet the phone number was my phone number. This was truly the worst experience at any restaurant that I have ever had. The owner didn’t really care to even try to locate my phone number, my reservation, or even attempt to accommodate us. I can easily say that I will not be going back to Ciros again. And when people ask me about it, I will tell them not to go. Easy as that.

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