For the ninth consecutive year, Council Oak Steaks & Seafood in Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa has been awarded the prestigious Award of Excellence by Wine Spectator Magazine for its impressive menu of 278 fine wines and staff trained in all of the exacting nuances of proper wine service.
“Our wine list is fun and incredibly approachable,” said Patrick House, Wine Sommelier for Council Oak Steaks & Seafood. “It’s a list that is tailored to a wine enthusiast and/or the curious drinker who is ready to expand his or her palate. Honesty and integrity also go into our list as we offer several items that you can’t find at a retail store or wine shop and they are only poured here in Council Oak.
“Our culinary team has crafted an incredible menu of the finest and highest quality steaks and seafood and the wine list is written in the same way.”
The Award of Excellence recognizes wine lists that offer interesting selections and are appropriate to their cuisine and appeal to a wide range of wine lovers. To qualify, the list must present complete, accurate wine information. It must include vintages and appellations for all selections, including wines available by the glass. Complete producer names and correct spellings are mandatory, while the overall presentation and appearance of the list is also taken into consideration.
After meeting these basic requirements, lists are judged for one of the three awards. The Award of Excellence is offered for lists that feature a well-chosen selection of quality producers, along with a thematic match to the menu in both price and style. Typically, these lists offer at least 100 selections.
Council Oak provides its staff with an intensive six-week training program with wine training as a key component. In addition, regularly scheduled informational meetings on the topic are held, including visiting wine experts who share their expertise during special staff seminars. Each and every food server is educated on wine and regularly tested on this knowledge.