Have you ever had such a fantastic meal that you want to kiss the chef? Well, that happened to me this past weekend after I had lunch at Besa Grill in Clearwater. I met a few of my fellow food blogging friends and we enjoyed a festive lunch in a gorgeous setting.
I love the word “besa” which means “kiss” and “to touch with the lips” in Spanish. Cooking from the heart and kissing have a lot in common as they are both intimate and passionate. Whenever I am presented with a gorgeous plate of food, I want to kiss the plate and then kiss the chef after I eat. 🙂 The name certainly fits this restaurant, as everything is made with incredible passion and you can’t help but want to touch everything with your lips.
We all started off with a cocktail and I had a Skinny Basil Gimlet made with Hendricks Gin, agave nectar, fresh lime juice, basil and a cucumber slice. Refreshing and light, it was the perfect start to a fabulous meal.
Skinny Basil Gimlet
Our server came to welcome us and told us that we “better be hungry” as they had a lot of tasty dishes coming our way. We all smiled with delight as the first of many scrumptious items was presented to our table…..Pork Belly Tostada. Savory and smokey, the pork belly was accompanied with fresh guacamole and a dollop of fresh sour cream.
Pork Belly Tostada
Next we tried their Havana Cuban Flatbread. I must say, this was one of the most creative ways I have enjoyed the flavors of the classic Cuban and it was delightful. Topped with shaved ham, mojo pork, swiss cheese, pickles, applewood smoked bacon and mustard aioli, it was spectacular. This is the perfect way to enjoy the flavors of a Cuban without all the bread!
Havana Cuban Flatbread
Our next item was the Chicken + Brie Flatbread which was topped with fresh arugula, grilled chicken, Brie cheese, applewood smoked bacon and balsamic reduction. I loved the combination of flavors, especially the Brie and balsamic reduction.
Grilled Chicken + Brie Flatbread
As we chatted among ourselves and enjoyed our cocktails, we all were impressed by the beauty of the next platter….Tuna Crisps. Almost to beautiful to eat, they consisted of crispy wonton bowls encompassing seared ahi tuna, seaweed salad, cucumber and sriracha agave aioli. Not only were they little delicious pieces of art, they were one of my favorite items of the day.
Oh guacamole, ho much do I love thee? Well, I can count three ways with Besa Grill’s Guacamole Trio. Yep, I was officially head over stilettos in love at this point. We enjoyed Goat + Blue Cheese, Corn + Black Bean and Traditional topped with fresh tomatoes. Served with fresh, housemade tortilla chips, each one was fantastic.
Nothing beats a good burger and Besa Grill serves up a mighty delicious one. With several burger options, we got to sample both their Classic and their Besa Burger. Their Besa Burger combines ground Angus steak, pepperjack cheese, Besa steak sauce and crispy onion straws and is served on brioche while their Classic consists of ground Angus steak, Wisconsin Chedder, lettuce, tomato and red onion. Served with your choice of Yuca Fries or Truffle Fries with fresh Parmesan, both are fantastic. I could not stop eating the truffle fries! WOW!
Classic Burger with Crispy Onion Straws and Yuca Fries
Prior to dessert, we were presented with a nice surprise. Our server made fresh Ceviche and brought us a taste. It was fantastic and some of the best I have had. I loved the addition of the fresh mango which really took it to the next level.
I am known for my sweet tooth and although I was full, I always have room for dessert. We enjoyed a Crème Brulee Flight, Seven Sins Cake and Sweet Plantain Bread Pudding. I love a Crème Brulee and their flight selection is genius. Each day they offer a chef’s selection and it is a great way to enjoy personal sized portions of different selections.
Chocolate is my passion and when I saw the Seven Sins Cake I almost fainted. Godiva infused seven-layered cake with seven different kinds of chocolate and a chilled milk shot, it is a chocolate lover’s dream. It is better than……….. 😉
Seven Sins Cake
I was so enamored by the Seven Sins Cake that I failed to take a picture of the Sweet Plantain Bread Pudding, but I will say that it was fantastic.
This was my second visit to Besa Grill and I was beyond impressed. From the friendly staff to the incredible menu, this is a very special place and I am anxious to return. Be sure to stop by if you are in the area.
I would like to thank the staff of Besa Grill for inviting us to this special lunch. We had a fantastic time and are all anxious to return.