Last week, pH and I were invited to a preview of On Swann, a new restaurant in Hyde Park Village, brought to fruition by a group who know good food very well: Chef Chris Ponte and his lovely wife, Michelle Ponte (Café Ponte), Trudy Cooper (one of the founders of Outback Steakhouse), John Cooper (former president of Bonefish Grill), and Chris Arreola (former executive at Bonefish Grill).
It was perfect timing, falling on the week of pH's birthday, and it did not disappoint. I love, love, love the space. The vibe of On Swann is very community driven - a long community table greets single diners looking to converse with others equally passionate about food, while a long row of booths offer a homey feeling of togetherness.
My must-order picks:
- Carrot Soup: This isn't your ordinary carrot soup - the flavor is robust and delicious, and the consistency perfect. There's just a right hint of spice from the red lentils and the soup was served nice and hot, just how I like it.
- Warm Parm Zeppole: Oh my goodness, I could eat a million and one of these. The zeppole are amazing in texture - slightly crisp on the outside, and warm and fluffy on the inside. You can expect an unforgettable combination of flavors when you dip them into the ricotta-corn dip - this is a must-must order.
- Tomahawk Pork Chop: Aside from bacon, I'm not the biggest fan of pork - you can ask pH, he's very well aware. On Swann's Tomahawk Pork Chop is the first pork dish to ever change that for me. The pork chop is very tender, juicy and filled with flavor, and pairs wonderfully with the Anson Mills grits served on the side.
- Roasted Half Chicken: This hearty dish easily makes its way onto my list of comfort food dishes. It's a pretty large dish, so be kind and share with your date. The juice at the bottom of the dish is so savory, you'll definitely want to use the spoon that is brought out with it, to scoop up the flavor and douse your chicken and vegetables with it.
On Swann is located at 1501 Swann Avenue in Tampa. The restaurant is open Sunday through Thursday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. You can view the menu here. For additional updates from On Swann, follow along on Facebook and Instagram.