Local Bites: Octoberfest Pairing Dinner at Seminole Hard Rock Tampa

Last night, pH and I were treated to a wonderful Octoberfest pairing dinner featuring Samuel Adams Beer at the Council Oak Lounge at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Tampa. The event was intimate and the ambiance lively as Danny Brantley covered hit songs from nearly every decade on stage. The evening began with a few rounds of hors d'oeurves - smoked salmon paired with Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat Ale and Bavarian Kielbasa paired with Samuel Adams Boston Lager.

Smoked salmon with Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat infused mustard caviar.

Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat Ale

Bavarian kielbasa with Boston Lager braised onions and beer cheese foam.

Samuel Adams Boston Lager

After an introduction by Mike Balles, Executive Sous Chef at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, we began the dinner with our first course: Beer Braised Foie Gras Bratwurst paired with Samuel Adams Fat Jack.

Beer braised foie gras bratwurst with kabocha pumpkin spatzle, golden onions, gruyere cheese and mustard jus.

Samuel Adams Fat Jack

After the first course, we headed into the kitchen to get a behind-the-scenes peek of the second course prepared by Council Oak Chef de Cuisine, Chef Omar, and his team. The execution is precise and flawless, with the entree carefully plated, paired and immaculately garnished as it went through the prep line.

The second course featured a German Noble Hops Braised Short Rib paired with Samuel Adams New World Triple. The short rib was so tender, that I didn't even need my knife to separate it.

German noble hops braised short rib with celeriac puree, dragon carrots and blackberry chutney.

Samuel Adams New World Triple

In between the second and third courses, the fun was turned up a notch with a stein-hoisting competition, where participants held two filled Samuel Adams steins and tried to surpass one another in length of time raising them, without bending their elbows or spilling beer.

After the yelling and cheering finally died down and the winners were announced, we headed into our third course, Dover Sole Schnitzel paired with Samuel Adams Octoberfest.

Dover sole schnitzel with wild mushrooms and brussels sprouts hash, caramelized new potatoes and lemon caper sauce.

We then headed back into the kitchen where we watched the magic that was dessert preparation. Dessert is a very important meal to me, and to watch it come to life with delicate hands and in an artisanal way, that's like magic.

Our fourth and final course consisted of a Sweet Potato Torte paired with Samuel Adams Harvest Pumpkin Ale. It was decadent, but light, and was the perfect ending to a delicious Octoberfest dinner.

Sweet potato torte with spiced white chocolate mousse, cranberry meringue and candied pecans.

As we've always experienced at Council Oak, the food and service were exceptional, and we had a wonderful time dining with new friends and getting a taste of the Samuel Adams-curated, artisanal dishes. The Octoberfest Dinner is just one of the many events that the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Tampa hosts. For the latest updates on upcoming events and happenings at Seminole Hard Rock Tampa, be sure to follow along on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

*Disclosure: The meal featured in this post was provided by Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino for feature and for an honest review. Opinions expressed here are my own and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino or Council Oak Steaks and Seafood.