The reason Datz is one of Tampa's most popular restaurants is because of their authenticity and genuine passion for what they do. Whether it's crafting inventive, unique cocktails or presenting a delectable, original dinner for two dozen foodies and bloggers, they don't do anything half way. From the moment you step in the door, the staff works hard to make you feel right at home while all of your five senses are awakened and tantalized with heavenly deliciousness.

​So here's the rule, if you're on some kind of silly diet, leave it at the door. These inventors of delectables aren't interested in picky eaters - the idea is to indulge and trust them in their ability to surprise and fill you with creative, inspired cuisine. In other words; pure, blissful joy.

So when Datz invited me to their Repeal Day dinner and let me know they were also announcing a new executive chef, I made sure to clear my calendar and my normal Fit Life Foods weekday dinner habit.

As usual, we were met with an out-of-this-world experience at this private event.

The dinner, presented by Gin maker DAMRAK and hosted at Datz, was the culmination of the United States Bartenders Guild Tampa Bay (USBGTB) and Datz combining their quest and enthusiasm to bring back the focus on quality and traditions of the food and beverage industry. They figured, what better way to celebrate Repeal Day, the official day that Prohibition was repealed, than with a dinner pairing topped off with delicious gin cocktails?

Datz's new Executive Chef, Keith Williamson, prepared an original 4-course menu. This was the Chef's first public appearance in his new position. With each delicious course, there's was a never-before-tasted DAMRAK gin-inspired cocktail pairing. Each cocktail was crafted by Datz's Mixologist, Morgan Zuch, whom is also the General Manager at Datz.

Here's what was on the menu (and I almost needed someone to carry me out because it was ALL TO DIE FOR):

First Course

Burrata Caprese
Heirloom tomato, aged balsamic, candied pancetta, DAMRAK Gin pumpkin pesto drizzle.

Served with “Gourd-geous"
DAMRAK Gin, pumpkin butter, lemon, sugar, champagne.

Second Course
Devil’s On Horseback
Medjool dates, Nueske’s bacon, manchego cheese, bee pollen aioli.

Served with “Red & Black"
DAMRAK Gin, Creole shrub, fresh cranberries, lemon, cranberry shrub, cracked black pepper.

Third Course

Slow-braised Short Rib
Chestnut risotto, brussels sprout petals, pomegranate DAMRAK Gin demi-glace.

Served with “Pom Negroni”
DAMRAK Gin, Dolin Rouge, Pama, orange bitters, fresh pomegranate.

Fourth Course

Baked Alaska 
Bananas foster, DAMRAK Gin cherry, and Ink & Paper ice cream, toasted meringue, with raspberry and DAMRAK Gin chocolate sauce.

Served with “Hot Gone...Bananas"
DAMRAK Gin, house-made vanilla, steamed tonic, banana cream, dried berries, mole.


About Datz's Executive Chef Keith Williamson:
Keith Williamson has been an Executive Chef and restaurant owner for twenty years. Williamson has been the Executive Chef in the kitchen of Jackson’s Bistro, the opening Executive Chef for three Florida-based Ocean Prime restaurants, and has served in other notable positions as chef with the Seminole Hard Rock Casino at Floyd’s where he changed their fine dining menu bi-weekly and executed personalized menu’s for celebrities and VIP casino guests.

About Datz's Mixologist Morgan Zuch:
Morgan Zuch is an award-winning mixologist and a certified Cicerone. Zuch is Datz's General Manager and has been the creative force behind all cocktails, craft beers, and wines served and enjoyed at Datz for the past two and a half years. Zuch's bar-tending style is classic, twisted, and experimental.