Having lived in New Orleans, I'm always looking to get my cajun fix.  When I saw Roux Tampa is featuring $2 Rouxtini's I decided it was time to ramble on down to Roux for a girlfriends lunch.  Not only is Roux my favorite New Orleans inspired Tampa restaurant, who can resist $2 Rouxtini's? 

As with any good girlfriends lunch, we started with a round of Rouxtini's.  Roux created five refreshing summer lunch cocktails, perfect for the Tampa heat! Choices include the Summertini, Rasberry Mochatini, Vodka Martini, Spiked Lemonade, and the Roux Royale.  We started by ordering the Roux Royale and the Spiked Lemondade.  

After our Rouxtini's arrived, it was time to tackle the menu. We noticed there were a few new items and learned Roux just welcomed a resident guest chef from Lafayette, Lousiana named Bonnie Breaux. Bonnie has been cooking for over 20 years and is bringing her love of cooking and authentic cajun roots to Roux for a few months to spice up the menu. 

Bonnie loves to cook authentic cajun dishes including Shrimp & Grits, Seafood Wellington, Tasso Shrimp, and anything with steak!  Bonnie has created several new menu items and has sprinked a bit of her cajun magic on others.  She used to be true to Louisiana Hot Sauce but has falled in love with the new Datz Hot Sauce!  Bonnie is just a doll and joined us for a Rouxtini while we were perusing the menu.  

With a few Rouxtini's down, it was time to feast!  We started with the Abita Beer-battered Crab Beignets and the Tasso-Coconut Encrusted Shrimp. Abita Beer was my favorite during my Louisiana days so it was no wonder I loved the Crab Beignets.  Lightly fried with a generous amount of crab, hints of the Abita with a heavenly remoulade for dipping. Perfection!

One of my girlfriends especially loved the Tasso-Coconut Shrimp. Large gulf shrimp encrusted with just the right amout of coconut and a tangy rasberry Thai-chili sauce for dipping.  The sauce really packed a punch!

Next it was time for salads! We couldn't wait to try the new Peach Caprese Salad and also decided to try the Mirliton & Apple Salad with an order of Iron Skillet Cornbread on the side. The Peach Caprese Salad was out of this world extraordinary! So original and perfect for summer, we couldn't get enough of the grilled peaches, fresh mozzarella and basil, drizzled with a balsamic glaze.  Roux-licious!

We also enjoyed the Mirliton & Apple Salad.  Mirliton, also known as chayote, is a favorite food of South Louisiana.  It crunches like a potato and tastes like a very green cucumber.  It paired perfectly with the sweet crunchy apple and the buttery manchego cheese.  Add a slice of sweet thick Cornbread with a little Steen's Cane Syrup Butter for a taste of heaven on a plate.

We thought our lunch had come to an end but sweet Bonnie decided to send a couple dinner entrees to our table for us to sample.  All we could say was Holy Roux! First up was the Shrimp & Grits Breaux.  I've tasted a lot of Shrimp & Grits in my days but Bonnie's is the absolute best!!!!!  Her dish is unique with lump crab baked into a golden brown puff pastry and topped with a creamy shrimp and crawfish seafood sauce. Absolutely divine!

Nothing, however could prepare our table for the Seafood Wellington.  This dish was truly spectacular!  Perfectly blackened shrimp, crawfish, and crab stuffed inside a cheesy grit cake and topped with a tasso-chipolte gravy, more shrimp and chives.  This dish will have me back for dinner real soon!

As you can imagine, we were all way too full for dessert but next time we'll be sure to try their Bourbon Butterscotch Pecan Bread Pudding! 

Many thanks to Roux for the perfect Girlfriend's Lunch!  We'll be sure to return for more $2 Rouxtini's and will definitely be rambling back down to Roux for dinner soon!  As they say in New Orleans, Laissez les bon temps roulez! The good time and good food are certainly rolling at Roux!