Grey Salt: A Culinary Oasis inside the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino
In the midst of the high-energy Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Tampa is a calm restaurant oasis reminiscent of the Mediterranean seaside, Grey Salt. Opened in November 2015 by renowned chef Marc Murphy, the restaurant's offerings reflect his French Heritage, Italian roots and years working in Europe and Manhattan.
I was with a large group when I ate at Grey Salt, so I got to taste a wide variety of dishes. None disappointed. Starters included meatballs in a spicy tomato ragout, bouillabaisse (my husband's favorite), fried calamari (lightly breaded and tender), the charcuterie & cheese board, heirloom tomatoes and burrata.(my favorite), the signature kale salad with Marcona almonds and feta, and king crab arancini (thin crab fritter).
Known for their Colorado lamb chops, I had the spiced lamb flatbread with Moroccan spices. The spiciness was layered and didn't overwhelm the lamb. The thin flatbread was the perfect level of crispy (it didn't fall apart but was still crunchy).
My husband had the local grouper with tomato, capers, and black olives, and the roasted wild mushrooms side dish. Both delicious. We got a bite of our friends charred corn side dish and will definitely get that next time.
The restaurant has a select list of wines by the glass and craft beers (bottled and draft). I had an Arceno Chianti Classico which was full bodied and wonderfully smooth. A great red to go with the lamb flatbread.
The restaurant has a light open atmosphere: white, light gray, and sand colors, travertine, light woods, an open kitchen, and a zinc-topped bar. It may be just steps from the singing and whirring of the casino slot machines, but once inside you would never know.