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Jackie Colson-Miller

Jackie Colson-Miller, CIPS
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Homeward Real Estate
3401 Henderson Blvd
Tampa, FL 33609
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“Pearl in the Grove”…A Little Jewel in Dade City…Make the Drive!

My friend has been trying to get me to drive to Dade City to try “a great new place” for many, many months.  It’s about an hour drive from South Tampa. She coerced me with some antique shopping AND agreed to drive, and it was DEFINITELY worth the trip! To my surprise, I had met the chef/owner, Curtis Beebe and his wife, Rebecca, many years ago, at a dinner party in South Tampa.  Thirteen years ago, they left South Tampa for Dade City,  have raised their three boys there,  and opened “Pearl in the Grove” last year. It was great to see them again.

The dining room was full on Saturday night.  We were warmly greeted by Rebecca and promptly attended to by our server, Boyce.  The menu is a “twist” of Southern specialties with a “nibble” of hot boiled peanuts to start. The bread was  unique, with a touch of corn meal in the batter!   The “Geeno” chips are a MUST! Decadent and delicious…Fried Sweet Potato Chips, topped with melted blue cheese and balsamic vinegar.  The portion would feed a party of six!

The Underground Salad was a fresh, and light, medley of locally grown herbs, watermelon, goat cheese, a hint of mint, and a kumquat and vidalia vinaigrette.  We also tried the Summer Relish Plate with the Fried Green tomatoes, field pea “caviar” and bread and butter pickles.  Aside from the yummy pickles, of the entire meal, this was my only disappointment.

Our entrees were the Catfish and Grits and the Porkbelly Roulade.  At this point, we were feeling a little “porky” ourselves and decided it was time to share.  The tasty catfish beignets were served with a spicy homemade remoulade, smoked tomato grit cakes and some fresh grilled okra and green beans.  The  Hickory Smoked Pork Belly was rolled with carmelized onion and served with a potato tart, along with the grilled vegetables.  If you like bacon, you will “die” for that pork belly.  It was  all fabulous.

Totally satiated, but determined to “taste everything” , our dessert plate was a trio of  the Rich Chocolate Cake, a Lemon Cake with Strawberry Buttercream frosting and a slice of Curtis’ Homemade Lemon Cheesecake…that was the clear winner, though the Chocolate Cake was moist and yummy, as well.

We enjoyed a Block Nine Pinot Noir with the meal, though you can bring your own wine, if you prefer.

Overall, it was a wonderful dining experience.  Trust me…make the trip to Dade City.  And tell Curtis, Rebecca and Boyce that I sent you.  It was clear from all of the great food ,and local diners, that night that “Pearl in the Grove” is well on it’s way to being a bright spot on the Restaurant Scene in the area!

You can read my other restaurant reviews on Urban Spoon!
Pearl in the Grove on Urbanspoon

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