Ciro’s Speakeasy and Supper Club is one of the more unique restaurants in the Tampa Bay area. If you haven’t heard of it, there is good reason. Ciro’s doesn’t advertise. You won’t be seeing some food network star like Guy Fieri becoming the spokes person (like he did for T.G.I Fridays). Ciro’s is not located at some strip mall you can see from Dale Mabry Highway. Sure Ciro’s has a Facebook page, but photos and information is very limited if not useless.
When you’re on Howard avenue and Bayshore boulevard, there is a small sign that points to Ciro’s parking lot. If you’re not paying attention, you can miss it. Now upon arrival, there are three things you better be prepared for. First and foremost is the password for the night to get into Ciro’s. Yes folks, like the name says, this is a speakeasy. While you could show up and ask if a table is available, part of the fun is getting the phone call the day of your reservation for the password. Reservations are highly recommended, especially on weekends and I suggest calling a week in advance.
The second thing you’ll need to be prepared for is looking sharp, there is a dress code to Ciro’s. Dress as if you’re going to a job interview. No t-shirts, shorts, or flip flops allowed. The last thing you need to be prepared for when arriving to Ciro’s is valet parking. This is unavoidable. If you wanted to avoid paying for valet parking, you would have to park a few blocks away and walk to Ciro’s.
Once you’ve dropped your car off, you will be instructed to provide the name on your reservation and the password for the night. You will then be instructed to walk towards a wooden door, at which you will ring the doorbell and provide the password again once the attendant inside answers. Upon entry, you will be read the rules of Ciro’s, if you weren’t instructed already when you checked in at the valet. This is pretty cool. No one is to be loud and obnoxious. No man is allowed to hit on any women. The women must tell the waiter it’s ok to be hit on first before any man can begin flirting. This is great for any woman who just wants to grab a few drinks with her girlfriends and not have to worry about whether she needs to give a creepy guy a fake number. Another rule is you have your table for two hours, then you must leave.
Ciro’s Speakeasy Ambiance
By now you have noticed how dark the inside of Ciro’s is and how the waiters and waitresses look like they are from the 1920s. All this adds to the ambience of Ciro’s. You will be escorted to your seats, which consists of a couch and a small table. Your table is enclosed by sheer curtains, allowing you privacy but being able to see what’s going on around you. Your dining table is small, which can be a pain to eat from when you have lots of dishes to share. Despite this, it’s worth the experience.
Since Ciro’s is a speakeasy, it has Prohibition inspired cocktails. While Ciro’s does have a few modern drinks with vodka, a good amount of them contain either gin or whiskey. The two drinks I thoroughly enjoyed were the Blackberry Bramble and the Corn-fed Peach Sour. I’ve been to Ciro’s a couple of times and while tempted to try other cocktails, the two aforementioned drinks are too good to ignore. However, don’t let that stop you from trying whatever suits your fancy. The one negative I have about the drinks is the amount of ice in them. There is a lot. I suppose however that back during Prohibition, alcohol was limited and glasses needed to look filled and ice did the trick. Ciro’s is definitely not the place to try to get drunk. It’s a place to relax with a good drink and enjoy some great food.
Now I try not to curse in my reviews, so I will keep it clean. Gosh darn, Ciro’s has some amazing food! The style of food is a kind of French and American. It’s unique. The food is somewhat tapas style in which you might want to order a couple of menu items to share with your date. I tend to start with the truffled popcorn and the foie gras.
I am typically not a fan of popcorn and wouldn’t consider ordering it as an appetizer. However, this is no ordinary popcorn. The truffled oil on the popcorn adds a unique and savory flavor that you won’t find at the movie theater. The foie gras is one menu item that is not for sharing, mainly because it is one piece of liver served with a strawberry like compote and a crostini. If you can look past the fact that foie gras is goose or duck liver (not sure which Ciro’s uses), this plate is spectacular. The liver is soft and flavorful. It’s not a particularly cheap dish, especially with the amount of food you get, but dining at Ciro’s is not like going to Applebee’s. Ciro’s is the kind of place you go when you want to try someplace new, go out on the town, or you have a special occasion. The foie gras can’t be missed.
There are many different kinds of dishes at Ciro’s, ranging from duck confit to steak to chicken and waffles. The chicken and waffles are superb. It’s served with a maple, chipotle sauce. The sauce does have a kick to it but it accompanies the chicken well by not being a sweet syrup.
The duck, steak, and lamb dishes are also a hit. Ciro’s also has duck fat french fries. These fries are cooked in duck fat instead of oil. They are served as a side with certain dishes,but can be ordered by its self. The fries are good, but they are to be shared with the table because they are rich. Desserts aren’t as extensive as the rest of the menu but the stand out is the Newcastle ice cream atop of waffles and topped with chocolate syrup. There are bits of bacon mixed in this dish and that adds to the deliciousness. The beer in the ice cream adds a distinct flavor without being over powering. Other desserts include a fondue plate and a bread pudding.
Ciro’s is a great restaurant experience. Plan to spend around eighty dollars for two people depending on what you order. Whether you’re going for an anniversary or just because, Ciro’s Speakeasy and Supper Club is worth every penny.
How to Get to Ciro’s In Tampa
Ciro’s Speakeasy is located at 2109 Bayshore Boulevard, Tampa, FL 33606