Hotel Haya in Ybor City announced the arrival of Chef Eric McHugh as the new Executive Chef of Flor Fina. At the helm of the Latin and Mediterranean-inspired restaurant, Chef McHugh has crafted a refreshed menu that celebrates the heritage and diversity of the restaurant’s destination, while infusing wow-factors via extravagant and beautiful presentations.
“As befits a restaurant in the heart of Tampa Bay’s most historic neighborhood, Flor Fina’s new menu draws inspiration from Ybor City’s diverse mix of Cuban, Spanish, Italian and other cultures to create a blend of flavors and a dining experience as unique as Hotel Haya itself,” says Chef McHugh. “As we embark on this new chapter of Flor Fina, our culinary and beverage offerings have evolved to emphasize a coastal Mediterranean influence, while still maintaining nods to our Cuban heritage.”
McHugh has had a lifelong passion for food and for cooking for more than 20 years and has worked in Tampa Bay restaurants for the last 12. He enjoys working with rarely used cuts of meat with a focus on classic rustic dishes.
Flor Fina’s new menu brings new tableside presentations to its dining experience from start to finish. From the Ceviche Sampler served over a bed of seaweed with dry ice to the Smoky Joe cocktail that is smoked and presented in a cigar box, the new offerings bring dramatic effects to the table that will be a feast for the eyes. Chief among those is The Haya Paella, a tableside spin on the classic Spanish seafood dish, Paella de Mariscos. Additional show-stopping tableside offerings include the Banana Leaf Snapper, served up inside of a smoking Dutch oven and presented “en papillote” style topped with spicy coconut sauce and the Whole Market Fish, a daily rotation of fresh mouth-watering fish from the Gulf, deboned and bursting with flavor, roasted atop of a wood-fired grill, served with ladolemono, blistered heirloom tomatoes and fresh dill.
The new menu also includes a wider selection of both classic crowd-pleasing dishes and innovative offerings to satisfy a range of taste palates. New wood fired additions include the finest steak cut options on the market, including filet mignon, Tomahawk steak, grass fed NY strip , and churrasco skirts steaks from local cattle raised by Tampa Bay’s own Providence Cattle Ranch. The new tableside Mezcal Wild Mushroom Flambe steak add-on packs the perfect flavor filled punch for any steak selection. The new menu also showcases fresh local seafood and hand-made pastas.
“We are excited to share the fabulous flavors and enticing culinary creations that bring Chef Eric’s culinary vision for Flor Fina to our neighbors here in Tampa Bay and across the country,” says Hotel Haya General Manager Peter Wright. “Chef Eric’s visionary menu and exciting new tableside experiences will make Flor Fina a must-visit destination for food-lovers from across the region to discover. ”
In addition to the new culinary choices, Flor Fina has updated its beverage menu, which aims to further elevate the guest experience with unique variations on classic cocktail choices. From the rich Smokey Joe, featuring Havana Club Classico, Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon, demerara, coffee bitters and smoke, to the tropical Painkiller created with Havana Club Blanco, Appleton Estate Signature, coconut, pineapple, orange and lime and served in a souvenir peacock glass, the refreshed libations perfectly complement a meal at Flor Fina.
“I love the multiculturism and the way that Tampa and Hotel Haya continue to celebrate the histories of the region’s original immigrants,” Chef Eric says. “This is the type of dining experience Tampa Bay has been waiting for.”
Flor Fina is open Tuesday through Friday 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. for lunch. Dinner service is available Tuesday through Saturday from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Brunch is offered Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The semi-private Roosevelt Room is available by reservation.
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