Sunday, August 15, 2010

Life is Vin-tastique!

What a wonderful afternoon at the O Bistro! I was very intrigued by the name, but forgot to ask anyone why they chose the letter O as opposed to A or any other letter. The restaurant is located in a strip center at 6661 Central Avenue. There is ample parking, so you never have to worry about finding a place to park.

I arrived and was immediately greeted at the door and seated. The server, Judy, told me that I had to wait for the others to arrive to hear the specials. Jodi Fritch and Larry Tirrell who own Vin-tastique, arrived shortly after, so I didn't have to wait too long to hear the specials!

I didn't even have a chance to check the restrooms before Jodi and Larry got there, so Larry and I went on an expedition to find the restrooms and compare notes. I was very pleased with the ladies room. The floors and walls were clean, it was decorated nicely and the mirror did not have and spots. When we arrived back at the table, Larry was a little disenchanted with the mens room. It offered too much privacy! Since there was only one men's restroom without stalls or urinals, he thought that if he had to spend any amount of time in there, someone would be knocking at the door. I told him that women had to deal with that all the time!!!

It was actually quite funny comparing notes from the women's and men's rooms. Apparently men look at things a lot different than women and do not care if there are pretty pictures on the walls or nice plants in vases. I must point out that in all of my future posts, notes will only apply to ladies rooms and men may feel differently!! (These pictures were taken in the ladies room.)
After reviewing the menu and changing my mind several times, I finally decided to have the deep dish spinach pie with Greek salad ($11). Jodi was having the grilled ham and three cheese tomato melt with tomato bisque soup ($9) and Larry ordered the bbq brisket and brie quesadilla ($11) and a cup of tomato bisque soup ($4) . I am glad he ordered the quesadilla, as I was quite curious about that as well. I was also intrigued with the goat cheese and fresh berry salad. The side dishes that you can choose if you order a sandwich include waffle fries, eggplant fries, fruit or macaroni and 3 cheese. I was hoping that Jodi would have ordered the eggplant fries as her side, but just like me, you have to have tomato soup with a grilled cheese! Fortunately, they accidentally served her sandwich with the eggplant fries, so we got to taste them anyway! (It's these little extra bonuses in life that make me happy!)

I explained to Jodi and Larry that I liked to take pictures of the food as they were presented. Larry felt that the soup could look prettier (my word) if he cleaned the edge of the bowl and he dressed it up with his crackers. I say, if the restaurant is going to serve something that doesn't look pretty, it should be photographed that way. Just to avoid any future arguments, I am showing you both pictures of the bisque. With and without crackers!

Vin-tastique is the exclusive wine-focused event enhancement service provider for the entire Greater Tampa Bay Area. I was not exactly sure what this meant, but after talking with Jodi and Larry and seeing their love and knowledge for wine, I want them at my next event!! Jodi and Larry have a vast wisdom not only for wine, but also social media promotion. Many times, a wine or liquor store will have a wine tasting event, but not know how to promote the event, so it may not be successful. Or, they promote the event and get a lot of people to attend, but there is not really anyone there who can answer your questions about the wine or find you something that you may really like. It is rare and fortunate that you find someone like Jodi who can promote your event as well as answer all of your wine questions.
Let's say, for example, that you have a museum, gallery or any type of business for that matter. It could be a bookstore! And you want to have a customer appreciation night or other event, but you don't know how to go about hosting this event. Jodi and Larry will take care of all of the details for you! They will ask you some questions about the kind of wine that you like and want to have available for your guests. Jodi will promote the event on all social media sites. They will be there the night of your event answering all questions about the wines and making sure that everything is perfect and your guests are having fun.
Or, if you do not have a brick and mortar business, but you want to have a wine tasting in your home...just call or email Jodi! I know myself, that I have not had wine tastings in my home as I do not want my guests to feel pressured into purchasing anything. I hate the hard sell!! But, with Vin-tastique, Jodi and Larry ask the same questions to get a feel for what you want at your tasting. Their motto is "Your tasting, your way." If you want to do all Rieslings from Germany or you want to try something from South Africa that you have never tried - just let them know! For $20 per person/15 person minimum, they will come to your home with the wines you want to taste as well as an accompaniment. This is where it gets fun. You can choose chocolate (and not hershey's...they have an amazing chocolatier from whom they get their chocolate), cheese, pastries, tasty treats or even cupcakes. There is no sales pitch, they will tell you where to get the wine that you like and that is it! No order forms, no payment now, none of that stuff! Just taste the wines, have fun with your friends and let Jodi and Larry take care of your guests. I can't wait til I find 14 other people who want to come to my house and do this! Or, invite me to yours!

You can tell that Jodi and Larry are people persons! They will get along with any and all guests or customers and make them feel welcome and appreciated. And you definitely want your customers to feel appreciated.



  1. LOVE the prime rib sandwich and the pasta salad. When you go back you HAVE to try them :)

  2. I live so close and have never been here. I love that Vin-tastique has just partnered with Total Wines for classes. I'm dying to go to one.