by Carla Selby

TPC Tampa Bay’s masterful design provides a spectacular public course for golfers but also holds a hidden gem of a restaurant that is also open to the public and even provides catered events.

Overlooking the lush landscape and tranquil lagoons of the 18th hole at TPC Tampa Bay, ¡CUATRO Restaurant & Bar is designed to bring people together to enjoy the fresh flavors and delicious award-winning food curated by one of the most passionate and down-to-earth individuals I’ve ever had the pleasure of interviewing; Chef Greg Gonzales.

Chef Greg proudly accepted his role as ¡CUATRO’s Executive Chef right after Valentine’s Day this year, and his main focus, under the direct supervision of new general manager Jeff Hartman, is to take this family-friendly local gem back to its four original ethnic roots; American, Cajun, Italian and Mexican.

Originally from San Antonio, Texas, and with over 20 years of experience in fine dining establishments such as Longhorn and Grill Smith, Chef Greg is more than “seasoned,” in the culinary arts. He also knows how to run a busy restaurant without sacrificing quality or taste efficiently.

Having received his culinary training at Copeland’s of New Orleans, Chef Greg became passionate about bold flavors, and seasoning every dish with the perfect amount of complimenting spices.

As a self-proclaimed “foodie,” I was thoroughly impressed by the overall presentation and deliciousness of every dish Chef Greg brought out for me to sample during my first ever visit at ¡CUATRO. I am still daydreaming about their juicy steak, their meat packed Cuban Sandwich with enormous chunks of pulled pork and huge pickles in every bite, the delicious chicken wings, the crispy on the outside yet flaky on the inside grouper nuggets, and those perfectly seasoned french fries. Everything was spectacular, but those were without a doubt, the best french fries I have ever had in my entire life! I’ll be back soon with my whole family because to me, there’s nothing better than enjoying a fantastic meal with the ones you love. So if you haven’t visited in a while, or you’re ready to try something new, trust me and pay a visit to ¡CUATRO, you will not be disappointed.

New Executive Chef = New Delicious Dishes

A restaurant menu is kind of like your wardrobe: Sure, you’ve got some old classics you’ll never get rid of, but every once in a while you need to give it a serious overhaul, and that is what ¡CUATRO is currently doing. 

“We are revamping our entire menu and offering dishes inspired by the four original ethnic styles of cooking ¡CUATRO was meant to showcase,” shared Chef Greg, who is eager about adding his personal touches to some of the classics. “We continue to make as many products in house as we possibly can. We’re pretty much a scratch kitchen,” Chef Greg added. 

Chef Greg has a soft spot for Cajun food, which is a blessing for all of us who enjoy flavorful meals. The new menu will launch on April 7, and feature entrees like a juicy “Bayou Chicken” and a “Creole Seafood Gumbo,” inspired by NOLA’s traditional flavors. Other new specialties include a tasty Mexican pasta, a mouth-watering Crawfish Fettuccine, a yummy Chicken Parmigiana Sandwich, and the popular yet revamped Grouper sandwich. If that wasn’t enough, get ready to transport yourself to “Cafe Du Monde,” after one bite of Chef Greg’s NOLA inspired Beignets! An Italian Tiramisu, a Mexican Tres Leches and an American Peach Cobbler will also make their debut on the dessert list at ¡CUATRO.

¡CUATRO will continue to offer delicious daily specials, crafted and suggested by Chef Greg and the entire staff. “I am fortunate to be working next to such talented individuals,” said Chef Greg. “I encourage and welcome any ideas they may have. Not long ago they surprised me by offering a delicious Shrimp Scampi special, which was a hit amongst our guests. The staff at ¡CUATRO cares about the food they send out, and people have started to notice the consistency and hard work that goes into making and serving each dish.” But no matter what the special is, you can be sure of one thing – the food will be fresh and delicious. 

Recent customer Joan l. says, “An overlooked gem of a restaurant. Food was fresh and perfectly prepared. I had one of the evening’s specials, Shrimp Scampi, and it was delicious and original. Saved enough room for a wonderful homemade peach cobbler. Service was excellent!”

Banquet Director, Krista Koumas is working with Chef Greg on updating the banquet menu for large events held at TPC Tampa Bay and for catering. “We can comfortably host up to 150 people by offering indoor and outdoor seating overlooking the gorgeous golf course,” said Krista. “We include all the chairs, tables, linens, and China once an event is booked, which other banquet places charge extra for.” 

¡CUATRO’s banquet menu has always been phenomenal, but now with Chef Greg’s assistance, they will be taking it to the next level. “Our banquet menu aims to please, and we offer something for everyone,” said Krista, who works one-on-one with all the customers to customize the menu selection to their liking. “When someone calls about a banquet or private event, I will work with them every step of the way, until we achieve a menu that they will love and that suits their budget and taste.”

Members and the public can reserve the full-service banquet room for golf-related events, silent/live auctions, corporate lunches, private dinners, engagement parties, small weddings, baby showers, bar mitzvahs – you name it! 

Sales & Marketing Director Margie Martin, Krista and Chef Greg are at your service and will make your event, an unforgettable one. 

Recent client Stacey K. says, “I recently worked with Krista to celebrate my sister’s baby shower at ¡CUATRO. It was a fantastic experience from start to finish. The food was crafted specifically for the guest of honor and impeccable.  All of our guests were blown away by the brunch. The staff was readily available to answer my questions, tweak menus and assist in the set-up.  I would recommend this as a venue for an event!! Thank you for making the day perfect!”

Upcoming Events You Don’t Want To Miss

Love Brunch with a view? Bring your entire family to a fabulous Easter Brunch at ¡CUATRO on Sunday, April 21 or a Mother’s Day Brunch on Sunday, May 12. Both days will offer a delectable selection of breakfast and brunch items, as well as mimosas and bloody marys. 

Happy Hour

Take some of that work stress away over a cold beer or specialty cocktail at ¡CUATRO’s Happy Hour! Monday-Friday from 4:00pm-7:00pm. 1 Dollar Off All Draft Beer & Select Wine by the Glass 6. 1 Dollar OFF specialty cocktails.

Kids Eat Free

Every Sunday 12:00 pm – 8:00 pm, kids 12 and under eat free off of the kid’s menu. (One free children’s entree for every adult entree ordered)

¡CUATRO is located at TPC Tampa Bay at 5300 W. Lutz Lake Fern Road. They are conveniently open seven days a week! Mon. – Sat., 7 a.m. – 9 p.m. and Sun.  7 a.m. – 8 p.m. For more information, call 813-949-1486 or visit http://tpctampa.totalegolf.com/