Last updated: 03:35 PM ET, Fri February 19 2016

Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Adds Special Ingredient

Hotel & Resort | All-Inclusive Hard Rock Hotels | Lisa Iannucci | February 19, 2016

Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Adds Special Ingredient

PHOTO: Work up an appetite in the pool, and then try Grey/Salt restaurant (Courtesy Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Tampa)

In attempts to attract new travelers, hotels need to pull out all the stops. So they sometimes boost business by bringing in one special ingredient: world renowned chefs.

Upping its game with a signature eatery and a celebrated chef, the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tampa, Florida, recently partnered with New York City chef Mark Murphy in their Mediterranean-inspired restaurant, Grey/Salt, as one of their seven restaurants.

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Murphy is a rock star chef, widely known from his role as a judge on The Food Network’s hit show ‘Chopped,’ as well as his appearances on Iron Chef America, Guy’s Grocery Games, and Beat Bobby Flay. He released his debut cookbook, ‘Season with Authority: Confident Home Cooking,’ last April.

The menu at Grey/Salt was inspired from Murphy’s French heritage and Italian roots. “Tampa is a great location for my Mediterranean inspired grill because of the close proximity to the Gulf and its amazing seafood,” said Murphy.

With a focus on locally sourced fresh seafood, the menu features artisanal flatbreads, handmade pastas as well as rotisserie and grilled meats. Entrees include strozzapreti + meatballs spicy tomato ragout, mozzarella and parmesan, spinach ricotta gnudi with brown butter and sage, and wood grilled shrimp spiedini ratatouille and parsley pistou. The menu also includes beers, barrel- and bottled-aged cocktails, and an international selection of wines focusing on the Mediterranean region served by the quartino, half and full bottles.

The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino is located in Tampa, Florida off of I-4 at North Orient Road and Hillsborough Avenue, between I-75 and I-275, about 10 minutes east of downtown Tampa. The rooms and suites have floor-to-ceiling windows and whirlpool tubs. Suites have living rooms, dining areas and butler service. The casino has table games, slots and a poker room.

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“The climate is also very similar to the climate in the Mediterranean where I grew up spending time in Italy and France,” Murphy said in a statement. “Tampa was the perfect location and I am looking forward to creating an oasis within the hotel for people to enjoy.”

He opened his first restaurant, Landmarc, 12 years ago and his next, Ditch Plains, just two years later. He opened another Landmarc restaurant and Kingside, both in New York.

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