Monday, October 1, 2012

Tangerine

I've been in a restaurant slump recently. The good places are generally too expensive to eat at regularly and many times the food/service is not up to par at moderately priced (or over-priced in some cases) restaurants.  However, I have recently found a real hidden gem in Savannah. It's called Tangerine. Tangerine is owned by the same people that own a restaurant nearTybee called Elé. Elé is pretty well known as one of the best restaurants in town and Tangerine is definitely just as good. Tangerine is open for lunch and dinner 7 days a week. It serves Asian fusion cuisine and is also a sushi bar. The food is absolutely to die for and the service is impeccable! We went there to eat lunch a couple of weeks ago and decided to go back last Thursday evening to celebrate a special occasion. Let me tell you, this is THE place to go to celebrate anything. Our lovely server, Nancy, greeted us right away and seated us. We told her that we were celebrating a special occasion and when she came back with our drink orders (I only ordered water), she gave me this fabulous treat.


A virgin Mai Tai cocktail. It was not only beautiful "eye candy," it was equally delicious and refreshing.  This was my very first Mai Tai. I'm not really sure exactly what Nancy put in this one, but I believe I tasted orange, coconut and pineapple flavors.  Maybe a hint of lime?  It was a fabulous combination of ingredients!


Since it is the beginning of oyster season here on the coast, we just had to order the fried oysters to start our culinary experience. These oysters were absolutely scrumptious! The breading was light, crispy and airy.  The oysters were large and juicy,  not shriveled up from being over-fried.  They were served with a sweet chili dipping sauce which complemented the salty oysters to a tee.   Finally, they were garnished with a nice cucumber and carrot salad. A perfect appetizer!


When it came time to order our entreé, I got a thumbs up from my parents to order something I have wanted to taste for quite some time--Kobe steak! For those who don't know, Kobe is the top of the line when it comes to beef (and that usually means top price on the menu too!).  It is meat from Japanese Wagyu cattle (called Kobe), which are specially raised to produce a beef that is highly prized for its extreme tenderness.  According to one article I read, "Kobe beef producers are secretive about their methods. Many ranchers in Japan feed beer to their livestock to induce appetite. They also massage cattle daily, sometimes with sake. According to Yo Matsuzaki, Ozumo restaurant's executive chef, some Wagyu cattle listen to classical music, a method used to relax them."  Whatever they do to them, it works!  My steak was rich, sweet and perfectly marbled.  The fat in these steaks dissolves at a lower temperature than typical beef fat, so it literally melts in your mouth!  My 4 oz serving was cooked to the perfect medium rare temperature that I love. It also came with a wonderful dipping sauce on the side that was very tasty.  And honoring our special occasion once again, Nancy added a complementary lobster tail on the side. What an unexpected treat! 
H-E-A-V-E-N! 
The lobster was cooked to perfection and was a very nice companion to the beef.  "Surf and turf" will never be the same after this experience!



Here's a close-up shot of my steak.  Just look at that marbling! I am terribly sorry for any damage done to your keyboard or mobile device caused from excessive drooling. MMMMmmmmmm.....

Did I mention that my meal came with wonderfully cooked, crisp-tender veggies?  Suffice it to say they were delish as well, but I must admit, my attention was focused elsewhere!  I should point out, however, that all of their dishes are not only delicious, but they are beautiful.  They pay close attention to every detail and each garnish is placed in a thoughtful and artful way.  Heck, their restroom even has orchids and real hand towels!!!

Now for the grand finale.  Dessert!  Once again, Ms. Nancy had me covered.  She offered a custom dessert made especially for us. I know!  The dessert was two-fold.  First, there was sweetened black rice topped with coconut milk and sesame seeds. It was natural black rice that tasted somewhat like rice pudding, but much, much better.  And the coconut milk mellowed out the flavors in an unusually delightful way, while the sesame seeds added a nice nutty crunch.

Part two...the pièce de résistance... a chocolate tuxedo bomb. And boy, was it exploding with choclatey goodness. I would have to rank it as one of the best desserts I have ever eaten.


In a word: AMAZING! Chocolate cake on the bottom, with a layer of chocolate mousse and next what I think was whipped cream.  All of these layers were covered in a velvety chocolate topping that was drizzled with several chocolate sauces to finish it off. This bomb that was "the bomb!"

Feast you eyes upon this delight.  Once again, sorry for any keyboard damage. This treat was just other worldly. So, so, so delicious!

If you live in Savannah or ever visit the city, please, please don't miss out on a opportunity to dine at Tangerine. It was the best local restaurant experience I've had in a very long time.  It is located on the south side of town, so out of the normal tourist hub-bub (in other words--abundant parking available!).  Everyone on the staff there is extremely courteous and attentive.  They go out of their way to make you feel welcome.  As for the food,  I find myself searching for new adjectives to describe the yummy goodness I experienced there.  Finally, there are options on the menu to fit every budget.  Whether you go for lunch or dinner, without a doubt, you will love it!

Cruise on over to their website and check out the hours, the menu, and pictures here: http://www.tangerinefusion.com/ .  Let me know in the comments section below if you have been to Tangerine or Elé and how you liked it.  Haven't been there yet?  Go!  Also, I'm always looking for my next foodie adventure. If you know of any other hidden gems in the Savannah area (or anywhere, really), be sure to let me know!



Until next time,
-Savannah


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