Sunday, October 2, 2011

Mr. Smith goes to Tampa

I tried not to like it.  It's a chain restaurant and it's in a mall.  In a mall, it may as well be a Houllihans or an Applebees.   With low spirits and lower expectations I approached the host desk and was greeted by not one but four.  "Uno." I stated as I held up an index finger.  I was greeted by four pleasant smiles and was lead from the large open foyer to the dining area near the bar.  The place was charming, with dark wood and a warm glow from the antique brass and glass lights.  But, I got an uncomfortable feeling as I looked around.  The place was deserted.  It was 7pm on a Wednesday night.  Where was everyone?

  The waiter approached and took my drink order.  I studied the menu:


  I decided on a cup of  Caribbean Pumpkin Crab Bisque "Rich and creamy, finished with
toasted almonds and a dollop of cream" for a starter and the Chimichurri Steak "Argentenian-style chimichurri skirt steak, grilled, basted and served with a spicy citrus parsley, fresh citrus and cilantro pesto" for an entree.  It came with two sides and I opted for the seasonal vegetables and the Au Gratin potatoes.
  The soup was perfect for a cool fall night.  Exactly as described, rich creamy sweet and a touch of spice.  I had a cup, wished for the bowl and mopped up every drop with the warm bread sticks that accompanied. The steak was a perfect medium and was tender and delicious.  The vegetables were medallions of  green and yellow squash, crisp and well seasoned, I finished them first.  The potatoes were excellent as well.  The meal salvaged an otherwise forgettable day.
  I passed on dessert though there were quite a few that sounded good and as I got up to leave the door next to the bar opened and I was embraced by live music.  Intrigued I investigated and found a lively bunch out on the terrace, eating and enjoying live jazz.  So that's where everyone was!

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1 comment:

  1. Don't you love the ones that surprise?