A sampling of the price-set menu at Tommy Bahama.
By Judi Gallagher
Soon to become the newest term in Webster’s dictionary, a prix fixe is a price-set menu for several courses (usually three). I often opt for a regular menu, however, mostly because I love ordering several appetizers and a salad. This usually costs me more than ordering a prix fixe dining option, but honestly, I often do not like the prix fixe choices.
But not so fast, Judi G.! I have been quietly scoping the three-course scene to bring you my favorite choices, and there are several. Look at this blog as a work in progress; there’s more on the way—once I lose the few pounds I have stacked on, and you are about to see why:
Tommy’s has creatively offered two options of a three course-tasting menu. I opted for the $29 version, while hubby, never one to shy away from good food and quantity selected the $35 menu. (It was worth the upgrade on his just for the butterscotch pudding, trust me)
First course was a combo plate of coconut-crusted crab cake with sweet chili sauce and Loki-Loki tuna poke (a staple for me at Tommy Bahama). This appetizer was wonderful both as a pairing and portion size. The crab was sweet and balanced with the gentle spice of the ahi tuna poke with creamy guacamole. I debated between the flatiron steak and Shoal bay red snapper for my entrée, gladly choosing the latter since my dinner companion showed his cards early and decided to order the filet (from his side of the menu). The snapper was an ample piece for a tasting and cooked perfectly, but as I am typing this it dawned on me—they missed the grilled broccolini. Oh, well, a good excuse to go back and indulge in another tasting.
Macadamia nut crusted snapper will melt in your mouth. But Mr Tommy still owes me some grilled broccolini (although the baby zucchini was delish).
And then there is dessert. If you have been to Tommy Bahama’s, you can’t realistically leave the premises before diving into their pina colada cake. So of course my selection was made before we even parked the car. Maybe it’s the white chocolate mousse layers or the Myers dark rum that ever so lightly marinates the pineapple before the sweet flaked coconut takes over, but together with layers of soft white cake, it is worthy of a top dessert placement in Sarasota Magazine’s annual tastings.
Paul can never decide, so always opts for as many desserts as he can.
Now about that Blackbeard’s butterscotch pudding. This ain’t your Mama’s Mytifine version, folks. Mom may have stirred the pot with milk and dried pudding, but this version is homemade and gingerly stirred for over an hour to blend the vanilla, cream, dark brown sugar, scotch and whiskey together. Oh, yeah, then they just throw you over the decadence edge by layering the sides of a brandy snifter with chocolate ganache and scratch caramel sauce.
You may opt for a wine pairing on either menu for $20 additional. I would say no matter which side of the tasting menu you select, you are going to be in prix fixe heaven.