Feb
16

Tangerine, Philadelphia

After attempting to get a reservation at Alma De Cuba to no avail yesterday, we ended up picking another Starr restaurant Tangerine for dinner. I’d already been to Buddakan so wanted to try something different. The menu looked great online and the restaurant looked really beautiful so I made a reservation before I even checked reviews online. Good thing I did because the reviews I found weren’t very good. Would never have gone if I had read the reviews.

We got there right on time for our 7pm reservation. Found an open unattended parking lot around the corner. Once you open the door to the restaurant and walk in, its like you are transformed to another place far away from Philly. It’s kind of like you’re in a fancy Moroccan club (not that I’ve been to Morocco or to any Moroccan club, though where were the belly dancers?) Lots of bright orange colors, lots of candles on the wall. I would not like to be the guy lighting those candles every night. It really is a beautiful space. My only gripe with the decor is how low the tables are. I’m not tall and I had to cross my legs a little. I think its an attempt to recreate the effect of mattresses in restaurants in that part of the world.

Our waiter suggested that we share the food. I love that idea. You get to try so many things without committing fully to any one particular thing. Perfect. There were 4 of us and we ended up ordering 4 appetizers and 4 entrees. So here’s what we had.

Appetizers:
Crunchy calamari – worst dish of the night. Oily, salty, too much batter. Apart from that it was fine.
Shortrib spanikopita – excellent, amazing.
Meze – selection of stuff including houmous, babaganoush, olives, chick peas, feta, parmesan and manchego cheeses. Excellent
Grilled Kobe Sirloin – very good, tender, tasty

Entrees:
Crispy stripped bass – very good, nice moist fish with a refreshing fennel sauce.
Shrimp and scallops with romesco green onions – very good. The scallops were huge and perfectly cooked.
Chicken tagine – nice flavor, though cous cous was a little overdone and dish was slightly salty.
Rosemary seared sirloin – very tasty. Was a little surprised that rosemary went so well with the sirloin, but a very good dish.

We ordered way too much food. Should have gone with 3 appetizers and 3 entrees. But what the heck, we ended up taking a doggy bag home.

We skipped desserts. The wine by the glass list is a little short, though the Prosecco was very good and the pomergranate cosmo was well worth drinking. Service was a little on the slow side from or waiter, but I think he was covering too many tables.

Overall, a restaurant I would return to. Would love to go in summer, and just drink and eat a bunch of appetizers, particularly the short rib. I love good short rib.

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