There are 3 reasons why you came to this page: 1) You saw me on Tinder and are trying to learn more about me/stalking me. 2) You enjoy my blog the way that I enjoy the Kardashians, aka either loving to hate me or making fun of every move I do. 3) You want to hear about fashion and food from someone who is passionate about both. Well, if you’re the third type, you’re in luck, because this blog is for you.
I was honored to be invited to a dinner at Tommy Bahama at Harbourside Place in Jupiter for the debut of their new cookbook, “Flavors of the Southern Coast.” What I did not expect was to have one of the best dinners I have been invited to, to date. To start, in order to get to the restaurant, you need to walk through the clothing store, which is full of shirts, shorts, swimsuits and more, just perfect for that Florida vibe.
I even scored a Father’s Day present (whoops, there goes the surprise) for my Dad – once I smelled their newest cologne, Maritime, I was hooked and knew my ever-stylish, handsome father would be perfectly complimented by this fragrance. (Mom, aren’t you glad Dad won’t smell like basketball sweat anymore?!). The scent is manly and musky but soft enough for a woman to enjoy.
While we were waiting for the dinner to commence and browsing the store, (which by the way, if you’re a Delray resident like me, is now open on Atlantic Ave!!) we were served up a few unique bites like the Crab Cake and the Conch Fritter. I immediately fell head over heels for the conch fritter due to the red pepper sauce that it was topped with, and the addition of the jalapeño which gave it a kick. It was a welcome change from the tartar or aioli or cocktail sauce that conch fritters are usually served with, and I’ll expand on my obsession of the red pepper sauce a bit later in this blog. Yes, just like the movie “21 Jump Street,” this sauce had a sequel that is even better than the first.
We fancy. Oh yes, we fancy. How can you NOT melt at a table set this gorgeously? And what is more perfect is that when you dine at Tommy Bahama, you have a direct view of the water, so whether you live here or are vacationing, the setting, combined with the view and the very chill live music makes you feel like you are in vacation mode.
The picture above of the Seafood-Avocado Cocktail served as our amuse bouche. If you don’t know what an amuse bouche is, then you clearly don’t know how to use Google, but as always, I’m here to help. Wikipedia defines it as “a single, bite-sized hors d’œuvre. Amuse-bouches are different from appetizers in that they are not ordered from a menu by patrons but are served gratis and according to the chef’s selection alone. These, often accompanied by a complementing wine, are served both to prepare the guest for the meal and to offer a glimpse into the chef’s approach to the art of cuisine.” This scrumptious bite consisted of poached shrimp, lump crab, lime, jalapeño, cucumber and cilantro. To describe in two words? Refreshing AF.
I don’t go to just any nail salon, I don’t date just any guy, and I sure as heck don’t eat just any salad. But the Grilled Chicken & Mango Salad – yeah, I’d eat this every day of my life. It’s made with Satur Farms mixed greens, feta, blueberries, toasted almonds, macadamias, pepitas, and topped with Meyer lemon vinaigrette. Oh, and did I mention that it is also served with jalapeño corn bread?!!? I can’t even begin to describe the joy this dish gave me. First off, I LOVE when salads mix a ton of interesting ingredients. The dressing was light but flavorful. And the cornbread? Well, it’s enough to make you jump out of your seat and kiss the busboy (Spoiler alert: I didn’t.)
Part of the deal was that each dish was served with one of their new cocktails. I know, twist my arm. The above is their Hurricane Punch which is mixed with Cruzan Light Rum, Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum, and Florida Key Lime Juice. It literally tastes like Florida. And for those of you whose first thought is suntan lotion and Metamucil, let me clarify: it’s just really freaking tropical and delicious.
Our second cocktail pairing came while we were waiting to be served our entree. You’re currently gazing at the “Sazerac,” a blend of Carpano Antica, Demerara, St. George Absinthe Verte, and Luxardo Maraschino. I know, you probably have no idea what any of that means. I thought about including all the definitions for you, but what is wrong with the millennial generation is that they’ve had their hand held for too long, so if you want to know what something is, I’ll do you a favor and let you know that you can simply copy and paste any of those phrases in to Google, and a definition will come up. Trust me, you’ll thank me for not indulging in your laziness. That being said, this drink is STRONG. Not for the weak. The taste is great, but please, be responsible and always have a designated driver or Uber!! But for those that love that kick, you’ll dig it.
I used to think that J.Lo defined “Triple Threat” until this plate. If you do go in to the restaurant, these actually are three separate dishes, but I was lucky enough to get a taste of them all on one plate. Remember that Red Pepper Sauce I was obsessed with? Well, it’s also paired with the Stuffed Chicken Breast, which was so crispy and juicy and paired perfectly with that sauce. Secret fact: I was so in love with this sauce, and their customer service is so incredibly amazing, that they gave me some extra to take home. I have literally dipped Chicken McNuggets in to this sauce and immediately felt like I was at a five star restaurant again. The Pan Seared Florida Black Grouper, pictured in the middle, is served with a Quinoa Succotash and Jalapeño-Lime Butter, and is basically just a few bites away from heaven. My favorite though, which is pictured all the way to the right, is the Jerk Pork Tenderloin, topped with a Pineapple Rum Sauce. Simple but so complex (which I think is my headline on match.com these days). It truly was cooked perfectly and all it needed was a simple sweet sauce to complete it. Wow factor.
Food and Fashion – but where would we be without dessert? We were treated to a Key Lime Pie and a Chocolate Pecan Bar, a perfect end to a truly perfect meal.
And if that weren’t enough, it was topped off with a Key Lime Martini, which is shaken with Keke Key Lime Liquor, Van Gogh Blue, Licor 43, Florida Key Lime Juice and served with a graham cracker rim. I was so stuffed at this point, and this is the kind of martini that is a bit filling, so I could only indulge in a few sips, but those few sips were sweet and delicious. Absolutely a MUST for Key Lime lovers.
Set in one of the most beautiful places on earth, and serving dishes to compliment it, I can’t imagine a better night than an insanely good meal overlooking the water. And my advice? Do the meal and cocktails before you shop the store. You’re so much more fun when you don’t set a limit on your credit card.
***I received complimentary noms in exchange for this post, however, you cannot bribe me with food, so all opinions are my own.