Tommy Bahama

When I first stumbled unto Tommy Bahama, I was a bit skeptical since it’s considered a chain restaurant – a higher end chain restaurant, but still a chain restaurant nonetheless. But it’s been a year since being in Hawaii or somewhere tropical, so I was really craving something with an island feel. So when my mother asked me where I wanted to eat for my birthday, I quickly made reservations for the Tommy Bahama in Midtown Manhattan.

The restaurant is located on top of the clothing store so you have to take the stairs up. We arrived a bit early and we were seated right away in a nice booth table. Our waiter greeted us right away and offered to get us started with drinks. We ordered two drinks and decided to see which one we liked more after it arrived. We had the Bahama Mama ($12.00) and Manhattan’s Best Mai Tai ($14.00). The Bahama Mama was definitely the lighter of the two and pretty fruity. The Mai Tai was very strong but still good nonetheless.

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We opted to split three appetizers instead of each ordering one individually. First up was the Ahi Tuna Tacos ($12.50), which is served with a fried wonton shell, Asian slaw and wasabi creme on top. These were so good! The wonton shell was hard enough to withstand biting but not as hard as regular taco shells. The wasabi creme was very flavorful without being spicy.

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Next up was the Ahi Poke Napolean ($16.50), which features chunks of Ahi Tuna tossed with capers, guacamole and served with flatbread. I’ve been missing poke since we left Hawaii so this was definitely my favorite appetizer of the night. They did not skimp on the tuna at all – there was definitely enough tuna and guac to go round. Just like the tacos, the tuna was super fresh and I quickly gobbled up more than my share.

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Since we needed some veggies, we opted for the Bungalow Salad ($8.00), which features romaine lettuce tossed with toasted almonds and macadamia nuts, feta cheese, sun-dried blueberries and a meyer lemon vinaigrette. The vinaigrette was very light and fresh and paired very well with the other ingredients. We even used the bread to soak it up after we finished the veggies.

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And speaking of the bread – they’re baked to order and served with a honey butter, which made it taste like a cinnamon roll!

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For my entree, I went with the Kona Coffee Crusted Ribeye ($29.00), which is served with a warm potato salad and a light salad. The salad and potatoes definitely helped balance out the savory steak. I’ve only had Kona Coffee steak before once before and this one really put up a good fight. It was tender and flavorful. The portion size is also insanely large!

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My mother went with the Macadamia Nut Encrusted Red Snapper ($29.50), which is served with almond rice and a wasabi-soy beurre blanc. The portion size for this dish was also insanely large. The mac nut crust was very crunchy and crispy. I also thoroughly enjoyed the almond rice, which was fragrant and tasty.

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For dessert, we opted to split two. At Tommy Bahama, your waiter brings over a tray with all the desserts on it to show you which ones they have. I really like that they do this because I’m a visual eater and I loved being able to pick based on what each dessert looked like. I decided on the Pineapple Creme Brulee ($9.00), which features a Tahitian Vanilla Bean and white chocolate mousse that’s served inside an actual pineapple. It was smooth, just the right amount of sweet and oh so good.

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My sister picked the Malted Chocolate Pie ($10.00), which featured a mocha mousse surrounded by a chocolate cookie crust and topped with English toffee crumble. This dessert was really rich and heavy – the complete opposite of the creme brulee. It was good, but after a few bites, it became a bit too much. This is definitely a dessert so share.

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I really enjoyed my dinner at Tommy Bahama. I was pleasantly surprised by how good the food was and how well done all the dishes were. I don’t think I had one thing that I didn’t like! The service was attentive and our waiter was able to answer all of our questions about the dishes. I love it when waiters really know their own products. I highly recommend Tommy Bahama if you’re ever feeling like getting away from the hustle & bustle of the city and relaxing with some island-themed food!

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