Tango Restaurant & Lounge

Written by on September 14, 2010 in I Eat Seattle, I Eat...Out with 0 Comments

(tangorestaurant.com) – Capital Hill
How I heard of this place: I have driven and walked past this place numerous times and been tempted to try it for years. After several attempts at suggesting it to friends, it finally took!
Type of cuisine: Latin-inspired tapas.
Ambiance: The Seattle Metropolitan Magazine describes the place as “Lit like Antonio Banderas’s bedroom, with nice airy sightlines from platforms at different levels.” The bar is located directly behind the host as you walk through the corner door. Walking through an open doorway, one is led to a dining area that is cool and full of energy, yet a “pleasant change from the high-powered Downtown dining scene” (Zagat 2010, Food 23, Decor 21, Service 22). The space is dimly lit, with light-colored, warm-toned walls with matching artwork. Dark, wooden chairs surround tables covered in white tablecloth topped with white butcher paper. Red napkins accent each table setting.
What I ordered: Three of us had the pleasure of dining at Tango and were pleased to be able to order more items to share! More items selected meant more delicious fare to sample! We started with three of the highly recommended “Cheap Dates” ($2.50 each): Medjoohl dates wrapped in crispy bacon and laid atop thinly sliced grilled eggplant and red onion. We continued with the tortilla ($4.50 for two slices): a traditional Spanish omelette, served like quiche, with potatoes, onions, red peppers and mushrooms. Next came the Bistec skewers ($9 for four): thinly sliced chimichurri beef skewers served over garnacha slaw and roasted red tomato salsa. We were pleased to welcome next the croquetas de papas ($5 for four): crispy horseradish-potato croquettes, served in a small pyramid over smoked tomato jam and sprinkled with Cotija cheese. Those were followed by the carnitas del puerco ($10.50): chili and cinnamon spiced pork with a spicy salsa verde and four small, heated tortillas. Seeing as how we were still ready to partake of more goodness, we took our servers recommendation and ordered the gambas picantes ($7 for four): chipotle tiger prawns, roasted corn-coconut galletas served with toasted pumpkin seeds on a pumpkin seed-cilantro pipien. Our final selection was one of the most popular tapas at Tango, according to our server, who highly recommended the queso fundido ($10.50): baked Mahon cheese with herbs and served with crostini, green apple slices and smoked sausage. For dessert, we could only handle one between the three of us and opted for something slightly lighter, at least in sound. Coconut-lime pastel ($7.50): a mascarpone filled lime cake covered in toasted coconut and a caramel glaze that had hints of tart and bitter lime. Toasted, candied macadamia nuts and a thin slice of candied lime decorated the dish.
What I loved: Among the three of us, two agreed that the queso fundido was the most delicious dish at our table. A very close second, with almost no space between, was the bacon-wrapped dates. Our third dining companion was most fond of the beef skewers, the bacon-wrapped dates and the cheese “was also good”.
On a return trip Saturday, September 25, 2010: On a return trip to celebrate my upcoming birthday and one dining companions belated birthday, six of us met at Tango to enjoy a sampling of tapas before dessert! On this trip, we ordered two Bistec skewers ($9 for four), two Ecuadorian Shrimp Ceviche Avocado ($10.50 each) which included corn tortilla chips topped with avocado, cucumber, red onions, lime and cilantro, and one order of the queso fundido ($10.50). For dessert, we had two orders of tea, served in two, small French presses, two orders of the award-winning El Diablo ($10 each): a bittersweet cube of sinfully rich dark chocolate graced with cayenne, spicy almonds, cocoa nibs and burnt meringue finished with a drizzle of tequila caramel sauce, and one pineapple-ginger cobbler ($7.50), which tasted of Hawai’i with toasted coconut and candied macadamia nuts. The consensus was that the El Diablo tasted better when warm (rather than nearly frozen) and had a more mousse-like consistency. The fundido always wins – how can one go wrong with molten fried cheese?
Why I loved it: I love that the food came out as it was ordered and that we were not rushed to leave the establishment. We savored each bite and each dish to our content over a three-hour meal and excellent conversation. I loved that our server was knowledgable, gave stellar recommendations and was present without being overly attentive to our table alone.
Cost: Average to high ($4.50-$19 for each plate of tapas)

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