My Philadelphia dining out goal has been to visit all of the Stephen Starr restaurants. So far, I have crossed four off my list (Pod, Jones, El Vez, Continental Midtown). Tangerine makes five.
When I was originally planning my Restaurant Week strategy, a few co-workers expressed interest and suggested Tangerine, which was great since it was on my list! Reservations for four were made and we headed over the bridge from South Jersey to Center City. We had about a 15 minute wait before we were seated, so we enjoyed martinis in the uber-hip bar/lounge area. Beaded curtains, candle chandeliers, and lace curtains really gave the lounge a Morrocan-French feel. Everything was decorated in Orange and Browns and the lighting was very moody and candlelit. I ordered a Lemon Martini and let the tart sweet drink wash away the day.
We were seated in the back room of the restaurant and I was amazed at how big the restaurant actually was! The rooms seemed to keep connecting! The special Restaurant Week Menu had 3 items under each course, so we decided that we should make sure we ordered one of everything so everyone could try all the dishes.
For starters, I ordered the Chickpea Crepe. It was amazing. Really really phenominal. If I could have ordered a bigger version of this as my meal, I would have. The crepe was light and fluffy and it was stuffed with what I thought was chicken, but were really mushrooms and chickpeas all flavored with a mild cinnamon taste. On the menu, it was described as: chanterelle mushrooms, pomegranate-brandy sauce, & almond sugar. It was fantastic. My dining companions ordered the Mediterranean Chopped Salad and the Scallop and Herb Pearl Couscous, both of which I tasted, but neither compared to the crepe.
Our main courses arrived almost immediately after we finished our appetizers. The bread plate of pita and cinnamon raisin bread was passed around and we all tucked into our meals. I was a little disappointed with my Lamb Merguez Brochette. I was not expecting Lamb kebobs, I was hoping for more of a lamb chop. It was spicy, but a let down and no sign of the tzadziki sauce the menu promised. The other dishes ordered were Shrimp Afrique and Grilled Morrocan Sirloin. I tasted the steak dish, which was quite good. The steak was rare and tender and the mashed potatoes and spinach were buttery and tender.
Time for dessert and of course the biggest decision of the night. I chose the Lemon Yogurt Semifreddo which was tart and cold and refreshing. The fruit was fresh and the lemon didn’t overpower the sweetness of the fruit. A great dessert that I would love to recreate on my own.
The Chocolate Financier was very fancy in presentation but lacking in flavor abd the Mediterranean Rice Pudding was creamy and delicious and would have been my second choice.
All in all, the meal was great, the company fantastic and the atmosphere lovely. I did feel like we were being rushed through our meal and I couldn’t shake that they were anxious to turn the table over. I would be open to trying the regular menu at some point but there are so many other restaurants on my list, I don’t think I am in that much of a hurry to get back to Tangerine.
232 Market Street