All posts tagged Cocktails

Restaurant Review: Red Tapas Bar and Grille

Published December 16, 2012 by mrsrag

Location: Downtown at the Gardens, 11701 Lake Victoria Gardens #3102, Palm beach Gardens, FL 33410. Next to Dirty Martini. Phone: 561 333-7331.


I’ve heard some people say that size doesn’t matter.  This is a lie…a bold faced lie.  It absolutely does matter.  Especially when it comes to food portions, in my opinion.  Tapas is defined as “small savory dishes”.  Usually, it’s appetizer size portions served with cocktails.  I’ve had tapas in many different places; Las Vegas, Rhode Island, California and the Sunshine state – just to name a few.  Tapas appeals to me because I enjoy variety when I’m eating and I like getting a taste of everything the venue has to offer.  The several items we tried at Red Tapas were absolutely delicious, intricate and complex dishes that exhibited culinary prowess.  As I explained earlier, tapas is defined as “small plates”.  These plates were very small indeed.  Honestly, too small for my apetite.  And the prices seemed excessive.  Ross and I decided to have a taste of their Filet Mignon Carpaccio, blackened Edamame and Lamb chops.  I wasn’t expecting a 20 oz. steak or two giant chops, but I did expect to feel satiated at the end of the meal.  Instead I found myself already pondering what I was going to eat for dinner.  Perhaps, I’ve been utterly spoiled by our other bar hopping favorites.  Without naming any names, there are a couple of places that come to mind when I hear Carpaccio.  One place has a Ahi Tuna Carpaccio and the other has a beef.  The portion sizes that you receive at these other destinations are quite impressive.  Literally they are triple the size of the Filet Carpaccio we tried and half the price.  And if you’re lucky enough to stop at one of these places for happy hour, you are looking at an even better deal.  In this unstable and weak economy we really enjoy getting the most bang for our buck.  I didn’t feel like we got our money’s worth at Red Tapas.

I am going to name names honey if you don’t mind.  You see Maria and I were heading for The Cheesecake Factory for their wonderful and ample Ahi Carpaccio, when we spotted the brand new Red Tapas (they’ve been open a month) and decided to give it a shot.  I thought the atmosphere was pretty decent, we sat outside near the bar in an interesting cushioned, bench-like table combo, they also have tables with little gas firepits at them which I thought was cool as well.  The music selection was a bit odd for 3 o’clock in the afternoon, a pulsing, generic club beat, but at least it wasn’t too loud.  I’m in total agreement with Maria’s evaluation of the food, very good but way too small and overpriced.  The lamb chops were the bomb, but $15 for two little ones?  Their beef carpaccio was delicious, but again, $11 and very small.  You can go around the corner to the Gardens Mall and have an equally delicious, giant beef carpaccio for less money at Brio.  Honestly, we’re the furthest thing from cheap people that you’ll run into, but we’re also not about squandering money either.  I’m certainly not ready to give up on Red Tapas.  The place is aesthetically pleasing and we noticed they have a happy hour 4 to 7, so I’m pretty sure we’ll give them another try.  But I would say if money is a concern for you and you’re starving, you may want to consider an alternative destination.

I’m definitely up for giving them another try.  Planning would have garnered some success, as Ross previously mentioned, we could have waited for happy hour.  The place has only been open for a month, so I’m hoping they get some accurate feedback and make the necessary changes to be successful.  On a positive note we did have a very tasty Riesling called Su Yuen, made by the Francis Ford Coppola winery.  This crisp and refreshing white wine could have easily accompanied any of the numerous dishes on the diverse menu.  It was the highlight of my first experience at Red Tapas.  Hopefully, there will be more things to rave about following our next visit.

Ah the Su Yuen.  Nice wine, nicer bottle, with a little fable about the Princess and the history of dim sum on the label.  You know, we ended up at The Cheesecake Factory for the ahi carpaccio the next afternoon.  Christmas shopping takes a lot out of you, you simply have to find a place to unwind and detox from the “holiday cheer” you encounter out there.  Wherever you end up, I hope you find the right combination of loved ones, laughter and libation.  Cheers! 

Maria’s Rating: 2.5 Wine Glasses out of 5.

Ross’ Rating: 2.5 Wine Glasses.






Restaurant Review: Tiki Waterfront Sea Grill

Published September 9, 2012 by mrsrag

Location:  200 East 13th St., Riviera Beach, FL 33404.  Phone: 561 845-5532.

If you follow MRSRAG, you know that Maria and I love a water view when we eat or have a drink.  Our best dinner ever was at The Chart House in San Diego, yards from the Pacific Ocean.  We’ve reviewed in this space, Season’s 52, The River House and The Rum Bar, all on the Intracoastal Waterway.  Up next is the Tiki Waterfront Sea Grill in Riviera Beach.  We love The Rum Bar for a drink, but when we want a better selection of food without losing that beachy feel, we go to the Tiki.  Perched above the Riviera Beach marina and with a nice view of Peanut Island, the atmosphere is laid back, the drinks are good, the menu has a nice variety and the live music is usually rockin’.  We have several favorites, but the thing that always has me speeding to get there is, believe it or not, the Wakame aka Seaweed Salad.  If you’ve never tried it, give it a shot, I bet you won’t be disappointed.

When Ross first told me that the Tiki had his favorite seaweed salad – I was skeptical to say the least.  The only place I was ordering seaweed salad on a regular basis was Japanese Sushi houses.  I didn’t expect to find Wakame at a Florida Beach bar, but sure enough it was listed under side dishes.  And it was damn good too.  The perfect accompaniment to any of the items on their extensive menu.  It’s a nice, refreshing change from getting greasy french fries as a side.  It has only been upstaged by my new favorite item, the blackened chicken and brie sandwich, which I suggest you get in a wrap.  Although, I would not dream of discounting the rosemary foccacia it usually comes on.  It’s just that the bread always seems like empty calories and it takes up the allocated space I have reserved for alcohol during my visit.  It’s always Corona’s with lemons at the Tiki for us.  Yes, lemons.  When Ross first met me I was a lime girl, but I finally gave in and gave his lemon a try.  Needless to say, it tickled my fancy.  He has never steered me wrong…at least not yet.

That chicken wrap is very good, I never miss a bite or two, as Maria is always very generous.  There are some decent starters on the menu too.  Two good choices are the Tuna Ponzu, their variation on seared ahi tuna, and the Tortugas, bacon-wrapped scallops served with an apricot-horseradish dipping sauce.  Our favorite though is the calamari, served with a marinara sauce.  They are always tender with an ample supply of the tentacle variety.  Nothing against the standard loops but we love tentacles, really.  Finally, hailing from New England originally, I know a good lobster roll when I see/taste it.  And while the Tiki version is probably not going to win any competitions, it’s about the best you’re ever going to get this far removed from ‘Glahsta’ (think Perfect Storm).  Served as it must be on a toasted and buttered hot dog bun, it is loaded with Maine lobster and not overpowered with celery or mayonnaise.  It also comes with my beloved Wakame, and for a mere $3.75 more, don’t hesitate to double up on the luscious side.  So, the next time you’re in the Singer Island area and the skies are clear, just drive a little south of Blue Heron Blvd on US-1 and take a left at the light at E. 13th St.  You’ll enjoy a nice, relaxing beverage and some really good food, while watching the boats come and go in the incomparable Florida sunshine.  Sounds rough, doesn’t it? 

Maria’s Rating: 3.5 Wine Glasses out 5.

Ross’ Rating: 3.5 Wine Glasses.