Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Tommy Bahama Island Cuisine on St Armands Circle

Eclectic with a tropical twist, Tommy Bahama offers a warm and relaxed island ambience with a menu featuring fresh seafood and "Floribbean" classics from Caribbean Rubbed Mahi Mahi and Blackened Fish Tacos to Coconut Crusted Crab Cakes, Ahi Poke Napoleon to one of their decadent tropical desserts. Located St Armands Circle just south of Longboat Key, the best way to launch any visit to Tommy Bahama is to indulge in one of their mouth-watering tropical cocktails such as their Key Lime Martini, Pineapple Zuzu Mojito, Bahia Sangria or Rum Babalu. Legend has it that the founders sketched out the idea for Tommy Bahama on a cocktail napkin while sipping Pina Coladas on the beach, fashioning a philosophy of a relaxed and leisurely island lifestyle. True to their vision, Tommy's decor is rich and sophisticated — a fun 1940's faux-tropical island theme with rich warm wood furniture, cane and rattan finishes and wonderful tropical fabrics, complete with oversized wooden ceiling fans revolving gently overhead. 

A plump and perfect orchid

Tommy's menu of island favourites

A loaf of fluffy warm bread straight out of the oven

A big scoop of sweet butter melts into the warm bread

Garnished with fresh fruit, straw and maybe a paper umbrella, there's nothing better than a tall fruity cocktail at Tommy Bahama on St Armands Circle

The Tommy Bahama Mai Tai with Flor de Caña 4-year old rum, orgeat, orange curaçao, lemon, lime and pineapple juice with a dark rum float

The Classic Painkiller made with Pusser’s rum, cream of coconut, pineapple and orange juice 
garnished with grated nutmeg 

Blackened Fish Tacos with Island slaw, tomato relish, chipotle aïoli and lime sour cream

Seared Ahi Tuna with chili and brown sugar crust, vegetable succotash and wasabi-avocado purée

Tommy's decadent selection of homemade desserts

Brown Butter Blondie with toasted Macadamia nuts, white chocolate mousse, Hawaiian sea salt caramel and vanilla bean ice cream

Rum Babalu
Recipe courtesy of Tommy Bahama Restaurant

2 parts Kirk and Sweeney® 12 Year Rum
3/4 part fresh lime juice
1/2 part maple syrup
1 part ginger beer
1 dash of Angostura® bitters
1 orange, peeled for garnish

Add all of the ingredients in a shaker except the ginger beer. Add ice and shake well until chilled. Strain over fresh ice in an old fashioned glass, top with ginger beer and garnish with orange peel.

Ahi Poke Napoleon
Serves 8
Recipe courtesy of Tommy Bahama Restaurant

1/2 lb ahi tuna steak, cut into 1/4" x 1/4" cubes
8 tbsp baby microgreens, for garnish

Tuna Poke Dressing:
1/3 cup sesame oil
1/3 cup soy sauce
3/4 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
3/4 tbsp chipotle pepper paste
1 lime, halved and juiced
1 tbsp shallot, minced
4 tsp cilantro, washed and finely chopped
4 tsp parsley, washed and finely chopped
4 tbsp capers   

2 avocados, pitted, skinned and diced to 1/4"
1/2 cup yellow onions, finely diced
1 jalapeño, stemmed, seeded and minced
1 cup ripe tomato, diced small
2 limes, halved and juiced
1/4 cup cilantro, washed and chopped
1/2 cup green onions, bias cut in 1/4" pieces
1 pinch cayenne pepper
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp coarse ground black pepper   

Whisk all of the tuna poke dressing ingredients together in a medium bowl then set aside, ensuring that it's stirred again before blending with the tuna. 

Gently fold together the guacamole ingredients in a medium bowl then place in a storage container, placing a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the mixture so that no air gets in until it's ready to serve.

In a large mixing bowl, gently mix the tuna and 8-ounces of the dressing and toss well to coat. To build the Ahi Poke Napoleons, place a 2-inch ring mold on a serving plate and spoon in about 1 1/2 oz of the guacamole, followed by 1 1/2 oz of the tuna, then 1 1/2 oz more of the guacamole, finishing with 1 1/2 oz of the tuna. Gently remove the ring, and repeat with the other plates. Garnish with  a few baby microgreens and crisp tortilla chips to taste.