There is nothing like walking into a restaurant and getting seduced by the textures and colors of the space! The vibe of Tango and Malbec was hot, sexy, and romantic all at the same time…kinda like watching the Tango when it is being done correctly (now I get it). So on the weekends when they have actual Tango dancers performing, we know that is a wonderful treat for their patrons. With all that goodness from the start, one would find it hard to believe that we have struggled with this review. One of the reasons is that we thought the food and the overall experience was flat. So after doing a little research on Argentinean style foods (okay beef) and wines, we feel much better and can move forward.
The service was a little spotty, as our waiter was not very knowledgeable about drinks or the menu. However the person he called over to answer our questions was awesome! We found ourselves saying…WAIT! COME BACK, WE WANT YOU. It is fairly annoying to not be able to ask your waiter for a recommendation whether that be for a dish they are known for or a drink that pairs well with our entrees. We would like to note a few more things regarding our experience. SLIPPERY FLOORS!!! We have visited many restaurants that have floors that are not carpeted, so this is no excuse. As soon as we sat down, we had to be moved to a carpeted section due to Urban Girl sliding from left to right. We understand the Tango and all, but we don’t want to take part in a dance routine mid dinner! Now on to the best part of the evening…
The Drinks: Caipirinha and Mojito
Swanky Girl – Only I would go into an Argentinian restaurant and order Brazil’s national drink, Caipirinha, yeah I like to live on the edge. This is a fairly basic drink, but many bartenders don’t know how to make a good one. This clearly was not an issue for our bartender that night because he was on it. To make it you need fresh limes, sugar, Cachaca, and a pestle. Together it makes a yummy and potent cocktail! All I will say is the Caipirinha that night had me saying…Blame it on the a-a-a-a-a-alcohol.
Urban Girl – Some bartenders create their Mojitos in a way that places the mint as the focus. I enjoyed the fact that the Mojito was well balanced: The formula for the perfect Mojito ~ not too sweet, relax on the mint, and refreshing!
The food was tasty overall, but the presentation was nothing to write home about, or in our case blog about (that was so cheesy). Here’s what we had:
Starters: Las Tiernas (Sweetbreads) and Empanadas Argentinas
Swanky Girl – The Sweetbreads were not very good. They were extremely greasy and had a very strong lemony-vinegar taste that overpowered the rest of the flavors. The Empanadas on the other hand very delicious! The flavors were strong and unfolded in my mouth perfectly.
Urban Girl – I love empanadas, so I knew I would try them here. They offered an appetizer with your choice of empanadas: Chicken, Beef, or Pork. We opted for one Chicken and one Beef empanada. A bit too “bready” for my taste but they were seasoned well. However, the large pieces of olive inside of the Chicken empanada could have been minced a bit more. It was almost like eating a dish with huge chunks of white onion. Olives carries way to much flavor to be used in that form for that dish.
Main Dishes: Asado De Tira Especial (Short Ribs) and Brochetes de Beef Tenderloin
Swanky Girl – The short ribs were BURSTING with favor! I did not expect for them to taste so good. I guess that is where that Argentinean style beef comes into play. The meat was a little tougher then I am use to, but that is to be expected when you are dealing with grass-fed as opposed to corn-fed beef. It was served with mashed potatoes, which were nothing special and not a favorite of mine. So, I changed them out for rice instead and this was a much better choice for me and the dish.
Urban Girl – Yummy to my tummy; that about wraps it up! This dish reminded me of a shish kabob. As I stated in my previous observation, I am not a fan of large pieces of onion. However, the green and red peppers were perfectly paired with the beef tenderloins. I actually removed my pancetta (bacon) from my beef tenderloins. I’m not a fan of “soft” bacon, however, it did enhance the flavor of the beef. Who needs the extra fat anyway…it’s all about the flavor that it adds, right? The rice was amazingly buttery and seemed to take the dish to the next level. The beef tenderloin was cooked as I specified, medium rare. The flavor was there, but I don’t think I would have enjoyed the beef tenderloin as much had it not been for the rice. The rice was a clear winner that evening and let’s not forget the chimichurri sauce that was prime for dipping!
Overall, our experience was ho-hum. The food and the service were good, but nothing really stood out. We saw a lot of couples there, so maybe our experience would have been different had we been with the fellas. Who knows. A second visit is not on the horizon anytime soon, but if you are a lover of meat, Tango and Malbec is worth a pit stop.