* Click here for rating key
THIS RESTAURANT IS CLOSED Touch Restaurant Review: With its tall ultra-suede banquettes and palm trees planted atop the bar, this exotic-theme resto-lounge looks more like a typical beach nightclub than a place to satisfy your hunger. Indeed, in its early years, few took the food seriously. But these days chef Sean Brasel’s menu competes with the décor for top billing. Entrées tend toward the elaborate, sometimes crossing the line into overwrought---to wit: grilled lobster stuffed with crab, hearts of palm, leeks and basil, finished with sun-dried tomato pesto. But never mind. The place’s party-like ambience encourages putting together a grazing menu of elegant small plates: sautéed lobster and julienne vegetables wrapped in thin chive blini, with Cognac-lobster sauce; seared foie gras with a surprising mango sauce that’s more tart than sweet; delicate smoked salmon and paddlefish caviar on a spaghetti squash cake, with lemon crème fraîche; an artisan cheese plate; and the eatery’s weird-sounding but terrific-tasting crispy tobacco onion strings.