Caity: The #1 acumen I don’t booze at restaurants is that there is never annihilation on the card I decidedly appetite to drink. But the Tommy Bahama booze card was advised by an alcoholic child—nothing BUT drinks I appetite to drink. So I pitched a appropriate all-drinking copy of “The Best Restaurant in New York” to our boss, Gawker Editor-in-Chief Max Read. Max declared this as “a abundant bad idea.” At this point, 6:30 on Tuesday, about 3 and a bisected hours out from our aboriginal drink, I would call his description as “a acceptable description i adulation everyonnnnnne i adulation u guys seriously.”
Rich: Caity never drinks except that one day a year aback she additionally consumes abundant amoroso to accomplish an albatross hop like a bunny. It’s like The Purge for activity drinking.
Tommy Bahama Restaurant & Bar central Tommy Bahama on 5th Avenue.
À la carte.
Rich: This abstraction of castigation fabricated me admiration if you’ve been apropos me with annoyance during our “Best Restaurant in New York” excursions, aback I about get a booze (fine, two drinks) and you never do. Are you appetent of my champagne-sipping lifestyle?
Caity: Absolutely not. I adulation Diet Coke. Diet Coke is my admired activity to drink. My additional admired activity to drink, I acquire afresh learned, is “Coconut Billow Martini” from the Tommy Bahama abundance on 5th Avenue. That was the aboriginal cocktail I ordered this afternoon, and I bethink it like it was yesterday.
Rich: It was the best, I’d say. Imagine cooler beige lotion.
Caity: “Coconut Billow Martini” tastes like a animal kiss.
From a attic cloud.
Rich: Fabricated of sunscreen.
Caity: Actuality are the capacity of a “Coconut Billow Martini”: Ron Matusalem Platino, Stoli Vanil, Cruzan Coconut, Chrism of Coconut. Aback it came time to order, I asked our waiter, Curtis, if I should get a “Coconut Billow Martini” or a “Painkiller #2” (don’t worry—I concluded up accepting both), and he responded, “Well, the Attic Billow Martini is apparently our best accepted drink, but it’s additionally our booziest.” Say no more, Curtis. I’ll booty 1000.
Rich: Curtis wore jeans and a alive floor-length apron, was from Florida, and had a acclaim auspicious assessment about everything. Aback acclimation booze No. 4 (spoiler alert) I acclaimed this barter amid you and him:
Curtis: “Do you appetite one added of those?”
Caity: “No because I had one.”
Curtis: “I understand.”
Caity: Curtis absolutely ******got me****** I feel.
Rich: He did his job well. We were an accessible sell. As anon as we absolved in, we basically appear “We’re gonna be bubbler a lot and bond our alcohol.”
Caity: Curtis was an A employee. If you go to the Tommy Bahama abundance for lunch, ask for Curtis, and if he’s not there, acquire anyone—it is account the trip, I assure you.
Rich: Everyone was nice. About bristles altered bodies chock-full by to ask us how our activity bubbler was going. Aback selecting your aboriginal drink, you were already abuzz, talking to yourself (or maybe me and I was abandoned advantageous absorption at a remove), commenting on the menu, adage things like (of the “Coconut Billow Martini”), “It’s got chrism of coconut, so I HAVE to get that” and “Why don’t all food aloof acquire restaurants?” Because afresh we’d never get any assignment done.
Caity: I anamnesis actual vividly cerebration a about what a Hot Topic restaurant would acquire on its menu. As far as I got was: Non-traditional egg rolls.
Rich: I feel like bugs. Edible bugs. All atramentous licorice everything.
My aboriginal booze was a “Leap of Faith” (Tanteo Jalapeño Tequila, Lime, Ruby Red Grapefruit, Agave Nectar). My “Leap of Faith” was absolutely a assurance on old affectionate — declining the attendance of a Mezcal cocktail, I will consistently adjustment the jalapeno-infused tequila drink. It was ok. Spicy but not memorably so. Could about aftertaste it already it larboard my lips.
While we drank, we heard a disco adapt of Fleetwod Mac’s “Dreams” and a awning of Sade’s “Smooth Operator” by a guy, which fabricated me appetite to buy dad jeans. The bodies who were dining at Tommy Bahama were the affectionate of bodies you’d apprehend to see on an all-embracing resort that banishes annihilation conflicting about the breadth you’re visiting at atomic partially because of its exoticism. Unsmiling fiftysomething women in chrism and bone. A thin, tan woman dining abandoned alert to an iPod.
Caity: The bath smelled like walking into a coconut. If you were baby abundant to alive central a fruit, attic is not bad.
Rich: Better than a peach.
Caity: VERY defended from the outside. Smells like a Tommy Bahama bath on the inside.
My additional booze was a “Pineapple Paradisio Martini” (Bacardi Pineapple Fusion, St-Germain Elderflower, Crème de Banana, Scratch Sour, Pineapple). It tasted about as acceptable as a “Coconut Cloud,” admitting it didn’t acquire broiled attic pieces aloft it.I was absolutely in Paradisio while bubbler it.
Rich: Reading this actuality over, I’m aback developing the stomachache that I didn’t get at Tommy Bahama. I didn’t acquire a additional booze initially, because I was still sipping my aboriginal like a lady. (You downed your “Coconut Cloud” in two gulps.) Afresh I ordered a “Sunburn” (Ron Matusalem Classico, St-Germain Elderflower, Passion Fruit, Lemon, Simple Syrup, Jalapeño) and we breach a “Bahama Mama” (Mount Gay Eclipse, Cruzan Attic & Atramentous Strap, Pineapple, Orange, Chrism of Coconut, Housemade Grenadine, Angostura Bitters), and I downed them both in accelerated assumption (including best of your bisected of the “Bahama Mama”).
The “Sunburn” tasted like dried mango. Like a mango flavored beat that accession sweated in and larboard on the sidewalk, and afresh accession abroad said, “Let’s animate booze with that sock.” The acumen for acclimation a “Bahama Mama “is that I assuredly capital to aftertaste what I’ve been audition about in Jaws: The Revenge.
Caity: I don’t anamnesis you finishing best of my “Bahama Mama,” but I absolutely accept that it happened. The “Mama” was good, but I was afraid and aghast that it was brown. I anticipation that it would be red or, perhaps, the colors of a sunset.
Rich: I didn’t apperceive it would be creamy. I adulation a ery surprise.
Caity: The low point of the day and of my activity came at the fourth drink, aback I accidentally alleged our aide by the amiss name:
“One ‘Painkiller #2’ [Pusser’s, Chrism of Coconut, Pineapple, Orange, Nutmeg], please. But I am activity no pain, Jordan!”
I alleged Curtis “Jordan.”
Rich: That’s aback it got sad. It was all fun and amateur till then.
I don’t apperception Caity dancing on the table with her dress over her arch one bit! Attending at her go!
That’s fine, Caity, airing about with forks in your ears. No big deal.
Call the aide by the amiss name—record scratch—Oh my god, she needs help.
Caity: I anon adapted myself, but there’s no convalescent from that. We were all accompany until I accidentally alleged him absolutely the amiss name. Sorry, Jordan.
I asked assorted times if I “seemed drunk.” Initially your acknowledgment was “No.” Afresh it morphed to “You assume great!” That’s aback I knew we were in trouble.
Rich: Somewhere forth the line, “You’re fine” turns to “You’re fun!” turns to “Oh…”
Caity: Did we ability “Oh…” at Tommy Bahama?
Rich: No! Able-bodied You did put your napkin over your head. And…it had ketchup stains on it.
Caity: That’s because I was ashamed I alleged Curtis “Jordan.”
Rich: Yeah, I assumption we accomplished “Oh…”
Caity: I put it on my arch for one second.
Rich: I fabricated a .gif of it.
During the acclimation of the fourth drink, you asked Curtis, “What would you say is the sweetest?”
What best replicates the awareness of a bag of amoroso actuality caked on my argot all at once?
Caity: I do anamnesis allurement him at one point to accompany me a cup of amoroso with baptize in it.
Rich: You did.
Caity: And he said “No…”
Rich: He didn’t anticipate that was cute. There’s no money in that. You would acquire to cut your argot out to escape acidity aback bubbler at Tommy Bahama, though. My fourth booze was a “Coconut Cloud” of my own which, in accession to tasting like sunblock, was spermy. But not added so than your third drink—a “Key Adhesive Martini,” which looked conflicting ejaculate.
Caity: Curtis assured me that the “Key Adhesive Martini,” which was served in a bottle belted with graham cracker crumbs, tasted “just like Key adhesive pie.” It tasted, at best, like article flavored like article flavored like Key adhesive pie.
It was fine. It was OK. I was added focused on the “212 Burger” (which I ordered in a bashed chic alongside it) and on acceptable our Managing Editor, Lacey Donohue, via argument that I wasn’t THAT DRUNK, alike admitting the letters I was sending her were all variations on the capacity “I adulation you” and “I’m not drunk.”
Rich: I admired my burger—the Bahn Mi burger, which featured Pineapple kimchi, an over accessible egg, and umami ketchup—a lot. “Sticky” chips (not at all like adhesive rice) with wasabi alkali accompanied. I got it with the autumn veggie patty. It wasn’t greater than the sum of its parts, but the sum was yummy:
Caity: I about bethink annihilation about my burger. It was great. Everyone should adjustment it. Everyone should alive at Tommy Bahama.
Rich: While you were in the bathroom, a woman with bedraggled coiled beard gave me a bedraggled attending and afresh I saw crumbs aerial out of her aperture as she ate her flatbread cracker. Additionally one of the managers came over, articular our actual drinks on afterimage and interrogated me about soccer.
Caity: I bethink walking aback from the bathroom. But not activity to the bathroom. No anamnesis of that. I achievement I didn’t leave annihilation in there.
At the end of the meal, Curtis asked us if we capital dessert, accurately giving a adamantine advertise to Tommy Bahama’s “iconic” crème brûlée, which is served central a pineapple somehow. Yes, I did appetite that actual much. But I was already too asleep to eat it, Jordan, my man.
Rich: Aback he declared the crème brûlée as “iconic,” I capital to scream “YAAAAAAAASSSSS” at the ambrosia tray. As we were circumlocutory on ambrosia plans, Curtis, actuality the chill, beach-going dude that he is paid to be, told us, “Chill out, booty it slow, ya got sailboats activity by.” And at that point, I was like, “He’s aloof fucking with us now.”
Caity: Did he acquaint us that?!
Rich: I’m not lying.
Caity: Was I there aback he said that?
Rich: Yes. You were accomplishing best of the wavering!
Caity: What was my response?
Caity: Cool, aforementioned as my acknowledgment out loud, aloof now.
We concluded up not accepting dessert.
Rich: But Curtis told us to “Come aback and see us again.”
Caity: You apperceive what, Jordan? I anticipate I will. If I’m anytime in the area, arcade at that Tommy Bahama store, I will.
Questions about the Dining Experience
Rich: I would go aback because dining actuality is the comestible agnate of alert to “Kokomo” and I still like that song.
Caity: Sure! If the affliction activity you can say about a restaurant is that it is amid central a Tommy Bahama store, that’s not bad. A little confusing!
Rich: It’s a acceptable abode for a aboriginal date because that guy cutting Tommy Bahama aural your band of eyes is TOTALLY your admirer consistently infinity.
Caity: YES! You will eat like kings. Like Kings of Hawaii above-mentioned to the 1893 accomplishment d’état. (The restaurant didn’t feel decidedly Hawaiian or Bahamanian or like any added alternation of Islands. It acquainted like a Florida airport.)
Rich: Yeah, aloof get bashed and spiral or arctic out, booty it slow. Either way, ya got sailboats activity by.
Caity: Sure! It was decidedly convolute inside.
Rich: Yes, this is a acceptable abode for your baby to apprentice that sometimes mommy gets bashed and does things she ability not be appreciative of, but she’s still your mommy.
Caity: Acceptable abode to get bashed and leave your baby in the bathroom!!!!! Is that what I left?
There are a agglomeration of restaurants in the world, including some in New York City. But in a burghal of over 24,000 restaurants, how do you acquisition the best? You activate your chase in places that are already popular: New York’s hottest day-tripper destinations. In The Best Restaurant in New York Is, writers Caity Weaver and Rich Juzwiak attack to actuate the best restaurant in New York.
Previously: The Best Restaurant in New York Is: The Bronx Zoo; The Armani Store; The Crown Cafe at the Statue of Liberty; The Campbell Apartment central Grand Central; The U.N. Delegates Dining Room; Play at the Museum of Sex; Le Train Bleu central Bloomingdales; LOX at The Jewish Museum; The American Girl Café
Caity: The cardinal one aphorism of the Bronx Zoo is that you charge accredit to all the animals you see there …
[Images via Rich Juzwiak]
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