Tamari’s menu sounds kind of weird. It’s a Latin/Asian fusion restaurant. It opened back when fusion and any variation of any kind of asian food was the trend. Now the fusion trend has largely died out, except at Tamari. Their cocktails are an easy sell, but I’ve had trouble generating interest in checking out their brunch. Finally I decided, forget it. I don’t need company. I’m going on my own. Am I ever glad I went.
Tamari’s brunch is hands-down one of the best in the city. The menu descriptions are incredibly hard to visualize and, for me at least, did not sound like things I would want to eat. But I asked the bartender for recommendations and he totally steered me right. The key to a perfect Tamari brunch is to not think too hard. If one element in a dish stands out to you, order it. You will be pleasantly surprised.
The price fixe brunch includes a cocktail, starter, cardamom bread and entree. When I read “cardamom bread,” I immediately filed that under “things that do not interest me.” When it was actually served to me, I was in love. This bread is all the best things about cinnamon rolls, except even better. It’s light, fluffy, sweet and a little spicy. It was served with mango jalapeno butter which, again, sounded gross but was amazing. (Sensing a theme here?)
I started with the ancho glazed bacon, which comes with grits and an egg. It was savory and so flavorful. It was snowing that day, and the grits were a perfect belly warmer. For a starter, this was immense. It’s the size of a full meal. I can’t let a good dish go to waste, so of course I ate it all.
For my entree, I had the Korean marinated tenderloin. Brilliant. The meat was salty and rich, the kimchi brussels sprouts sour, all together, so so so so good.
I was so stuffed afterward that I literally went home and took a nap. Mr. Beez still expresses skepticism about trying Tamari, but it was amazing, and heck I’ll keep visiting solo. It certainly helped that the staff hit that right balance of chatting with me when I expressed interest and sought recommendations, but left me in peace to read when I cracked open my book.
I have visited Tamari before for dinner and happy hour. For nighttime dining, Tamari was good but not exceptional, and also pricy. For brunch, however, Tamari seriously delivers. Tamari is full of wonderful surprises.