Daydreaming about a skinny dip? Yearning for an encounter with a fem-bot?
The Food Snob isn't being fresh: The Skinny Dip is a drink with vodka, Fresca and sherbet; the Fem_bot Fatale is a mix of raspberry vodka, triple sec, lemon juice and fresh raspberries. You can find these concoctions and more at the recently opened Tandy's Top Shelf in Eagle Square.
Never one to turn down a kookily-named cocktail, I stopped by Tandy's with my food companion for some lunch and daytime drinks. Walking in felt slightly Twilight Zone-esque, as the restaurant is located where the now-defunct Capitol Grille used to be.
The layout is eerily similar, but overall the joint is brighter, more contemporary, even a bit vivacious, thanks to vibrant red ceilings and lime green accents on walls and doors.
Despite being impressed by the new digs, we ate outside. The Food Snob doesn't always enjoy dining al fresco downtown due to the hubbub of Main Street traffic and prying eyes of passersby, but Tandy's seating is tucked away in Eagle Square, and consequently more private and serene.
Situated, we ordered our food and drinks. We chose the scallop and asparagus baked brie ($12.99) to start. My companion selected the tuna melt (open face on a toasted English muffin with tomato, cheese and avocado dipping sauce, served with fries for $6.99). I went with the mediterranean plate - an assortment of falafel, lamb, hummus, pita bread, tomato, feta, lettuce and cucumber sauce ($10.49).
As for libations, my companion ordered the Black Forest (equal parts Svedka vodka and Cointreau shaken with apple juice, blackberry liqueur and fresh raspberries for $9. Feeling devilish, I eyed the Straight to Hell ($8.50). The description, "You think you can handle it? !Caution! This martini will send your straight to hell! Danger!" intrigued me. The Food Snob laughs in the face of danger and excessive exclamation marks.
The mystery continued to build as we waited (about 15 minutes) for our drinks. I don't know if a long wait was intentional (perhaps the bartender had second thoughts about sending me straight to hell), but our server seemed apologetic.
My devilish drink was worth the wait. According to our server, the martini - complete with chili pepper horns on the rim - contained vodka, gin, Triple Sec and Tabasco sauce. (There may have been other ingredients too, but those were the most prominent.) The vodka and gin went down smooth, but the Tabasco gave it quite the bite. As a fan of spicy beverages, I could handle the heat, but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone with a tame tongue.
Our contentment continued when our appetizer arrived. The brie was warm, smooth and delectable and went well with the scallops and asparagus. What made it even better was a side of cranberry sauce. The bitter berry added some punch to the savory, soft cheese.
We liked the appetizer a little too much because when our entrees arrived, we were both full. My companion hardly ate any of her tuna melt, and I picked at my plate.
What I did eat, though, was tasty. The lamb was flavorful and the falafel not the least bit dry. The rest was packed up to go. I can't speak for my companion, but I enjoyed my leftovers for dinner.
All in all, Tandy's was, well, uh, quite dandy (sorry, I had to do it). The food was good, the atmosphere is hip and its extensive drink menu has something for everyone.
One suggestion: The outdoor tables could use some umbrellas. By the time our lunch was over, my once-chilled Straight to Hell wasn't just hot in flavor: it was hot in temperature. Yes, I'll admit I drank most of my martini within 10 minutes of its arrival, but I had to leave without finishing it - a crime in The Book of Food Snobbery.
This wouldn't stop me from coming back. The summer has just begun and I may need a Skinny Dip to beat the heat.