Monday, December 23, 2013

St Armands Circle: Tommy Bahama Tropical Café





One of the livelier restaurants on St Armands Circle is Tommy Bahama Tropical Café, the dining arm of the famous clothing chain. Inspired by the relaxed sophistication of coastal living, Tommy Bahama is dedicated to the good life. Legend has it that the founders sketched out the idea for the brand on a cocktail napkin while sipping Pina Coladas on the beach, fashioning a philosophy of a relaxed and leisurely island lifestyle. True to their vision, Tommy's decor is rich and sophisticated. A fun 1940's faux-tropical island theme with rich warm wood furniture, cane and rattan finishes and wonderful tropical fabrics, complete with oversized wooden ceiling fans revolving gently overhead.




Tommy Bahama has all the bases covered on St Armands Circle with its restaurant 
- Tommy Bahama Tropical Café - downstairs bar and lifestyle store just around the corner




Serving excellent island-style cuisine, Tommy's has a fabulous drinks and appetizer menu and an extensive island-inspired lunch and dinner menu for more leisurely dining. Whatever the time of day, Tommy's is always hopping — a popular spot for both residents and visitors alike. The cocktail list is great fun, and includes such inspired libations as a Coconut Cloud Martini, Frost Bite, Millionaires Mai Tai and my favourite — Red Wine Sangria — a fruity but potent concoction of Spanish Rioja red wine, triple sec, brandy and soda, garnished with cherries and orange slices over ice. 




Tommy Bahama Mai Tai garnished with a fresh orchid blossom

A Cucumber Smash with Hendricks Gin, St-Germain Elderflower liquour and muddled cucumber 

Tommy's warm fresh baked bread and flavoured honey, cinnamon and nutmeg butter

Tommy Bahama dinner menu



The appetizer menu is equally inspired with Coconut Crusted Crab Cakes made with lump blue crab and served with a Thai chile sauce; Ahi Poke Napoleon, a fresh ahi tuna Napolean, served with guacamole, capers, soy and sesame oil and flatbread; and Tommy's World Famous Coconut Shrimp, served with a Papaya-Mango Chutney and Asian Slaw. Dinner entrées feature dishes such as Seared Ahi Tuna with vegetable succotash and edamame-wasabi purée, Thai Shrimps and Scallops with a lemongrass coconut-curry reduction and served with Jasmin rice, Roasted Jerk Chicken with sweet potato mofongo, peas, rice and Mango Salsa, and daily specials such as the Szechuan Crusted Swordfish with Chinese broccoli, Asian mushrooms and finer-miso ponzu sauce.




Coconut Crusted Crab Cakes made with Lump Blue Crab and served with Thai Chili Sauce

Seared Ahi Tuna with vegetable succotash and edamame-wasabi purée

Thai Shrimps and Scallops with a lemongrass coconut-curry reduction and served with Jasmin rice

Szechuan Crusted Swordfish with Chinese broccoli, Asian mushrooms and finer-miso ponzu sauce

Roasted Jerk Chicken with sweet potato mofongo, peas, rice and Mango Salsa



Desserts at Tommy Bahama are designed to tempt the taste buds with a tray of their more decadent concoctions brought to the table in all of their glory, including Triple Chocolate Cake, Pina Colada Cake, Butterscotch Pudding, Malted Chocolate Pie, Key Lime Pie and Pineapple Creme Brulée. Sit back and enjoy the island lifestyle of Tommy Bahama at St Armands Circle, then stroll down to Lido Beach and bask in the balmy ocean breezes and warm Sarasota sun, and walk off some of the calories of that big slice of Pina Colada Cake.





Malted Chocolate Pie with chocolate cookie crust, mocha mousse and 
English toffee crumble (front) and Pina Colada Cake with Rum, diced pineapple, 
white chocolate mousse and toasted coconut (back)

Pineapple Creme Brulée made with Tahitian vanilla bean and white chocolate mousse

The finale — a hot frothy cappuccino



Lido Beach is walking distance from Tommy Bahama, on Lido Key