Not too long ago I decided to plan a “date night” for my wife and me. I started by getting tickets for a show at the Paramount. Then I followed it up by searching for a place to go for dinner. Having just returned from a trip to Thailand, anything Asian didn’t seem right. And I wanted to find a place that was within walking distance to the theater. So after a quick search, I settled on Tango. Tapas sounded like a winner, and I follow them on Twitter, so I figured it was a perfect match.
I had made a reservation at Tango, managing to get in at 6 on Saturday. It was a little earlier than I wanted to go, but the next available time was after 8, so it was the only one that worked for our plans. We were seated at a small table by the window that was back in the corner away from the hustle and bustle of the restaurant. There was a good buzz, but it wasn’t so loud that we couldn’t enjoy a pleasant conversation. We each ordered a glass of wine and then started looking through the menu for the various options. Not feeling super hungry, we decided that we would just share 3 different tapas.
The first plate that we ordered was the Croquetas de Papas. These are a potato croquette that has been fried. They came with a smoked tomato jam and some cotija cheese. I thought that they were pretty good. They had a nice crunch on the outside, and the inside was the consistency of lumpy mashed potatoes. By themselves, the croquettas were a little dry, but the smoked tomato jam added a little bit of moisture, and a lot of flavor. The jam was actually more sweet than smokey, and if I hadn’t read the description, I never would have guessed smokey. But, it was good, and if the amount of jam had been doubled, I think that this would have been a fantastic dish rather than just a pretty good dish.
As we were finishing up the croquetas, our second dish, carnitas del puerco arrived; followed shortly by our third dish, the calarmares. The carnitas was a shredded pork dish, seasoned with cinnamon and chili. It appeared to be slow-cooked and arrived soaking in its own juices. It was accompanied by a spicy salsa verde and flour tortillas (rather than the corn that I expected). The meat was very juicy and flavorful, and not too spicy. I didn’t really detect the cinnamon flavor in the dish, but the chili definitely came through. The salsa verde added a nice little kick that balanced the pork very well.
Finally, we dove into the Calamares. It was sauteed and served in a broth of tomatoes, poblanos, cilantro and lime. The calamari was very tender, but really didn’t offer a lot of flavor. If I was just eating the stew of the peppers and tomatoes, I don’t feel like I really would have been missing too much. That being said, I think that the rest of the stew was good, though I would have preferred a little more heat.
After the last dish, we wrapped up our dinner, and headed toward the Paramount. It was a good dinner, with the carnitas being the best dish, and a good atmosphere, but nothing was really overwhelming or blew us away. I admit, I have been a little biased with my last two tapas dinners being at Jose Garces restaurants, but was hoping for a little more. It was good enough that if someone said they were planning on going to Tango, I would say go for it. But, with all of the different options available in Seattle, it didn’t do quite enough to get me to “must revisit” or “must recommend” status.