The process of trying out a new restaurant is familiar to all of you in varying degrees. Most people assess the merit of Yelp reviews or ask their friends for suggestions on what dishes to order and ignore. Some dive deeper by reading reviews on Eater, Chowhound, or Grub Street. A few may even research the menu ahead of time and figure out what they want before stepping foot in the restaurant. All this due diligence for what? To make sure you don't order the wrong thing and waste your hard-earned money in one of the most expensive cities in the world.
So then you're at the table negotiating and planning a strategy of who should order what for maximum variety and coverage. As dishes whiz by, you hear the sizzle and deeply inhale the delectable aroma as a glorious plate (of something you didn't order) lands at an adjacent table. FOMO paralyzes your joy momentarily (dammit, we should have ordered the scallops, not the snapper).
I'm happy to report that this unnecessary anxiety is largely absent at Tuome. It's been a long time since I've liked every dish that I tried in one sitting. We had a rare night in early August where all of us Dukies had a clear schedule. After we sat down, our group of 5 decided to get the whole menu. literally. That would eliminate the stress of deciding what to get so we could relax and enjoy all of the chef's offerings.
My thoughts on some of the dishes:
Our first bite appeared in the form of juicy watermelon, creamy ricotta, and topped with farro for texture. A perfect appetizer that made us hungry for more.
The crispy deviled eggs didn't disappoint either. Perfect marriage of two things I love: deviled eggs and things that are fried. Topped with a little chili for a kick. I was a fan but if your group doesn't like deviled eggs....get new friends.
The octopus was a solid effort. After having many renditions (my favorite is found at Bobby Flay's Gato), this one was a slightly too tough for me. The pork xo was savory and spicy, similar to a chorizo oil. The only thing I would have added is citrus to brighten up the dish.
Chicken liver mousse is probably one of my top ten favorite things to eat. While this version was solid (love the milk bread), I can't help but compare it to my gold standard found at The Spotted Pig which has browned shallots, ruby port, and Madeira to give a touch of sweetness.
We've all had steak tartare - what makes their tartare excellent is the tender af wagyu mixed with the three hour egg yolk. Each bite melted on the tongue - a must order.
Let's take a minute and talk about what you shouldn't order. The Pig Out (For Two) comes with 10 bite-size pieces of delicious pork with crispy skin...good but not $52 good.
The spicy peanut noodles that accompany the dish are bomb and I'd order that a la carte all day if it was possible. The noodles are perfectly shaped (not too thick or thin) to sop up the potent peanut sauce. The spicy heat makes me come back for another bite. Yes, It's better than the cold sesame noodles at Great NY Noodletown.
The exterior of the chicken had the right amount of crisp and the interior held its juices well. Loved the mound of creamy porridge underneath.
Skate was cooked well but a little bit on the bland side. Loved the crunchy bell peppers and the long beans.
The duck was excellent. Many places overcook it but this one was a perfect med rare – just wish there was more.
I love lobster in all forms whether it be piled high in a roll, steamed in the shell, or grilled and brushed with butter. Chef Thomas Chen’s rendition is no different. The spicy newburg sauce ( sherry-spiked cream sauce) imparts a fragrant and rich coating of flavor that permeated each piece of lobster. Beneath the sauce lies a hidden trove of chow fun noodles that help absorb every last drop.
Special shout out to the side of corn, probably my favorite vegetable. The fact that it’s sitting in a bowl of massaman curry, lime, and crème fraiche…perfect balance which describes the whole dinner. Can’t wait to come back.
- Would order again: deviled eggs, steak tartare, duck, spicy peanut noodles, lobster, and corn.
- I recommend going with a group of 4-6 to try out the whole menu and then re-order the favorites. 5 people can easily handle it. We were 85% full and could have had more. Might want to double down on some of the smaller dishes (duck) so everyone can have more than just one bite.
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