Right on Tempo

When I walked through the double glass doors of Tempo, the bright primary colors of the bar and its adjacent, crimson-hued dining area conv...

When I walked through the double glass doors of Tempo, the bright primary colors of the bar and its adjacent, crimson-hued dining area convinced me I'd been transported to an upscale Manhattan bistro. I only wish I had gotten a better photo of this place.

Our server, a young tuxedoed perfectionist, handed me a heavy, silver-plated menu (it weighed about a pound...no joke). And then I began to mentally calculate how long it would take to replace the funds I'd be chewing out of my debit account that night. I could practically count the dollar signs in the wildflowers, elegant yellow lights, and chocolate-dipped strawberries gazing at me from a distant display platter. But when I actually looked at the menu, I felt both disbelief and relief. Most of the entrees were under $20. Not only did I order an appetizer, an entree, and share dessert with my friend, but I also had some cash left over for a glass of wine at the bar that evening!

I grinned at the waiter (he turned out to be an adorable, somewhat vulnerable little thing...his upper lip quivered a bit when he smiled back at me) and ordered both the minestrone soup and the Caprese salad with chicken (fresh mozzarella, slices of Roma tomatoes and chicken breast pieces strategically placed on my plate with shredded basil, olive oil, and a drizzle of balsamic syrup...about $12).

Note: If this were a true restaurant review, I'd include more information about other entrees such as photos and oooh! aaaah! details about tastes and smells. But everything else around me became one big blur as I focused all of my attention on my simple yet hearty salad: the clean taste of the white meat chicken, creaminess of the mozzarella, the zesty freshness and juiciness of the tomatoes. What can I say? I'm a salad snob.)

While the average American might call Tempo's portions "snack-sized," staunch nutritionists might call them "just right." Regardless, the meal was enough to satisfy my hunger without making me feel guilty for noshing on the soft, warm rosemary roll (crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside)
and the slice of asiago-parmesan bread on which I slathered a spoon of sun-dried tomato butter.

The best part of the meal, though, was the dessert duo: a chocolate soufflé and sliced strawberry served with piña colada mousse--a dark chocolate shell dipped in toasted coconut, piped with a soft and creamy but light, sweet and tangy whipped confection.

Talk about European cuisine with a Latin-Caribbean flair! It was as if we'd traveled to a couple of different countries within ninety minutes.

But the bowl of after-dinner mints packaged in shiny black plastic and stamped with the words "Gran Melia, Puerto Rico" brought me back to reality; we hadn't stepped foot outside the resort.

Yum's the word!!

;) Holly


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