Restaurant talk: Victor Tangos

Victor Tangos has been open for over a year, but we just tried it for the first time last week to celebrate a belated birthday.

We started at the bar with one of the specialty cocktails. At $9, they are strong and flavorful. I sipped one called "the Aviator," which has gin and creme de violette, because the bartender told me it was "old school." Old school, tasty and stout — fruity without masking the flavor of the gin. My friend ordered the "Gold Rush," which has Elijah Craig bourbon, clover honey and lemon juice. Whew! Too strong for me, but my bourbon-loving friend thought it was the bee’s knees.

I murmured to him, "Was that Spud Webb who just walked in?" It was.

Wishing the 10-year-old me could be there to spy the slam-dunk king, we moved to a booth for dinner. Most of the dishes at Victor Tangos are served family style, and we started with something a little adventurous: roasted marrow bones with onion confit. It comes with three bones, and the marrow, smeared on a toast point with a little of the onion, is like a melty, meaty butter party in your mouth.

We also had buffalo carpaccio with watercress, shaved parmesean and caper aioli. If the marrow bones seem too fattening, this is a good alternative. Bison meat is tender and flavorful, plus it’s leaner than beef. The little dollop of aioli complemented the carpaccio perfectly.

Next, we had the crispy pork belly with soft-boiled egg and mixed greens. This take on bacon and eggs was fabulous and perfectly cooked. We also ordered Brussels sprouts with lardons — I normally don’t order Brussels sprouts in restaurants because they’re almost never cooked right — but these were perfect. And we couldn’t resist the crab mac & jack gratin with pancetta. Again with the perfection — the noodles were not soggy and not undercooked, they were just right.

Our charming server picked a glass of wine that complemented our menu choices beautifully.

For dessert — hey, we were celebrating! — we ordered warm sticky toffee cake with marscapone cream. It’s a huge piece of warm, sticky yum with a dollop of cream, and while we did take home some leftovers, the cake we demolished.



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