Food Porn: Tempo

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I normally wouldn’t be allowed to eat in a place like this (for example: Jim Kelly was at the bar when we arrived)….If it wasn’t for restaurant week I probably wouldn’t have gone here unless it was paid for by a company or someone that lives in a tax bracket that’s two or more levels above me.  However, we made our way there this past Thursday night, and it did not disappoint.

Essentially, Tempo  is pretty different in terms of atmosphere then our previous entry (Black & Blue Steak and Crab). Black & Blue is more of an open restaurant that almost came across as an upscale chain (not in a bad way).  Tempo comes across with a warmer feel…like you’re going into someone’s house…a very classy house at that.

Now, the meal we had in all fairness isn’t a proper representation of what they really offer and what a true “meal” at Tempo is.  Normally you would order about 5 courses that would probably result in a bill of over 200 dollars for 2 people with no problem.  We, however, ordered 1 course, with an appetizer that Mike and I shared, and Alli had a salad.

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Going with my continuous “trying anything that is in front of me” mode, Mike and I split an order of Oysters.  For 14 bucks we got half a dozen…which were basically just enough to get a little taste while somehow managing to drop 14 dollars in 30 seconds.  As my first time trying these (remember I am a n00b foodie), I thought they were mad salty and really awkward to eat.  I know you’re suppose to ‘slurp’ them down, but for some reason all my shells were cut in weird angles and I’d end up having half the Oyster falling out of my mouth.  On the upside, they were no where near as weird tasting (or slimy) as I would have thought before trying them.

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For the main course, Alli and I both went with one of their 20.09 specials the:

Grilled Steak alla Florentina
One Pound Choice Grade NY Sirloin Steak
Olive Oil and Sea Salt Grilled
Hand-Rolled Gnocchi / Garlic Braised Broccolini

The steak was cooked to perfection.  I normally order my steaks “medium-well” but this one was just a little bit extra pink inside than I am used to and it was amazing.  I’ve never had Gnocchi (again, foodie n00b) but they were good and crispy and delicious.  Alli especially enjoyed the broccolini which was wonderfully seasoned and cooked just the right amount.

During the meal, I came to the  realization that most steak houses are essentially the same….normally you’re going to have a typical menu, and if it is a nice place they will have good cuts of meat cooked just the way you like it.  But what separates Tempo (aside from some of the nice selection of other menu items other than steak) from anywhere else is the atmosphere.  The inside is gorgeous and it feels like you’re somewhere special (which helps justify your bill).

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Our fellow staffer Mike, had to settle with the ‘meat-less’ option:

Olive Oil Roasted East Coast Codfish Black Olives / Capers / Stuffed Roman Artichoke
Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Yukon Gold Potato Puree

For all accounts it looked delicious….but it wasn’t steak.

I would love to come back and try out the rest of the menu, but I really don’t think I’ll have that much cash to burn anytime soon.  The “real” way to try this restaurant is to have multiple courses….some appetizers and desserts….a few glasses of wine, etc.  Basically, go there not worrying about the bill and just enjoy yourself and the food.  The only down side I could think of was the waiting area/bar was fairly small.  When we went it was fairly packed, so while waiting at the bar (staring at Jim Kelly) we were essentially on top of other people.  Other than that, there really is nothing bad to say about this place.

If your taking a first date somewhere and want to really REALLY impress him/her, or you want to spend a special anniversary or moment with someone close, this is really a great place to have an intimate and delicious meal.

Tempo on Urbanspoon

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