The other week, we went to Tides on Norfolk. It was the Friday after Thanksgiving and we got a table right away, but apparently at other times it's crowded. The place is small (maybe 8-10 tables) and they don't take reservations, but there's a bar next to it and they'll go over and get you once it's your turn.
The ambience of the restaurant is nice. It has this modern Asian look to it. There are booths on the left side and open tables on the right, you can look into the open kitchen and on the ceiling there's hundreds of bamboo skewers (the green and white ones you can buy in any Chinese market) that are arranged in swirling patterns. It looks really cool. The one thing, that's not so nice, is that every time the door opens there's a cold draft. But the patron said there were thinking of ways to fix that.
We had deep fried calamari rings for starts that came with a creamy and spicy aioli. The aioli was good, but the calamari I found mediocre. But I admit that I am always very picky with deep fried stuff. The oil needs to be absolutely fresh and it needs to come steaming hot to the table. Otherwise, I always find it has an aftertaste somehow.
Then we had the lobster roll which was the delicious. It had just the right amount of mayonnaise, and was flavoured with dill and little dices of cucumber. The roll came with Sweet Potato Fries, which I found a nice idea, but unfortunately the fries were soggy.
The second dish we had was the Bouillabaisse. And it was sublime. This is the dish why I would go back to this restaurant. The broth was spicy and the seafood inside was cooked to perfection. They said they put every different ingredient in individually so that it cooks just the right amount of time.
We did not have desserts.
A downside to this place is the wine list. We could choose from 6 different white wines and they were all bad. They let us try before we ordered the full bottle and we tried all of them. We ended up getting a Sauvignon Blanc because it was the least bad. When the bottle came, we saw it was what would be considered a table wine in France - no place of origin. And this at 42$. It spoilt our fun a bit.
So all and all, I would go back if I am craving a bouillabaisse. And it's right next to "The Backroom" if you feel like drinks afterwards.
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