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Restaurants & Bars 17

Tandem - Carrboro

Remsleep | Apr 17, 2016 03:41 PM

Tandem opened a week ago in the space vacated by Cafe Symmetry. SWMBO and I were looking on Open Table for a fairly last minute spot on Saturday night, and there it was, so we figured we'd give it a shot. I should note that I didn't realize at the time that this was their first week of operation. Long story short: Really good kitchen, but many, many teething problems with service.

The menu is heavily weighted toward apps for sharing. We ordered the deviled eggs, the chicken liver pate, and the chickpea fritters. All three were excellent. The fritter was a surprise, since I was expecting something more like felafel, but this was lighter, not fried, and had a really nice texture. The yoghurt and feta sauce that came with it was a nice accompaniment. For mains, SWMBO just had a salad, I had something a little more robust: the short ribs. These were very flavorful, but a bit more toothsome than I would have expected. The accompanying pommes puree were very well executed. For dessert we split a chocolate lava cake which was nice but not extraordinary. We also had two well made cocktails. I didn't delve into the wine list, so I'll leave that to another Hound.

The problems really came with the front of house. Our server didn't tell the kitchen that the salad was to come with the mains, despite being specifically told by us, so the salad came out before all the other apps - we sent it back. My cocktail arrived in a very timely fashion, but the other one took another ten minutes. The main courses come served in 2 quart Le Creuset Dutch ovens, which look very sweet but their high sides make getting at one's food rather awkward. Our server was a bit over solicitous. It's fine to be asked once per course how everything is - more than that is too much. To her credit, the manager was soliciting feedback from all the diners at the end of their meals and seemed to take what we said to heart.

I hope that they will sort out the front-of-house issues, because the food is really good.

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