Friday night date night once again. Decided to try a new restaurant in historic Loveland, new to us and relatively new to Loveland. Called Tano, it had been written up in the Cincinnati Enquirer and made to sound amazing. They gushed over the food and ambiance, touting it as the hot new happening dining spot. Perfect for a person like me, amazing.
First view, a maître 'd just inside the entrance, asking us the proverbial, "do you have a reservation?" We did at six but forgot to come on time. Oops. However, we got here at seven and the place was about half-full. They seated us at a deuce by the kitchen door (we found out later, as people traipsed by, the restrooms were also located behind the door leading to the kitchen. Weird.)
We began with oysters on the half-shell. Five for $ten. Such a deal, right? And they were flown in all the way from Connecticut. They were perfectly chilled, absolutely fresh and a real delight, after so many months of an oyster-free culinary existence. The cocktail sauce was right out of a bottle, and not a very good one. No zing, no pizzazz, a breath away from Heinz ketchup. Very disappointing. But that's ok, the entrée will amaze! Right? The Cincinnati Enquirer said so!
Having started with oysters and a very delightful glass of Malbec, I ordered the scallops. Described as "chipotle linguini, spinach, rock shrimp, tomatoes, champagne beurre blanc", it sounded delicious. Yes please!
You can see by the photo that indeed, the plate did contain all the requisite items as outlined on their menu. Unfortunately, there was also a little bait and switch going on. Not bait and switch in its pure form, yes, those are scallops, and yes, those are rock shrimp. But, have you ever ordered scallops as an entrée and only received THREE puny, overcooked scallops? Me neither, until this night. The rock shrimp were mighty shrimpy as well, all five of them. Three snuggled together atop the linguine, trying to convince me of their massive shrimpiness! Keeping company with the shrimp and three puny scallops was the full plate of slimy, oily, over-buttered linguine. And let us not give short shrift to the three strands of deflated spinach. All in all, the appearance hinted at the less than stellar dining experience to come.
Others have raved about Tano, I will not. First time and neither I nor my companion was impressed. No reservation = table by the kitchen/bathroom. Ok, next time, we will make a reservation.
Portion size was fine, but for the entrée that arrived, it should have been priced around $24, not $27. We are in a suburb of Cincinnati, not downtown! Not only that, the scallops were small and without flavor, the shrimpy shrimp tasted like they came out of the bag of Kroger shrimp I keep in my freezer.
The Chipotle linguine was an interesting concept, the heat came through in a mild undertone, but the oiliness of the linguine overwhelmed in the end. It was truly disgusting to look at, and to eat.
My dining companion ordered their special of the night, Fluke. Right, Fluke? First of all, to the uninitiated, it is a white, mild-flavored fish. The waitress told us everything she knew about it. That was pretty much it. So I quickly googled it. Fluke is a relative of the flounder and is often called the Summer Flounder to distinguish it from the standard, Atlantic Flounder. (Who would be able to know the difference? Maybe other Flukes and Flounders.) I took a taste of the Fluke. It was beautifully presented on a bed of mashed garlic potatoes, surrounded by a moat of roasted corn off the cob. The Fluke was lightly dusted in batter, then sautéed in butter. should have been at least tolerable, but the fish itself was not a tasty consistency. It was dry, but not flaky, dry, but not full-bodied. Just dry. Just unpleasant, almost as though it had spent time in someone's freezer, in 1972. It tasted just ok, but overall - a fail. Garlic mashed potatoes were perfect, but hey, even Bob Evans has that dish nailed. the "fresh off the cob" corn had a spicy blend of chiles and peppers with popped against the fresh corn taste. Sadly, it was the best part of both meals.
Will we go again? Yes. I don't like to judge a restaurant on just one meal (or in this case, two meals). But next time I will try a meat or veggie dish. Will keep you posted!