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Tommy Bahama Wants You To Chill

Tommy bahama scallop

Man, am I stressed out. There are only three more days until National Relaxation Day, and I haven’t even started my shopping. Luckily, there’s Tommy Bahama for that.

Mr. Bahama, in celebration of his 20th anniversary this year, is getting into the recognition of National Relaxation Day in a big way, with sales at the retail store and restaurants as well as giveaways and prizes. What’s that? You didn’t know there was a National Relaxation Day? Then you probably also missed National Presidential Joke Day (Aug. 11), not to be confused with National Tell a Joke Day (Aug. 16), and National Filet Mignon Day -- that’s today, so there’s still time to observe it properly. Today is also International Left Handers Day, so extra points if you saw your steak with a southpaw’s stroke.

But keeping track of all these days of recognition just gets me stressed out again, so back to Tommy Bahama.

I stopped in at the Tommy Bahama restaurant at Pointe Orlando the other day and got some of the details along with a pretty tasty lunch.

Those of you who remember when T.B. first opened at the Pointe may recall that I was less than enamored with its food. I’ve long been a fan of the brand’s clothing, mainly because of its high quality and workmanship. It’s pricey, but it lasts. In fact, I think I may have one or two Tommy Bahama shirts that will also celebrate the double decade mark this year.

So when I first visited the restaurant at the Pointe, in 2007, I was disappointed that that same attention to quality hadn’t been carried through to the plate.

But all that has changed. The kitchen crew has raised the level and Tommy Bahama Restaurant and Bar is now a place I am happy to recommend. I especially recommend the seared scallop sliders, which feature humongous sea scallops, tender and glistening, served on soft slider buns with an aioli spiced with chipotle and Asian slaw.

I also enjoyed the seared ahi tuna and kale salad, which had sushi grade tuna with a lemongrass crust served atop edamame, corn and hearts of palm with a dressing fashioned out of tahini and miso.

For my lunch entree I had the blackened fish Rueben sandwich, a seafoody take on the deli classic, with a well-seasoned fillet served on marble rye bread with the Russian dressing and some more Asian slaw. Not exactly a classic Rueben, but there were certainly recognizable taste elements.

For dessert I sampled a trio that included Key lime pie, pina colada cake and butterscotch pudding. The cake was the hands-down winner, light and refreshing.

Tommy Bahama Restaurant and Bar has retained its islandy plantation feel over the years, and boasts a terrific patio space just beyond the bar area. If you prefer to stay indoors, there’s lots of comfy booths to chill in.

Tommy Bahama is offering a little bit extra for the Relaxation Day celebration. The restaurants and retail stores are giving out envelopes -- the kind with perforations you have to break to open -- with possible prizes inside. The catch: you can’t break those perfs unless you’re at the restaurant or store. Grand prize is $20,000, which should buy you a nice shirt or two, maybe a pair of slacks. And what the heck, you might as well just relax and have dinner, too.

The cards will be distributed through tomorrow, but you have until the 18th (Bad Poetry Day -- I’m not making it up).

And just to help you relax a little more, I’ll have a drawing for a $50 gift card to any shop or restaurant at Pointe Orlando. All of my drawings cull from the list of my eletter recipients. Here’s a link to the details.

Tommy Bahama Restaurant and Bar is at Pointe Orlando, 9101 International Drive, Orlando. It is open for lunch and dinner daily. Here’s a link to the website. The phone number is 321-281-5888.

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Saturday, 19th April 2014

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