|Address:||221 Worth Ave., 561/835-3500|
|Ambiance:||A tropical, relaxed yet refined environment punctuated with antique and natural appointments a la British Colonial gentlemen's club--where women are more than welcome.|
|Signature drink:||The Bloody Mary. This is the original cocktail, no punches pulled. No funky wasabi or "jerk" spices are added, but it packs the right amount of wallop. The frozen cappuccino is killer, too.|
|Signature dish (lunch):||Maine lobster tail, a scoop of Island chicken salad with fresh fruit and mango chutney|
|Signature dish (dinner):||Sesame and pepper seared yellowfin tuna with Asian vegetables, citrus wasabi sauce and basmati rice|
|Celebrity sightings:||Deepak Chopra, Woody Allen, Susan Lucci, racecar driver Jeff Gordon and actor Reggie Pierre|
One of the nice things (and there are several very nice things) about Ta-boo for lunch is that although it's always busy, it's also always relaxing. As day Manager Richard Whitaker points out, "Ta-boo is warm and casual, not too formal; it has sort of a British Colonial feel." There are subtle differences in each dining area, yet all present a tropical, historic ambiance. The palm tree print wallpaper, carved wood mantel fireplace, rattan and cane chairs, fishtail palms and delicate chandeliers create a sense that you've slipped through another dimension and are dining somewhere in a D.H. Lawrence novel, with or without Lady Chatterly. To ensure a seat at this famous spot, you may want to make reservations for the first seating of the day; after that, it's first-come, first-served.
Manager Mark Mariacher says the walls at Ta-boo could surely recount some fantastic tales--if only! The mythology alone could spice up your lunch, like the story about the German submarine commander who came ashore for a couple of drinks during World War II, or gossip about Joseph P. Kennedy locking himself in the ladies room with Gloria Swanson for an evening. According to Whitaker, one story claims that the Bloody Mary was invented one morning by a Ta-boo bartender, upon Barbara Hutton's apparent need for a hangover antidote. The place has played host to Kathleen Turner, Rod Stewart, Ozzy Osbourne, as well as the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and Frank Sinatra.
With all of the stories of the famous and infamous cavorting inside, Ta-boo continues to be an Island staple, as well as a haven for loyal regulars. The food is consistently excellent and the menu offers something for every sort of taste (and pocketbook). For lunch, the enormous cheeseburger is fantastic, but so is Ta-boo's trademark lobster tail and Island chicken salad with fresh fruit and mango chutney. Another excellent choice is Ta-boo's warm grilled chicken and pears over mixed greens, with walnuts, Gorgonzola and orange-walnut vinaigrette. Pizzas make a delightful meal as well, especially the one with savory grilled portobello mushrooms, pesto, mozzarella and onions. The servers who deliver the food are courteous and professional. A lunch at Ta-boo is a pure treat in itself, the perfect epilogue to a successful shopping day. Settle into a comfy chair and let Ta-boo's staff spoil you. But keep one eye open; you never know who may end up seated next to you.
|Taboo's Lobster & Island Chicken Salad (serves 8)|
4 live Maine lobsters (1 pound each)
Steam for 8-9 minutes, then drop into cold water to stop cooking. When cold, remove tails and claws and set aside.
Island Chicken Salad
Marinate chicken for at least 12 hours in olive oil, garlic, parsley and thyme, then grill until browned. Finish cooking in a tightly covered container (to retain moisture) in a moderate oven. Cool chicken to room temperature, then chill well. Cut chicken into 1/4-inch pieces. Mix chicken, grapes, celery and parsley. Toss with enough mayonnaise to coat, season with salt and fresh ground black pepper. Chill well.
Combine chutney, juice and curry powder in a blender. Heat in small saucepan and reduce until syrupy. Cool and combine with mayonnaise and sour cream.
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