Dinner with Dan takes on Tangerine

Daniel Davis


232 Market Street

Philadelphia, PA 19106

The color? The fruit? The restaurant? Either way it’s spelled the same and doesn’t really hint at what this eatery is all about. Another Starr creation, Tangerine models itself closely after Pod with a hint of mystery and shadows.

Situated on Market Street, Tangerine is a can’t miss that is located next to Jones, and a plethora of restaurants that call attention to themselves through exterior color variations.

Surrounded by a myriad of other eateries, what differentiates this restaurant from the rest? The ambiance is probably the biggest factor that keeps customer loyal; this establishment is very similar to its sisters (Morimoto, Buddakan, etc.) in regards to menu style.

Away from the string of attention-calling shops along Market Street, I found myself entering Tangerine; a shadowy hallway led me to my hosts who soon sat me amidst the crowd of business people and “experienced, hip-hop, yearning-to-be-young” elders. I found myself in an awkwardly comfortable seat that seemed like a Lazyboy recliner more than a restaurant chair at a lower than table level. Its velvet lining, though enticing, didn’t quite put me in the right mood for eating. The other surroundings were darkness and a nice, tranquil, yet flowing music. Its rhythmic beat defined what Tangerine attempts to exemplify: relaxation via a hint of foreign influenced art.

The seafood-heavy, continental menu offers an eclectic mix of decadent dishes, making the decision process painfully long. I would recommend the fish, but the menu offers a long list of dishes that appease many-a-tastebud. As expected, medium-to-high-end pricing can be found between the pages on the right of the listed meals, but in the end, you will find they are nearly worth the price tag.

Perusing the menu, I could not help but think this menu could be considered the antithesis of a vegetarian’s menu. Filled with a multifarious mix of meats, the variety of appetizers ($8-$18) include calamari, tuna, and other sea-dwelling treats, whereas their three salads do not offer much choice. The entrees on the other hand focus on “healthy” portions of stellar meat-related meals ($22-$55).

Some time after our waiter finished mincing around the entirety of the restaurant like he was performing his newest dance piece, he found time to ask us, the customers, for our orders. Thank you, kind sir. My final decision included the duck breast while my companions ordered the lobster trio and snapper. I will be the first to tell you, they were fabulous dishes. Dressed accordingly, they were lightly dashed with intriguing sauces that created a tingling sensation on my tongue.

Onto the dessert ($7-$15) menu. Full of devilishly delicious goodies, it covers your main bases: ice cream, chocolate, fruit, cheesecake and everything of the sort. The sorbet sampler ended up getting the nod, and it was splendid. A nice array of various sorbets hit the spot after a very food-filled evening.

Service? It was there, nothing spectacular, and it most definitely waned in comparison to the other Starr restaurants I have visited. The ambiance was nice, but again, was a step-below the past Philadelphia restaurants I have recently reviewed.

Despite torrents of rain and the $100 wasted on retrieving my car from the car lot (after being towed from a very debatable spot where any cantankerous meter-maid would have ticketed me but not a moderately sane one), the meal was pleasant and the experience satisfying. So when stuck in Philadelphia, sample Tangerine for a taste of a “fruit”ful business.