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  • It has already been a day of eating and traveling. There really isn't much else to do when long commutes create little room to exercise and in turn stir up nothing else other than hunger. So we did just that and ate.

    By the time dinner rolled around, I wasn't terribly hungry but, as always, my mind and stomach could make room for a good meal in what would hopefully be a quality atmosphere.

    And indeed it was. I entered what felt like the coolest bar in town, a dark room accented by small spotlights that turned out to be the perfect amount of lighting to read the menu and devour the delicious small plates that lie ahead.

    From the start of being greeted by a friendly waitress who appeared determined to do whatever it took to overcome our routine excessive requests and deliver a great experience, the service was one of those few dining experiences that reminds you why it's still worth paying for a good meal. While the food of course is important, we go out to have an experience, to enjoy without the preparation or cleanup; when the service – the primary vehicle for delivering this – is poor, it can spoil even the most delicious of food.

    Not in this case; not only was the waitstaff spot-on, but they were indeed a unified staff. We of course had the touchpoint of our server, who tended to our silverware needs and took our order. Then, the bus boys were far from traditional bus boys; rather, they were the stewards of the experience who happy brought the food of over with a brief introduction of what it was and what was in it, all while gracefully keeping the table clean between rounds of plates.

    Walking back through the restaurant towards the restroom, I noticed a man standing guard by the heat lamps of the window into the kitchen – he's the watchdog ensuring quality control. The bus boys come in and out, ensuring the positive delivery of what a table awaits; each time they take on their uber important role it's short-lived, as they go back to base to deliver it all once more for the next table, curiously awaiting whatever surprise will come their way.

    The food itself was delicious beautiful to look at, and spaced out in a welcome way given its small plates nature that leads to inevitable sharing. From caramelized scallops to tender artichokes, everything cooked with attention to detail (even bread came out as if it just came off the grill). Floral notes could emerge amidst curry-filled seafood pot, and what was on the menu was local and seasonal. Small plates + Diverse menu = Happy Palate

    It was a dining concerto, accented by interesting, unexpected yet welcome flavor combinations, and a delivery that rivals any great establishment. If you can get beyond the early intimidation of the uncommon menu and be open to a culinary experience, Tar & Roses is a must-stop.
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