In this special weekly feature, “Today” food editor Phil Lempert brings you recipes “stolen” (with permission) from notable restaurants across America. See how much fun you can have (and money you can save) by cooking these dishes at home.
THIS WEEK: Love Apple by chef Sandee Birdsong of Tantra restaurant and lounge in Miami Beach, Fla.
Some say love is like food for the soul! And since Valentine's Day is almost here, why not feed the soul of the one you love with something special. Tantra Restaurant in Miami Beach offers cuisine, ambience, and décor designed to appeal and heighten your sensual side. Chef Sandee Birdsong shares with us one of her passionate appetizers from the aphrodisiac menu at Tantra. Since this is a salad in the form of a love apple, it will pair wonderfully with any type of entree; seafood, beef/filet or even a vegetarian preparation.
About the chef: Sandee Birdsong has shared a passion for creating dishes enlivened with spices and seasonings. It's a style she learned from her grandmother and mother; they operated a restaurant specializing in Southern food while Birdsong was growing up on St. Simon's Island in Georgia. Birdsong worked as a personal chef for 15 years. "My grandmother and mother taught me the importance of herbs and spices in cooking," Birdsong says. "They are the ones who inspired me to become a chef."
Tantra's menu features aphrodisiacs from around the world, including filet mignon drizzled in coffee sauce, seared rare tuna with truffle-foie gras sauce, and ginger-kissed salmon. "We use only the finest ingredients. Many of our vegetables and meats are organic. So are the herbs and spices," Birdsong explained. "That is an important component of giving each guest a sensory experience."
Love Apple is served at Tantra Restaurant and Lounge for $19 as an appetizer for two.
Tantra Restaurant and Lounge
1445 Pennsylvania Avenue
Miami Beach, FL 33139
Want to nominate your favorite restaurant dish for a "Steal This Recipe" feature? Just e-mail Phil at Phil.Lempert@nbc.com (or use the mail box below) with the name of the restaurant, city and state, and the dish you would like to have re-created. Want to know more about Phil and food? Visit his Web site at www.supermarketguru.com.