Margaritas And Small Plates At Tico

This past Tuesday was somehow dubbed National Margarita Day, and coincidentally, Michelle, Justin, Meghan, Tania, Daisy, and I had reservations for dinner at Tico. We couldn't have planned it better if we tried.

Tico is Chef/Owner Michael Schlow's newest restaurant (joining Via Matta, Alta Strada, and Radius) and claims to be American at its core but influenced by Spanish, Mexican, and South American food. We were all pretty excited to check it out.

After work on Tuesday, Meghan and I met up at Park Street and strolled over to Tico to find Daisy waiting for us in the bar.

She had ordered a beer to start since Tico doesn't have a drink menu yet, but not much of a beer drinker and in the mood for a margarita, I asked the waiter what our margarita options were. There was everything from pomegranate to blood orange to original. I ordered a pomegranate margarita without salt and after a quizzical look from our waiter ended up deciding to get it with salt. The margarita was delicious though I couldn't distinctly pick up on a pomegranate flavor and I should have stuck with no salt.

Meghan got the blood orange margarita, and soon after Michelle and Justin arrived. We ran into Tania in the foyer and were led to a large table by the window.

We all scanned through the menu and decided to get a bunch of dishes to share. After I heard what everyone was most intrigued by, I took care of placing our order, which ended up including three different tacos and eight small plates.

Crispy Fried Manchego cheese with spicy pomegranate honey sauce 9
Crispy fried cheese is obviously delicious and the pomegranate honey sauce
 was thick, sweet, and the perfect accompaniment to the cheese.

Brussels sprouts with bacon, kumquats, mint and jalapenos 8
Though I feared this would be too spicy, it had just the perfect amount of heat,
and I've really never met a brussels sprout I haven't liked!

Crispy fried chicken with fennel slaw & spicy buttermilk dressing 10
While quite tasty, this is tied with the sweetbreads for my least favorite dish of the night.
It just didn't do much for me, and we had so many other more flavorful bites.

Shrimp toast with avocado, pickled jalapenos and lime 8
A little too greasy, these were an interesting (in a good way) take on shrimp toast.
(I'd only ever had shrimp toast at a Chinese restaurant before these.)

Creamy Gigante Beans with chorizo and green onion 10
I am not a lover of beans, and I honestly wasn't sure what to expect from these gigante beans,
but I was pleasantly surprised that they really were creamy rather than pasty like most beans.

Crispy Sweetbreads with masa harissa, endive, blood orange and hazelnuts 8
I'd never had sweetbreads before, was rightfully nervous about trying them
(please don't make me explain what they are), and really wasn't impressed.
Both Justin and Michelle who have had sweetbreads before mentioned that these were
underseasoned, so maybe I would have enjoyed them more if they had more flavor.

Crispy Fish, pickled onions & red jalapeno 9
Just your average fish taco

Octopus with yellow peppers, citrus, and Aleppo pepper 11
This dish was just awesome -- flavorful, light, and full of texture. 

Snap Peas with orange zest, Tabasco butter and “crunchies” 8
The snap peas still had their snap and a little kick, and I loved the hint of citrus.

Spicy Shrimp, bacon and avocado 12
The shrimp taco was my favorite of all the tacos we tried.
I mean does fennel slaw really stand a chance against avocado and bacon?

“Creamed” Corn with Bacon, Chiles and Thai Basil 8
The "creamed" corn had nothing creamy about it, but I am not complaining.
This was the perfect dish to end the night with. I might need to make
some version of this at home this summer.

I've got to go back and try the other half of the menu at some point -- the tuna tartare tostadas, fried calamari, and roasted cauliflower, especially.

After all that, you wouldn't think we'd have room for dessert, but once we saw the choices, we made room. We ordered and shared three desserts, and we all liked all of them -- though we each have our favorites that we absolutely loved. My favorite was the chocolate tart.

Doesn't that sound good?!

Super Delicious Chocolate Tart with Tres Leches Ice Cream 10
Definite favorite -- not only was the cake rich and fudgy,
but all that stuff on the plate (ice cream, caramel) complemented it so well!

The Chocolate Gelato Peanut Butter Mousse-Over The Top-Caramelized Banana Split 10
Don't get me wrong, this was absolutely fabulous too, especially that peanut butter mousse.

Lemon Sabayon Tart with Whipped Cream and Fresh Strawberries 10
What can I say? I'm a chocolate-lovin' girl! But this was still a tasty treat
and good for palate cleansing in between bites of the richer chocolate desserts.

The most shocking thing about this whole dinner is with all the food we had, plus drinks, tax, and tip, we only spent $40 each. Tico is definitely an affordable option for a big group. And cost-cutting aside, it's a great idea to go with a big group (as long as everyone will share) because you'll get a chance to try so many more small plates.

Did you celebrate National Margarita Day? Have you been to Tico yet?

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