Underdog and I serendipitously stumbled upon this gem when we found that the beach restaurant where we intended to have dinner had waiting patrons overflowing into the parking lot. UD is many things, but a patient "waiter" is not one of them (<----Gross Understatement). So, we decided to take a drive up the beach and check out some other options. Tapas Garden is housed in the restaurant that used to be La Cachette de la Plage (which I am sad to see is no longer on the beach, but happy to report is still thriving in its new Clearwater home). I noticed several months ago that there had been a change and thought it looked interesting at the time, but forgot about it. There were quite a few cars in the small parking lot, but we could tell from the road that it was a smaller, more civilized crowd than most of the other restaurants we'd passed by (looked like more locals/fewer kids) which was well under control with outdoor tables available, so we decided to take the plunge.
It was warm, so we intended to dine indoors...but when I saw the shaded dining area in the beautiful side garden (which was surrounded by mature trees, hanging plants and baskets of fresh herbs, lattice work adorned with twinkling lights, and faux gas light lamps) and heard the soft tango music which filled the air courtesy of a live accordian player, I couldn't resist. There was also an outdoor A/C blowing cool air throughout the garden, which made it a no-brainer. It was SO tranquil, romantic and relaxing.
We took our seats, and ordered a couple of glasses of wine from the small but diverse wine list. Our beautiful and charming server, Leslie, took excellent care of us throughout the 2-hour duration of our meal.
First out was some wonderful, fresh rosemary bread which was served with herbed olive oil and some really fresh-tasting homemade hummas.
The first two tapas we ordered were the Duck and Chicken Liver Pate (which was some of the best pate I've had outside of France and was garnished with more fresh bread, chickpeas, capers and cornichons)....