If you're looking for dinner and a show, tonight is the perfect night to head to Ted's at YoungArts. A collaboration between Stephen Starr and the National YoungArts Foundation, Ted's is a tribute to YoungArts founder Ted Arison.
A place to dine, wine, and enjoy a performance, the intimate lounge perched on the seventh floor of the YougnArts tower and the former Bacardi building is actually built like a sound studio -- a sound studio with a full bar, 360 HD projection, and a globally inspired tapas menu that Short Order was invited to check out last night for YoungArts Week.
See also: Ted's at YoungArts Opens Today
YoungArts has identified and supported some of the most talented and identifiable artists in our generation today. Think Nicki Minaj, Adrien Grenier, Kerry Washington, Robert Redford, and world-renowned architect Zaha Hadid. Speaking of world-renowned architects, Ted's was actually designed by Frank Gehry whom Vanity Fair named "the most important architect of our age." His works include the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris, Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, and the New World Center in Miami Beach. Ted's, however, is the architect's first and only restaurant in the Southeast.
Mod retro couches line the back wall and a translucent glass bar juxtaposes the warm and intimate feel of the perfectly lit space.
I'm partaking in a little self-test dubbed dry January where I don't drink a sip of alcohol for the entire month (terrible, I know) so my dining companion was my cocktail taste tester for the evening. He had a desert rose, which mixed rose infused Plymouth gin, lemon juicem and prickly pear puree. His thoughts? Two thumbs up. There's also a chocolate martini with Grey Goose, Godiva chocolate liqueur, and cherry nectar. All cocktails are $14.
The menu is succinct but has several appealing and light offerings. Go for the tuna tartare ($14). While just about every place has a tuna tartare now, Ted's rendition with lime, avocado, pickled ginger, and a crispy rice cake is flavorful.
Beef tartare with pickled kohlrabi, soy egg yolk, and Chinese mustard ($16).
Key West shrimp ceviche ($14) keeps things locally fresh. It's served in a zesty and spicy pool of ginger lime tiger's milk that you'll want to drink like a soup once all shrimp have been uncovered.
Chickpea falafel ($12) is served with heirloom tomato and white bean salad, pita bread, and tzatziki.
Definitely try to chilled soba noodle salad ($14) with sesame dressing, pickled cucumber, and seaweed furikake.
Lamb kofta ($18) is served on skewers with wasabi taztziki and squash spaghetti.
Smoked duck breast ($27) was perfectly cooked and served atop a bed of bomba rice with duck confit and trumpet royale mushrooms. It's a decadent and rich dish, so make sure you have room for it.
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Dessert proffers profiterole, chocolate cheesecake, or flan. We opted for the latter.
We had the chance to catch a couple of songs from the YoungArts jazz band featuring YoungArts alumna Julia Easterlein and it was pretty mind blowing. They're performing again tonight, so if you haven't got any plans now you do. For upcoming performances, check out youngarts.org/teds.
Follow Carla on Twitter @ohcarlucha