Last week, I got the opportunity to sample a truly lavish and delicious gluten-free meal at Tantra Restaurant & Lounge, on Peachtree Road. I left this meal feeling satisfied, full, and thinking about all of the yummy flavor combinations I had just enjoyed. Since David was traveling for work, I took my gluten-free friend, Jen, to Tantra with me and we wined and dined.
The culinary inspiration behind Tantra wanders the path of the Silk Road, through Asia, the Mediterranean, southern Europe, and Spain. Each menu item is a unique and flavorful blend of these cultures, different from anything I’ve tried before. While many Atlanta restaurants emphasize the trend of the moment, “farm to table” (which, don’t get me wrong, I love), Tantra takes its cuisine in another direction, encouraging diners to try new things and go beyond your typical fliet mignon and Ceasar salad.
During our dining experience at Tantra, the chef brought us many dishes to sample, but I didn’t feel sick or bloated, despite the amount of food I consumed. Every component of the meal was fresh and highlighted the different ingredients on the plate.
Before we indulged in food, we enjoyed some libations including the Seven Year Spice: a spin on a margarita, made with tequila, lime juice, cilantro and jalapeno. We also tried a bubbly drink that combined champagne and muddled blueberries. A fun way to start our meal!
Most of Tantra’s menu is naturally gluten free or can be made GF and the chef is eager to accommodate customers. Part of the Tantra experience is sharing and savoring dishes with others and gluten-free options abound for you to share, allowing you to feel like part of the group, not restricted to hoarding your gluten-free food in the corner of the table. Just remember to double check with your server, emphasize gluten free, and contamination. (You might have to convince your dining companions to forego the naan and samosas which will be a true act of love.) Some of the gluten free dishes I sampled throughout the evening included:
PEI Mussels (no baguette): Mussels aren’t usually the first thing I choose off the menu, but these were darn good. The red bell pepper coconut broth was delicious too and added a lot of yummy flavors to the mussels. I know David will want to get the mussels when I return with him.
Hummus Tahini and Sautéed Lamb: The chef substituted beautiful veggies for the traditional naan bread. If your gluten-eating friends really want the naan, I would ask your server if they can split the order in half so that your hummus doesn’t get contaminated by the naan. Or get two orders! This was one of my favorite dishes of the night. The lamb and hummus taste so different from each other but go together really well. The crunchy vegetables added another nice texture.
Short Smoked Salmon Roll: This light and tasty bite highlighted the combination of the smoky salmon, contrasted with the basil, mint and parsley. Yum.
Cucumber & Tomato Salad and Roasted Beets & Arugula Salad: Both of these salads were not your typical starter salad. Again, the chef used herbs to bring out the flavors of the veggies. I loved his use of mint, cilantro and lime with the cukes and tomato salad.
Basil Caramelized Scallops: One of the more traditional dishes we sampled, the mashed potatoes that accompanied the scallops were out of this world. The scallops were cooked just right, perfectly seared on the sides.
Grilled Ostrich Filet: I’ve never tried ostrich before but our server told us this entree was not to be missed. He was right. I was pretty darn full at this point, but I just couldn’t resist. Each piece of the ostrich filet was tender and flavorful and the mushrooms were amazing. I’m officially an ostrich convert and plan on ordering ostrich over steak whenever given the option.
And for dessert, the chef sent out, Cardamom Panna Cotta with orange and chopped pistachios AND Vanilla Bean Crème Brulee with Chocolate Ganache. I’m not a huge panna cotta fan…something about the texture gets to me, but I appreciated the use of the pistachios as a contrast in texture. The crème brulee was a-mazing. I prefer desserts that involve chocolate so the ganache on the bottom was the perfect end to the meal.
I would highly recommend Tantra whether you’re gluten free or not. I plan on taking David on a date here really soon. Even though I sampled lots of dishes, there are still many items that I want to try, including the tuna and short rib. One of my new favorite spots, I only wish that there was cooler outdoor seating for summertime cocktails. (It’s pretty dark inside.)
Don’t be intimidated by the restaurant’s name either. Tantra’s not freaky-deaky or limited as a venue for only hot and heavy dates. Tantra would be a great spot to meet up with friends for a drink and some small plates. The restaurant is spacious with plenty of seating so would be a good, last minute place to grab a beverage on a Friday night.
Check out Tantra and let me know what you ordered and enjoyed!
And, if you needed more convincing…
- Tantra has a Scoutmob for 50% off, up to $30 that expires August 13th
- Monday nights is half price bottles of wine. Can’t beat that, right?
Tantra Restaurant & Lounge
2285 Peachtree Road Northeast
Atlanta, GA 30309