Dim lighting and a throbbing soundtrack aren’t exactly what you expect to find in a restaurant on a Magnolia side street, but at owner Kent Chappelle’s Tanglewood Supreme, which opened in October, the mood is refreshingly grown-up. Local moms meet friends to sip martinis and share sweet potato arancine (fried risotto balls, $5) with kale, while double daters toast an evening out sans kids with oysters in apple-shallot mignonette ($2 each). Wild king salmon tartare ($6) is creamy and delicious; with tender horseradish crackers and pickled fennel, it’s another worthy starter. The portion is rather puny, though; I wish they’d charge more and serve more.
A wild king salmon entrée ($24) is also quite good: perfectly cooked to a pink middle, and the fish’s skin is crisp and salty. But it’s served over creamy beans and pancetta in a buttery sauce that’s too one-note; a squeeze of lemon would go a long way. Sublime seared scallops ($24) arrive atop seedy hunks of eggplant in green curry—perfectly good until you notice the nonsensical addition of what the kitchen calls “naan puffs,” small dough puffs that do nothing to sop up the alluring curry. The house-made agnolotti ($16) is tender, a lovely pasta filled with squash purée, wearing a suitable walnut pesto. So I have to ask: Why add the diced beets?
The kitchen seems determined to put all its tricks on every plate, when usually one trick per dish is enough. If Tanglewood can keep the perfect execution, but lose the muss and the fuss, it ought to thrive.
Lunch and dinner Tue.–Sat. Magnolia, 3216 W Wheeler St.; 206.708.6235; tanglewoodsupreme.com $$