Ortanique on the Mile is an excellent restaurant which sometimes gets overlooked in the rush to visit the latest New Kids on the Block (or Mile). Chef Cindy Hutson's "Cuisine of the Sun" is reflected everywhere at Ortanique- from the plates decorated with oranges, to the orange walls and curtains, to the orange slice garnishing the iced tea and the tropical (reggae) music playing in the background. I've been several times and it's always been good. We choose it for our daughter's graduation dinner, where my husband fell in love with the coffee and cocoa encrusted flat iron steak, which was perfectly cooked and juicy; others raved about the ceviche, which changes daily. I had the Jerk Chicken Penne Pasta that night ($17), a rich, creamy, spicy dish that is a generous portion. Yesterday, after finding out there was a 40 minute wait for Swine (New Kid on the Block), we went to Ortanique. My husband (a creature of habit) ordered a dish he'd enjoyed before- the pan seared Mahi Mahi ($25), which comes with Grouper, when in season. I opted for the Taste of the Sun Prix Fix ($20) with a choice of an asterix marked appetizer and entree. The three course (with dessert) is $25. I ordered the soup- roasted eggplant and tomato, and pan seared Hogfish Nicoise. While we waited, our efficient waiter brought us some delicious baguette slices with a pesto oil brushed on top. My husband had three slices. Our drinks were always quickly replinished. My soup was smooth, rich and satisfying, topped with croutons for a nice crunch. It took a while to get our entrees, but it was worth the wait. My husband's Mahi was marinated in teriaki, pan seared and placed atop an orange plantain-boniato mash, garnished with steamed juliennied chayote and carrots and came with a sauce of reduced orange liquer and lemon rum. Yum. My pan seared hog fish, was perfectly seasoned and cooked, with a lovely golden crust revealing white flaky fish. It came atop golden slices of potatoes, perfectly cooked green beans, cherry tomatoes and a Nicoise sauce of black olives, capers. There is outdoor seating available, and the white tablecloths, seperate dining levels and efficient service, makes this a good option for special occasions. The table next to us was celebrating a birthday and their Seared Ahi Tuna with Mango Salsa and Jasmine Rice looked delicious. Cindy Hutson's type of cooking kind of reminds me of the Mango Gang back in the eighties, incorporating Caribbean flavors, with tropical fruits and local seafood. It was a good idea then and still works today, so don't overlook the Old Grand Dame on the Mile, for all the New Kids on the Block.
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