Mr. Diva and I went to Mompou tonight, and we were pleased with the food, although the service was merely adequate because it seemed that our server was overburdened with tables. We had to flag her down for drink and water refills, and she seemed harried. I'm no expert on tapas, but we thought the food was good to excellent.
Here's what we had: we started with the charcuterie and cheese plate. This included some very garlicky marinated green olives and some cornichons, manchego, another cheese that reminded me of grano padano, and some other soft mild cheese that tasted kind of like emanthaler, as well as three types of Spanish ham, one of which was serrano, another which was kind of fatty like mortadella, and another tasty and spicy one I didn't know. Maybe someone else with more Spanish cured meat knowledge can chime in.
Next we moved on to three tapas choices: a marinated cold octopus salad with a tomato and herb salsa, spicy patatas bravas, and piquillo peppers stuffed with crab meat and a very mild goat cheese. Mr. diva devoured the octopus dish, and I barely had a chance to taste it. The octopus was prepared very well; it was tender, and the tomato salsa was well-seasoned with just the right amount of onion, garlic, and citrus. I couldn't stop eating the spicy patatas bravas with the very nice aiolli dressing. The stuffed piquillos were also very good. I was a little leery of the combination of the pungent goat cheese and delicate crab, but it ended up working because the goat cheese was mild, and the sweetness of the roasted piquillos rounded out each bite.
We shared a chocolate cake dessert with mocha cream. Mr. diva was more impressed with the dessert than I was, maybe because it was a little too sweet for me, although the chocolate flavor was good. This cake has a medium crumb, and I think it would be improved by a bit of ice cream, but that's a minor quibble.
Overall, we had a very enjoyable experience with just a few missteps. The atmosphere is very cute and cozy, and I think this is a solid choice in the Ironbound if you are looking to share small plates in an intimate setting. Just for points of reference, the only other restaurants I would recommend in the Ironbound are Seabra's Marisqueria or Fernendez, for seafood and meat, respectively.
Mompou Tapas Bar and Lounge
77 Ferry St, Newark, NJ 07105
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