Got to try this relatively new tapas place on Friday night. The space features a long bar with seating, a few high top tables, and more regular restaurant seating in the back half where the open kitchen is. Noise levels were manageable for conversation as the tables aren't packed tightly. Our server was very friendly and kept apologizing for the slow delivery of our drinks (they were short-staffed and had only one bartender).
The drinks were all delicious. The Blanco Sangria (white wine, cardamom syrup, grapefruit, mint) was too easy to gulp down. The Easy Gary, one of their vermouth cocktails, featured vermouth Rojo, vermouth dry, and bitters - lots of caramel tones. The house gin and tonic (Traperia dry gin, house grapefruit tonic, juniper berries, lemon, pink peppercorn, rosemary) was fragrant and refreshing.
I don't really know my tapas in terms of regions. Certainly some of the dishes were similar to what I've had in Barcelona. Pretty much all were great.
We started with a special of barely-seared scallop in the shell with a salsa verde. Tapa de Boquerones featured tomato Cristal bread (like a brioche, made in house) with lemony white anchovies and olives - could have easily had more of these. We then had Ontario prime ribeye cured in-house, cut like Iberico ham, with porcini, honey mushroom, and fresh Spanish truffle - like a decadent carpaccio. The blistered shishito peppers with sea salt, lime were scrumptious, but were billed as "red" and appeared to be green (except for one).
One of the best dishes was Iberico pork cheeks with caramelized figs, marcona almonds dust – the meat just melted and paired well with the crispy figs. The fried calamari sandwich on milk bun, chive aioli, pickled pepper, house fermented hot sauce lived up to the hype we had read about - easy to inhale. Grilled broccolini came with an almond romesco sauce and manchego – straightforward and excellent. Our last dish was beef tenderloin skewers, with seasonal mushrooms, caramelized onion, aioli, and a truffle-scented jus.
For dessert we had the crema Catalana (saffron and cinnamon Catalan cream), which was good if not obviously cinnamon-y. Better was the Tarta de Almendras - almond-olive oil cake, chocolate "cremoso" (thick ganache on top). We also sipped a glass of Bodegas Hidalgo Faraon oloroso sherry.
Price for all of the above, with tax and tip was $245.
by Joey Skladany | Spring has officially sprung, which means it's out with the old and in with the new. And when it comes...
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