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Restaurants & Bars

Sangria (Mahwah)

ELA | Feb 2, 201508:21 AM

This new "modern Spanish" cuisine restaurant is a welcomed addition to the area. It's located in the Ridge Shopping Center (or whatever it's called) at the intersection of Ridge Road and Macarthur Blvd., so it's "right off" Rt. 17 north or south. There have been a few places in that specific location, from a continental restaurant to a hot dog/burger place. This is a relatively new place -- I am not sure when they opened -- but they might still be going through some of their growth phase and all.

So -- nice place. They offer tapas, various appetizers and side dishes, and a good selection of entrees. They also, after their namesake, offer several sangrias. The night I was there -- aside from the traditional white or red -- they had two "special" sangrias. Apparently, they offer seasonal and holiday specials for sangria, so that night it was "Peppermint" sangria and a "Pumpkin" (or Spiced Pumpkin, I don't remember, although I tried it). The waiter gave me a sample of each. I decided to go with the traditional red.

They had a tapas menu of about 15 or so items, and a few specials. I tried the chorizo (I am a big fan of chorizo), the beef empanadas, and the shrimp -- all good. The chorizo had nice flavor, and it came with onions and a nice addition -- apple, with a nice glaze or marinade to it. The apple gave it a nice flavor and balance. All three blended together very well -- again, nice flavor, tastes, and balance. The empanadas were very good and came with a nice chili flavored sauce, and the shrimp came in a nice wine sauce.

As for the entrees, by this time I wasn't as hungry as I wanted to be, so I decided against ordering the paella -- and there's three types on the menu, along with a fourth dish which wasn't named paella, but was very similar. The selection of entrees is very nice. I went with the Churrasco; it was very good, a nice piece of steak, grilled, flavored with a port wine sauce. It had nice flavors, good nuance, came together well, and was served with some manchego whipped mash potatoes and some grilled/marinated vegetables. It was a nice dish.

Nice place too -- there's a small area off the bar with a couple of tables. Note -- I wouldn't sit there as the chairs were uncomfortable. Then, there's a bar area with hi-tops right along the bar -- nice spot. A few flat screen TV's well placed throughout the place and the dining area itself was nice -- a good amount of tables, not cramped or too close to others. It's well decorated in a Spanish type theme, like a casual "bistro" type place.

Service was good -- attentive, very good command of the menu, specials, and the bar as well (vis a vis the sangrias). Ownership (husband and wife, at least the two of them) has a good presence there as they were both there. Seems to be attentive management as well.

The dining area was packed. Reservations were full. And the bar area was packed as well, and so was the bar. It wasn't uncomfortable or too crowded, but there was a nice turn-over and the place was booked. It was good.

This is a very good local place and like I said a welcomed addition to the area. Once the word gets out I think they might start drawing people from a wider area, become more well known, etc. I hear they are getting positive reviews and there seems to be a good buzz around the place. There's nothing really similar or like it and it is a bit different I think. I will absolutely go back and very soon as I am looking forward to trying the paella. Check out the website. If you are looking for modern Spanish, Spanish with a flair or twist, etc. -- and you want something local -- good food, good time...give Sangria a shot.

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