What an awesome place for a double date! Gabriel and I met another couple up on the beautiful rooftop bar for cocktails before venturing into the restaurant for a fun dinner. This is clearly one of the only places in the area with a real nightlife scene, and we enjoyed the atmosphere very much. The historic building itself was truly beautiful and felt like it belonged somewhere other than Sarasota. The interior was dimly lit and rustic, and the patrons there were varied in ages, styles and ‘types’.
When we sat down and were given our VERY extensive menus, we were a little overwhelmed and glad that our friends had been there enough times to make some suggestions. Our friendly and helpful waiter, Warren, was also more than available to give us advice and suggestions. We decided to share a half pitcher of red sangria- which turned out to be excellent, and we sipped our drinks as we discussed the many options. There must be about 100 different tapas on the menu and I must say, there were only a few that were NOT appealing. We ended up with 9 dishes (we started with 6 or 7 and then ordered a couple more when we were still a bit hungry) and the only one that I didn’t think was outstanding was the CHAMPIÑONES AL AJILLO Sautéed wild mushrooms with extra virgin olive oil and garlic, flambéed with Spanish sherry, Which incidentally, was one that I chose (oops) and was comparatively boring and lacking in flavor except for a little spicy kick. The other dishes included: ALCACHOFAS RELLENAS Artichoke bottoms stuffed with ham and shrimp, served with a sherry cream sauce, ESPINACAS (One of my favorites of the night) Sautéed spinach with figs, honey and garlic, PATATAS BRAVAS (another favorite that sounded sort of boring but was actually delicious) Fried potatoes tossed with spicy homemade aioli, PORTOBELLO RELLENO (Strongly recommended by our waiter and I can see why, although this was our final plate and I was a little too stuffed by then to fully appreciate it) Portobello mushroom stuffed with fresh spinach, shallots and Manchego cheese, drizzled with sherry, CEVICHE DE LA CASA (Yum yum yum. Fresh, bright and refreshing. Spanish sushi, If you will 🙂 Shrimp, scallops, squid and fish marinated in lemon lime juice, tossed with fresh tomatoes, onions, peppers and cilantro. PIQUILLOS RELLENOS (another awesome dish. I couldn’t resist using the bread to sop up the sauce from this one, so so so creamy and amazing) Roasted red peppers stuffed with ground veal and mild chorizo sausage, served with a Spanish sherry sauce, and ALBONDIGAS (kind of unimpressive. These reminded me of semi-decent ‘regular’ meatballs. There was nothing particularly Spanish or interesting about them) Veal, chorizo and pork meatballs in a piquant tomato sauce and finally, Gabriel’s favorite and probably the most out-of -the-ordinary, PULPO A LA GALLEGA (Sliced octopus in extra virgin olive oil and paprika, served over potatoes)
So, now you can see why I was ‘kinda’ full when we left. Full in a good way though. Full and happy 🙂
We will definitely be back!