|Well, here we are!|
Tapas is simply Spanish for appetizer. So basically, you order 4 or 5 dishes to share about the table so that you can focus on the conversation and not dive into your meal, so to speak. Well, let me just say that our waitress was crap, and if she would have explained that to us in the beginning, we might have enjoyed our time a little bit more. The service we received was terrible! After trying to get reservations unsuccessfully for three nights, we were greeted by a teenager and waitstaff in blue jeans. I don't care how good the food is, if the waitstaff sucks, a restaurant will tank.
The first thing we were served was a chewy bread (good) with a cup of olive oil. In the olive oil was a rosemary branch and a clove of garlic (skin still on and unroasted). While it was a beautiful presentation, the oil absorbed almost none of the flavors of the aromatics. Disappointing.
|Presentation: B+, Taste: C|
|Squeeek! I mean squee!|
My unsafe dish came out first, and coincidentally, was one of the restaurant's best sellers: Dátiles con tocino. Bacon wrapped dates, which are then battered and fried. The menu stated:‘Como hace todo el mundo’ (you will want to eat this every day). I have never eaten a date before, and with an endorsement like that, how could I not give it a whirl?
Well, six little fried dates arrived at our table within about 3 minutes of our order. They looked like little hushpuppies, plated on a white saucer with a white cocktail napkin. Presentation: F. They were, of course, molten initially. After giving them a chance to cool, I braved my first bite. The little date was chewy with a chewy bit of bacon on it. The batter was crispy, but a bit oily. It was a sweeter dish than I would have expected given the bacon. They weren't fantastic but they were OK. Definitely not something I will be craving everyday. Taste: B.
|Jedi Andres: "You will want to eat this every day." |
Us: "Your mind tricks won't work on us Jedi."
|Perhaps this should have been labeled "eat every day"|
The final course was mine and I was very excited to see it come out. My safe order was Lomo Ibérico de bellota con manzanas. (Fresh loin from the legendary, acorn-fed, black-footed Ibérico pigs of Spain served with roasted apples.) It was also our most expensive tapa at $20. It looked fancy enough when came out, but the plate was white, the apples were blanched, and the pork was slightly browned. It would have looked much more impressive on a brightly colored plate. Presentation: B-
|We are running out of room for all these little plates.|
Now on to flavor. I am not going to to lie, it was the most tender piece of pork I have ever eaten. It was also the fattiest piece I've ever eaten. I imagine that comes from the acorns, which are very calorie rich. The meat had a good flavor, but as you can see in the photo, the portion size would have easily fit in the palm of my hand. A good half of it was fat, so there were only a few bites of actual meat. That was very disappoint ting considering the cost. Also, the "roasted apples" were really nothing more than a smear of apple sauce. Taste: B-.
By the time we had finished all our tapas, we were still hungry, but it had been more than 30 minutes since we had last seen our waitress. We saw some desserts go by, but our growing dissatisfaction with the service encouraged us to seek dessert elsewhere. After receiving our check of over $100 for basically 5 appetizers and 1 alcoholic beverage, we were pretty unhappy. It wasn't so much the price or quantity of the food that was so disappointing, really. I mean, we expected to pay more for less at an "upscale" restaurant. However, we expected better service and way better atmosphere. The waitstaff wore blue jeans for crying out loud! If I am going to go to a premium restaurant, I expect the staff to at least be wearing black slacks, not holey jeans. It was like we were eating at a Chili's for 4 times the price. Overall restaurant rating: C+. I was, naturally, quite devastated.
Jonathan and I ventured back into the chilly night air as we walked back to the train station. We took in the city a bit and discussed our expectations versus the results of our meal. Then, we happened to notice a little bakery that was bustling still at 9 p.m. We took a peek in the window:
We wandered in and ordered a chocolate, peanut butter cupcake for me, and a red velvet cupcake for Jon. Mine was pretty good, though a little dry. I imagine they would have tasted a little better earlier in the day (probably fresher). A nice local allowed me to photographer her holding the bakery's signature box.
|"I'm going to be a hand model!?!?!"|