January 2, 2012
Tapas (noun): small plates i.e. snacks i.e. must eat many plates to be full.
When dining at a “tapas” restaurant, it’s key to know what you’re getting yourself into. If you come hungry, you just might leave hungry. However, if you come looking to enjoy a wide variety of small plates and bring with you some good company, then you’re in for a treat.
A couple of Mondays ago I chose the latter route. As a high school, specifically lunch table reunion of sorts, seven friends gathered to play catch up at Relish in Mason. Our waiter alerted us it was half-price wine night. And so Dr. Daniels was left on call while Mr. Prosecco made his grand entrance to the table.
In going with the theme of the restaurant, we all took turns picking items off the menu, including the pintxos (peen-chos) menu. Which, if you thought the tapas were small, these bite size versions from Northern Spain are even smaller. Literally, it’s about one bite.
Of the 10 or so things we ordered, the table favorites – hands down – were the original flatbread, the signature salad, and the spicy shrimp. The flatbread is a winner for two reasons: 1.) truffle; 2.) oil. Man that stuff is good, so good in fact, that we ordered a second flatbread.
The signature salad comes with baby romaine, goat cheese, dried cranberries, tomatoes and homemade bourbon candied pecans in an asian sesame dressing. All of this is nestled in a radicchio cup. Although it seems like an overload of ingredients, they work well together and offered a nice contrast to some of the other tastes we devoured.
The spicy shrimp had a kick but not the kind that leaves you waterboarding yourself for relief. The most noticeable aspect of the “mantree,” mini entree, was its look. The aesthetics of the shrimp felt more like Christmas day Chinese restaurant than small plate Espana — other than the nacho strips of course, which were clearly added to remind us this is Spanish food. But hey, it was still good, nevertheless.
After going through two rounds of food orders, one question remained: Should we go for a second bottle of wine? While water was the drink of choice in high school, as young adults conquering the world, we figured we should act the part. Senor Riesling come on down.to top ↑