Bar Lolo

I returned to Bar Lolo to check out their Spanish tapas after enjoying them last year.  See the 1.27.13 post.  I started with a glass of the Gran familia rioja which is 90% tempranillo and 10% graciano.  The meat and cheese plate was a nice place to start.

meat and cheese plate

I then moved on to their Potato chips with sea salt and fried herbs.  Each of the small plates that followed had delicious flavor.  I particularly enjoyed the sherry syrup.

Chickpea stew with spinach, saffron, and sweet paprika.

Serrano ham and manchego cheese croquettes with smoked paprika aioli.

Grilled chicken skewers with moorish spices and sherry syrup.

I tried to learn about the various sherries in order to select one that I’d enjoy.  My husband and I traveled to southern Spain a few years ago, however, we didn’t make it to Jerez de la Frontera which is essentially the sherry capital of the world.

What I learned is that the fino or manzanilla sherry are aged the least, the amontillado is a mid level aged sherry, and the oloroso sherry is aged the most.  So, I tried the amontillado.  I enjoyed it, however, I think I need more experience with sherry to really decide.  This Wine Folly post on Sherry: the dry wine that everyone should love is informative.

Unfortunately, this restaurant closed as of May of 2014.

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Patanegra

Patanegra

Patanegra

My husband and I went to Patanegra in NW Portland.  It was our 2nd time, but equally good as last time!  (see 8.12.12 blog post)  We knew we wanted to try the paella this time so we reined ourselves in on tapas. 🙂  The Mencia red wine paired nicely with everything.

We started out with Pan con tomate which we had last time and it was equally as good.  What a delicious combination of bread, serrano ham, and tomato spread!  We then indulged in regular ole bread with olive oil while waiting for our paella.  Did I say regular ole olive oil?  Well, not really.  The olive oil was absolutely delicious with a bold flavor.  It reminded us of the “grassy” taste of the Arbequina olive oil from Oregon Olive Mill/Durant Vineyard/Red Ridge Farms which comes from olive trees from Spain.  This website is quite informative about the olive trees and oils from the various regions of Spain.

The paella was even more spectacular than we were imagining.  Neither of us are heavy seafood eaters and not big fans of the traditional seafood paella-even though we’ve had some delicious ones in Spain.  So, we opted for an interesting sounding option called Paella Carnicera.  It included chorizo and serrano ham along with a sausage called morcilla.  It’s quite a dark sausage with amazing flavor.  It reminds me of a Spanish version of the most flavorful Italian sausage.

Finally, for dessert we had the Crema Catalana.  It had amazing flavor!  It was a type of creme brulee, however, it was a bit lighter and smoother and had notes of vanilla and orange.  We will definitely be back again for more!

Bar Lolo

Bar Lolo

My husband and I stumbled upon Bar Lolo when shoe shopping one day on Alberta St.  What a great, cozy find!  We are always up for Spanish tapas and this was a funky little place.  It was nicely located on a corner next to a theater and other shops and restaurants.  We liked the ambiance with a rustic stab of wood with wine bottles on it referred to as the wine wall as well as the small tables sprinkled throughout.  We arrived a bit before the rush which provided the opportunity to ask a bit more about the Spanish red wines and the tapas.

Bar Lolo

We started out with the tried, but true tortilla espanola.  The espelette pepper added a nice bite to it.  Of course, you must always have some olives while indulging in tapas.  We followed it with the grilled chicken skewers.  What an amazing combination of flavors!  The moorish spices were a nice contrast with the sweet sherry syrup.  We wrapped up the experience with their potato chips with sea salt and fried herbs (Rosemary, etc.).  It was a nice, simple, crisp finish.

Salt and herb potato chips

The service was consistently good throughout.  We will definitely be back to try some other dishes!

Andaluca

Andaluca

No visit to downtown Seattle is complete without visiting Andaluca for tapas or dinner.  The last time I had indulged in Andaluca was 2 years ago.   I was really looking forward to their trio of gazpacho and other Spanish-inspired tapas, but their menu had dramatically changed!  So, we started out with a couple of tapas.

Salumi plate-An assortment of sausage, bread, and olives is always a nice way to start.  It was missing some cheese.  A few slices of Iberico ham would’ve been a nice addition as well.

Salumi plate

Papas frites-This dish had a nice kick to it with potatoes, egg, and mushrooms.

Papas frites

I forgot to take a photo of our Paella, but I was pleasantly surprised that it was a much smaller portion for 2 people to split than typically occurs with Paella.  The hazelnut gelato was a perfect dessert.

Patanegra (Spanish restaurant)

Patanegra (Spanish restaurant)

patanegra

What a delightful, hidden restaurant off the beaten path of NW 23rd! It was a bit tricky to find since it’s not actually on NW 23rd Avenue, but rather NW 23rd Place.  Pata Negra apparently stands for Iberico ham.  Check out this slide show of the Pata Negra (black pigs) as well as the restaurant and food served there.  We were seated at the nice, cozy table pictured in the slide show by the window.  Check out their dinner menu.  This link to the wine list provides a map of Spain and the various regions.  I only drank by the glass which is listed by clicking on the tab “by the glass” on the far right.

Open kitchen at the back

kitchen

Well stocked bar to the side

bar

We passed on the paella this visit and indulged in tapas to try a variety of their dishes. I started out with gazpacho and a glass of mencia (red wine from the Bierzo region). The gazpacho was absolutely refreshing given the warm day with a nice bite at the end.

gazpacho

My husband started out with the classic tortilla espanola. It was delicious and perfectly prepared.

tortilla espanola

I then had the rollitos de berenjena (grilled eggplant). (pictured on the back right)  I recall an amazing deep fried Aubergine when in Spain 2 years ago, but this was not quite the same. I wasn’t a fan of the fuzz that was like eating a peach.

tapas

The grilled asparagus was simple, but delicious!

asparagus

My husband ordered the filete de ternera (grilled beefsteak and fingerlings). The steak melted in your mouth and the fingerlings had great flavor.

steak

I then finished up with the pan con tomate, jamon y queso (bread with Serrano ham (from Spain) with manchego cheese).  (pictured on the front left)  This was delicious with a glass of monastrell (red from the Alicante and Jumilla regions).

tapas

The service was impeccable and we’ll definitely return again!