I’d been looking forward to this for a while, a Saturday night with my hubby in an Old Street tapas bar, PinchitoTAPAS. If you haven’t noticed already, I am a big fan of Spanish food, wine and culture.
I travelled through Spain when I first graduated and to my surprise it really dazzled me (I’d only agreed to go as a compromise so I got my way and got to go to Italy)! In my ignorance I’d previously thought Spain was one big tacky tourist resort, but head away from the Costa del Sol and stand at a bar in Sevilla, Granada, Salamanca, Valencia and Barcelona and you’ll be confronted with a whole different side of Spain with greatly varying food styles at every turn.
I headed back several times since, got married in Sevilla and took another month out for a foodie tour of Spain that allowed me to take in Granada, Codorba, Madrid, Salamanca, San Sebastian, Logrono and Barcelona.
So a Saturday night with my hubby in a tapas bar – that is a proper bar not a restaurant – was always going to be a bit special for me and an excuse to remininse.
Pinchito scored early brownie points with hubby by serving Alhambra Reserva 1925, which we’d not often seen outside Granada, in the traditional frosted glass.
We took a seat at the bar and enjoyed the modern take on Spanish bar culture and appreciated the busy vibe and that all the staff spoke Spanish.
After ordering a few drinks, we had a few plates of tapas to whet our appetite, Pimientos de Padron, Pa amb tomaquet, and Hanger Steak with Paprika Alioli. The steak portion was pretty small for the price, but to be fair this is central London and the salty green peppers – Pimientos de Padron – more than made up for it, I could eat them all night.
Another couple of drinks, this time I switched from a cocktail to sherry. This proved a revelation, Tio Pepe’s Fino En Rama was unlike anything I’d tried before and totally converted me to the world of sherry (see separate post here). That with the Boquerones, marinated anchovies over salty crisps, and Patatas Bravas proved an awesome combination.
Hubby opted for the Huevos Rotos and could not stop talking about how much I was missing out on the Chorizo – some of the best he’s tasted in a while.
We pretty much hung out at the bar all night, the staff were buzzy and brilliant – the manager even recreated the whiskey and fresh lemonade I’d seen at Taste for hubby. We stayed for hours, and long enough for two courses of tapas to go down leaving space for a third, Queso Manchego and a hefty slice of Tortilla, plus another couples of Sherries – although no doubt I didn’t need the final one.
A really refreshing, slightly gritty take on the Barcelona tapas bar but we loved it, will be back very soon…
I arrived back in Madrid, Spain last weekend after four long months away. I’ve collected a lot of stories on my travels