There’s something “melt-in-your-mouth-y” about the word, isn’t there? It conjures small, flavorful morsels, glazed and braised, drizzled and skewered – morsels that allow diners to sample and share something a little deeper than mere food and drink as they pass plates to and fro. Tapas make for an interactive, collective dining experience. They're fun. And it doesn’t hurt that you often hear the word (in your head, anyway) in that alluring Spanish timbre generally reserved for the Nasonex Bee.
Light & summery: Yellowfin tuna ceviche with avocado, mango & cilantro. — Photo courtesy of Santiago's Bodega
From Key West’s Bahama Village to our own Ivanhoe Village, comes just such a place: Santiago’s Bodega, which opened its doors on July 3 to locals eager to either recapture the sangria-infused essence of their Key West experience or try the newest kid on the Virginia Street block – a scene that’s been exploding of late with new wining and dining options.
Santiago's new "northern" digs in Ivanhoe Village. — Photo courtesy of Santiago's Bodega
The menu, not unlike other tapas-style venues, melds cuisines, offering a combination of French, Italian, Greek and Mediterranean and of course, Spanish/Basque. Cool ceviches and carpaccios share the bill with a variety of hummus, cheeses, pates and more while everything from roasted Brussels sprouts to braised short ribs to pan-fried patatas bravas tempt from the hot side.
Bacon- and basil -wrapped mushrooms with basil aioli. — Photo courtesy of Santiago's Bodega
Immediate word on the street says Santiago’s is a hit, winning early praise from foodies excited to head back and sample more of its menu – perhaps before or after strolling around Ivanhoe and perusing its growing number of shops and boutiques. And of course, one of the nicest things about tapas is that with such a dizzying array of delectables, places like Santiago’s Bodega make for an excellent excuse to get the gang together for a night out. This way, you can try everything.