Sangria Y Tapas
 Cleveland, Ohio         Date of Visit: 10/19/15

We’ve not been out much lately, much to do, but we got an offer to meet some long time compadres and meet some new ones at a recommended location in Westlake.

We had a great night out but I think that had more to do with the company than the food overall. Nothing was really bad, but little panned out to be what it might have been. Someone said it seemed like they were trying very hard for some high caliber production but lost steam somewhere through almost every dish and presentation.



The tableside preparation (while fun watching Captain Crossfit try to stay not on fire) was like a culinary school practical by a student who didn’t pay enough attention during the demo. Service top to bottom, along with the food seemed to follow that theme. Imagine awkward with fiercely but perfectly shellacked hair and a nice suit. All that said they did bring us tasty bread, house salads and a digestif, all gratis.

We started with (no I’m not kidding) nine small plates, if you're surprised you haven't been paying attention. We actually tried to order ten but forgot one and got stymied trying to remember and gave up.

Lets go from my least favorite to my most. Not a lot of light so some pix are pretty blurry.

Neither the Pasteles De Cangrejo Patricia Y Miel (crab cakes with blood orange and honey) nor the Torre De Atun Ala Rios (fresh ahi tuna with avocado and tomato) really did much of anything for me. It’s possible that a couple of the other dishes may have overpowered my ability to taste either of them…but there wasn’t much in the way of fish or acid to compete.


Not Much Going On In The Crab Cakes

Or In The Tuna Tower


Stuffing seafood and bird didn’t seem to elevate either very much. The Vieras A Cebon (sea scallops stuffed with braised beef short rib) seemed to make the beef seem dry and over powered the delicate sweetness of the scallop. The Codorniz Asaddas Relleno Con Chorizo (bacon wrapped quail stuffed with chorizo) seemed to take on an irony liver taste which is offal in which I least often take an interest. I enjoy all sorts of game meats but there was something different going on here.

Stuffings Snuffed Dishes...

Instead Of Elevating Them


The Chorizo a La Riojana (sausage sautéed with olives) wasn’t bad. The sausage had a deep paprika laden flavor but fell short in the spicy punch we had expected. Olives make everything better though. Except maybe for banana fish…more on that in a second. The Pulpo A La Sangria (grilled octopus with oregano and Cabrales cheese) featured well done and pretty tender tentacles but I have no idea who thought maybe some wonderfully pungent blue cheese was the best pairing for seafood. Kinda like fixing your glasses with a 30# sledge.


Olives Saved Lightly Spiced Sausage

Cabrales Is Delicious. Don't Put It On Seafood

The Champinones Rellenos (mushrooms stuffed with crab meat and goat cheese with a balsamic reduction) were high on the list mostly do to a lack of competition and the words goat cheese and balsamic. Yay! But nothing unique and the shrooms really didn’t do anything more than hold the cheese, mushrooms can be much better. In a simple is often better offering, the Patatas Bravas (spicy Spanish potatoes) had a great and mildly spicy flavor, make them crispier and you would really have something there.

Classically Paired And Kinda Boring Shrooms

Taste Needed Texture

Out of the myriad of small plates the Alcachofas Tiera Del Fuego (breaded artichokes sautéed in olive oil and topped with balsamic reduction) were my favorite. Again, simple. Nice hearts, crispy breading, thick and sweet dusky vinegar, what’s not to like. Didn’t find anything to love, but several of the dishes were good.

Just The Appetizers

Chokes Were Best Balance Plate And Application

We stuck to just four entrees after the tapas tsunami. We split a Angus Hamburguessa A La Sangria (hamburger with egg and jalapenos [I hope you didn’t need THAT translation]) which started with a fairly good patty but the egg was cooked solid (shame) and there was almost enough pepper to tell there was pepper.

The Raviolis De Langosta Dos Temperaturas (lobster ravioli with olives, peppers tomato and arugula) had a better taste and consistency than I would have expected from first glance but there are better ways to dine on the expensive sea bugs.

Easily the best of the entress was the Paella Valenciana with seafood, chicken and chorizo. Plenty of seafood, really flavorful rice concoction, but I remain sadly unfulfilled, wanting the fabled socarrat. Where is this crispy layer of starchy awesome of which I have heard whispers and rumors. Spanish restaurants 2 : Socarrat 0!

Oh year…nanner fish. We ordered one of the specials, mostly because we couldn’t image it. Halibut, whiskey cream sauce, topped with grilled banana (yes banana, the thing that Gwen Stefani sang about, that you’ve had cut on top of cereal, famous from the Foster, sometimes in ice cream, Musa acuminate, from puddings and cream pie! That! And these guys are peeling and grilling the damn things and putting them on top of fish. Nanner fish. Gotta tell you, after the scallop obliterating beef and the octopus smothering bleu cheese, I was completely prepped to despise this thing. I’ll be hornswaggled, it ain’t that bad. The fish was clearly overcooked and the fruit was pretty sweet but the grilling had brought out some of the starchiness and the whiskey tamped the whole thing back into tolerable.

Standard Burger

Lobster Ravs Better Than Expected

Loaded and Tasty Rice Dish But NO CRUNCH!

No Kidding. Fish & Nanner

A note on the beverages. They come with some fun. Their house cab was actually very tasty, peppery front end devolving into a thick grapiness. We ordered a pitcher of perfectly average sangria. The bartender brought us an experiment: cider, pumpkin puree, vanilla vodka rocks. Sweet but fall in a glass. I already mentioned the Spanish coffee with second degree burns, I mean cinnamon toasted in brandy flambé, a little bit of coffee, more brandy, no more coffee, Kahlua, no more coffee, Baileys Irish Cream and a splash of no more coffee. Top with canned whipped cream and a sprinkling of cinnamon and you have a tasty coffee beverage with enough alcohol to make you think about ordering nanner fish again. The tableside presentation would have been less fun had I not been watching the aforementioned asbestos dance. The digestif was a shot of port and we were on our way. Fun night at a functional restaurant. I have a feeling that it costs way more than it was worth, but I don't know. FUMB but thanks for dinner!

Delicious Experiment Better Than...

...Namesake Beverage

How To Become A Plaintiff

This Is Where You Start Running. At One Point He Was Actually On Fire...Seriously.

Very Little Coffee, But A Tasty Cocktail

And A Shot To Help Everything Settle



What's Best

What's Worst

  C- C- C B D C-  
        Paella Consistent Sloppiness
In Service & Palate
All Restaurants By Ranking Restaurants By Date These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things Steph's Favorite Things
Home List of Restaurants by City The Ratings What's Rated Random Thoughts