Tapas•Papa•Frita – Tapas Bar with old world flair!
Feeling in the mood for something exotic in the heart of Old Town? Ready to spice it up a bit and escape the humdrum? How about passing plates of food around a table while listening to sultry flamenco music? Despite those warnings from mom, sharing food is sexy. Especially when it comes accompanied by great friends, great wine, great service, great music and great ambiance! (whew, that is a lot of great’s in one sentence) Tapas•Papa•Frita delivered all that and more Friday night as Schmooze hit the house and stage to show off our flamenco moves. (Yes wine was involved, no we don’t have pictures!)
TPF has a lot to offer anyone willing to step off the beaten path and try something different. For starters, the decor inside is colorful and has just the right amount of bravado without being over the top. Accents of red adorn the arches, tables and even the serving staff to give TPF a bright, upbeat appeal. Make sure to check out the candle inside the front door too! The round bar is a stunning feature and if I remember right, it was built by one of the owners.
Outside has it’s own merits, how about an amazing patio, overlooking the south side of the canal? It offers the perfect location for that romantic date night.
Enough with the fluff, lets talk about the food! TPF has an amazing selection of tapas and frankly they all were excellent so I really think you can’t go wrong selecting anything off the menu. The menu features three main categories of tapas; meats, seafood and vegetable/cheese with about 15 choices per section so if you are in a small group, be prepared for some tough decisions! Schmooze was fortunate enough to have a bevy of friends along so we really got to sample a large cross section of the menu. To give you an idea of the presentation of tapas we enjoyed, we went back later during the day to take some pictures of our favorites. Since our Spanish is a little rusty, excuse our accent as we try to pronounce these names! One of the favorite choices from the Carnes, Aves y Caza (meats for us regular folks) selections was the Chuletilla de Cordero which are two open flame broiled lamb chops sauteed in herbs. The lamb was very tender and the sauce was delicious, there was even plenty to share among five people even though we really didn’t want to!
Our favorite dish from the Pescados y Mariscos (seafood) dishes we tried was the Pimiento Piquillo con Centollos or Crab stuffed peppers in saffron sauce. OMG, was this good, loved the saffron sauce. (yeah we know, we just lost all credibility with the text speak!) The stuffed peppers were almost too pretty to eat and the sauce is great for dipping the bread into later, but I’ll get back to the bread.
Remember when your mom used to scold you for not eating vegetables? Don’t worry, you will have plenty of great dishes to choose from here also from the Vegetales y Quesos (vegetables and cheeses). We would strongly recommend the Pastel a la Porrusalda, a leek tart in a puff pastry shell and the hands on favorite of everyone at the table.
Did I mention the bread? Yes, yes I did. Danger Will Robinson. Yes it’s that good, so be careful don’t fill up on it before the meal. We went through three baskets of bread and were in a carb-induced coma before we ever started eating. The bread also comes with a great dipping sauce, which is fabulous and probably has 1000 calories a taste, which is why I am glad I didn’t ask what it was. Just enjoy it, calories, smalories.
TPF has live music almost every night to add ambiance to dinner, the Spanish guitar playing is not too loud and provides the right background music to a fabulous dinner. On Friday nights at 9:00 pm they also have a flamenco dancer for your entertainment. The wine list is extensive, and full of great tasting Spanish wine especially the Elsa Malbec!
Ok, the important stuff. TPF has Happy Hour from 4 pm – 6 pm, 7 days a week at the bar. With $2 domestic bottles, $5 well drinks, wine and sangria, and a selection of tapas at $2, $3 and $4, this just became one of our favorite Happy Hour spots!
Tapas•Papa•Frita is located off Stetson, on Southbridge, alongside the canal in the area near Cowboy Ciao and the old Metro Grill.
7144 E Stetson Drive