This landed us at Pallantia. I kinda forgot about this place for a bit. Its very new, in a hardly-noticed location. And I've been dying to try it. Pallantia claims their mission "is to bring the spirit and flavour of Spain" and do it in true traditional paella and tapas style. The background stories that are in the menu are worth a read, actually. I love tapas, and like Tamari, its encouraging you to try everything in small plates and to share. You are probably going to want to order more than one for yourself. Tapas were traditionally put on top of the wine in the inns. This was because of a royal decree that the inns were not allowed to serve wine without food to keep the Spanish peasants from just drinking and, well generally being completely drunk and unruly. I missed the point by not ordering the sangria.
So we walk in and the place is empty, which after I ate, I have no idea why. Its new, nice, quaint atmosphere. Our server was cool, she even brought BigBrother out some meatballs that the kitchen was trying out. He kept calling them little meatloaf and thought they were awesome. We weren't too hungry, so we decided that 3 plates were enough for us. Remember that this is tapas, so these are small plates! Here's your breakdown...
Who: Me, IPA-hole, & the kids
On the table: Pan con tomate y jamon serrano *winner
Chorizo y pollo pincho moruno con salsa
Gambas al ajillo
First off, we started out with some really great bread and oil. I had paella on the brain and really wish we would have tried some, but it takes a bit longer than everything else. So we decided on the three above. The winner was definitely the pan con tomate y jamon serrano (bread with tomato & serrano ham). This brought me back to a fantastic week that IPA-hole and I spent in Barcelona before the kids came along. The presentation on this one doesn't do it justice. Its a nice, thick slice of crusty bread with fresh tomato and serrano ham. Sweetness & freshness of the tomato with the super-thin salty ham was perfect. Reminded me of that picnic in that Gaudi park with the gypsies and the naked running man... and that's a good thing!
Chorizo and pollo pincho maruno con salsa was good but the weakest of the three we tried. Its skewers of chicken and chorizo with peppers. The chorizo half was good - flavorful. The chicken part was forgettable.
Lastly was the classic Gambas al ajillo (shrimp in garlic). This is a very typical tapa, and something that I think we've ordered every time we've been in an authentic tapas place. They were very garlicy with some bite! Really delicious and very authentic.
So after the kitchen made surprise meatballs and delicious papas (potatoes) for BigBrother, and the server kept smiling after BabyGray threw EVERYTHING he touched on the floor, and we didn't order any of the Sangria (that was looking fabulous), I think she felt we may have needed a night out and gave us a card for a free tapa on our next visit. I will use it. I am struggling with the fact that there was no one else in there during our visit - I mean, it was better for us and the kids, we didn't disrupt somebody's hot date or anything. Maybe some are unfamiliar with Spanish cuisine? I think this is a great place and a fabulous alternative the the growing string of chain restaurants in our neck of the woods.
Next time, I'm getting sangria, paella, and sangria.