Sunday, January 15, 2012

Vizcaya Restaurant and Tapas Bar

Have you ever wanted to order just samples off the menu items? Well, I've found the place for you!
(See link below)

With a couple of our good friends, we drove to Tampa for a special dinner of Tapas; some we had chosen and a couple choices were left to the discretion of our waiter. It was really hard to decide with so many wonderful sounding dishes. What I liked the most was the intreguing variety meats... wild rabbit, oxtail, and veal sweetbreads. Having small portions plated for the four of us (or depending on the number of guests at your table) so elegantly made the whole experience a taste extravaganza.

Scallops (this portion for two)
Tapas, for those of you who have not yet tried them, are small portions or finger foods (canapes) originating from Spain.
It is told that King Alfonso X, el Sabio (or “the Wise One”)  made sure that Castilian taverns served wine accompanied by something to eat, so that the wine would not go straight to the clients' heads. Each tavern/restaurant served their specialty, and these tapas would vary from town to town.

Our waiter at Vizcaya suggested a bottle of wine and a plate of their most requested tapas: a sampling of dates (stuffed with Manchego cheese and Serrano ham then wrapped in bacon and fried - served with honey aioli!).  I also enjoyed their mushroom soup and sampled the arugala salad (so good!) for starters; both were excellent.  We were all excited to order our two favorites, so the plates were paced to give us time to enjoy our company and wine.

First to be presented were the cold tapas of shrimp salad and avacado, sushi grade tuna tartar, and of course those delicious figs. Next was a smorgasboard of hot tapas: scallops, fried calamari, large prawns stuffed with bechamel (wrapped in pork belly then pan fried), and wild rabbit. We had the best time here and capped the night off with a dessert wine then Cappuccinos, flan, and orange key lime pie which we all shared...had to! Whatever the true origin of tapas, order one or several, then enjoy them like the Spanish do – with a glass of wine and a relaxed attitude. Now I have a great reason to visit Spain as well!

Spain...and Tapas!

Vizcaya Restaurant