Saturday, January 1, 2011

Tops off to Tapas

Friends have always been talking about how wonderful Tapas is, and I have never had it.  So, to end 2010, Devan and I decided to go to San Chez: Tapas Bistro in downtown Grand Rapids!  The ambiance was very unique with a very Spanish flare.  Was a little crowded so I was glad to have been seated in the corner as I hate being placed in the middle of a restaurant at a table when it's that crowded.  The service was top notch with very friendly waiters and our waitress was very informative and offered suggestions for dishes that she thought might compliment what we were already ordering.

For those of you that don't know what Tapas is, it's a style of eating where you order several entree's and share with whomever you are with.  They supply several small plates at your table and you sample eachothers food.  In a way it's a personal and engaging way of dining with your company, striking up conversation, more over about the food, but interesting conversation none-the-less.

Once seated we were brought fresh baked bread that was just delicious.  An oil accompanied it that was infused with a light garlic and chives.  I went easy on the bread as I didn't want to fill up as I knew I was going to be in for a haul.  The waitress, of whom I was very impressed with her knowledge and professionalism, took our order.  Several of the items we ordered she regrettably stated the restaurant had run out of, which was expected as it WAS New Years eve after all.  So we ordered:
Tapenade de Espana

*Tapenade de Espana: herbed goat cheese, roasted red peppers, pesto all on a grilled bread
*Pan A La Plancha: Garlic bread, tomato and garlic rum with Manchego cheese and Serrano ham 
*Plato de Jamon y Queso: Serrano ham, sausages, cheese, fruit, marcona almonds
*Alcachofas a La Parilla: grilled artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, garlic, aioli.  (this was probably in my top favorites of the night.  Every part of it complimented each other leaving you wanting more and more)
*Ensalada de Pollo y Curry: curried chicken salad, grapes, mango chutney, red onion, banana bread, and organic greens. (this was an amazing dish.  I LOVE chx salad but never thought to put curry in it.  The mango chutney was to die for and really added a slight sweetness to the savory curry.  Top 3 of the night)
*Empanadas: onion, garlic and potato filled pastries, aioli, and habanero salsa. (I'm not all that partial to empanadas, however this was surprisingly good)
Cangrejo del Rio
*Cangrejo del Rio: wild caught crawfish, aise mustard cream, roasted red peppers, manchego serrano croquette.  (this was a delicious dish.  The mustard cream sauce was the perfect accompaniment for the light seafood)
*Sambas al Ajillo: sauteed shrimp in garlic olive oil with red pepper flakes.  (this was more or less just a glorified shrimp scampi.)
*Fritos de Arroz: bason, shrimp and saffron rice fritters with a pesto aioli (my favorite of the night.  I could eat this all day everyday)
*Pollo y Chorizo a la Plancha: grilled chicken and chorizo with a cumin aioli.
..."aioli" is a sauce that is made of olive oil, garlic, and egg whites that have been emulsified.  Other seasonings may be added to flavor and compliment the dish in which it is being served.

Overall, this was a fantastic experience and I will undoubtedly do it again!  Fabulous food, great service, and I couldn't ask for better company!  If ever you are in the Grand Rapids, MI area and you are searching for something different and you enjoy authentic Spanish cuisine, this is the place for you!

1 comment:

  1. That all sounds SO good! I love cheese and I love spicy foods, so I'm kinda jealous of you right now for going to this restaurant. Thanks for sharing, though!