Went to the upstairs Terrace Tapas Bar for an impromptu supper. Tucked away around the back of the long-established Market Place Restaurant, the room is a newly converted barn/workspace, well lit and rustic, and there's a big covered terrace outside for warmer days.
Tapas menu is short but features some old favourites - spicy chorizo stew, a fluffy-light and tasty tortilla served in an individual pan, prawns (either battered or in garlic chilli oil), calamares in a light tempura (made with soda water, the chef said), appetising torrados (a bit like bruschetta) with serrano ham and manchego. Only let-down was the bread, which really needs to rise above the bland white factory-baked sliced mini-baguette that was served - fortunately as a complimentary accompaniment rather than a menu item. There are two good artisan bakeries nearby, and a chunky mediterranean/rustic bread would have been a nice touch. And if I'm being really picky, I'd have to say the mayo squirted on to the spicy, tomatoey patatas bravas was a bit odd - haven't seen that elsewhere!
Prices are generous - special offer £16.95 for six dishes plus chips, a small green salad and bread, with (English-style) desserts priced at pub grub levels. Drinks are very fairly priced (£3.95 for a 250ml glass of very drinkable house wine, £3.30 for a beer). There are lots of other non-Spanish menu choices - panini, jacket potatoes, burgers, baguettes, sandwiches and even scones/cakes - so the place is really more of an all-day cafe than a full-on tapas bar. Then again, there probably isn't the demand for a purely Spanish offering in a small Derbyshire village, and the owners and chef are English and well attuned to their local clientele's tastes.
Taken as an Anglo-Spanish all-rounder (emphasis on the Anglo-), I can't fault this place. Very good value, nice room, pleasant people running it. As somewhere selling itself as a tapas bar, it has the potential to raise its game. Perhaps a larger range of tapas (maybe something using Spanish staples like chickpeas, white beans, stuffed peppers or tomatoes for vegetarians; albondigas, croquetas, flatbreads, mini-paella?)... plus a couple of inexpensive well-chosen Spanish wines (a good tempranillo or garnacha for meat-heads, a crisp white like an albariño to go with the seafood and veggie choices, and maybe a cava for special occasions)... some Spanish-style desserts (churros, crema catalana, orange or almond cake)... and better bread!
We'll definitely eat here again; and if the Spanish fare was wider-ranging but executed with the same flair and care as what we ate enthusiastically, we'd happily pay more to eat here again. Two of us paid under £40 for tapas, desserts and plenty to drink - a real bargain for diners but perhaps an indication that the establishment is under-selling itself slightly.
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