The first time I went to Barcelona, I was in my early twenties and road tripping around Spain with my friend Ruth Anne, Jake and Lisa. I was a really picky eater at that phase in my life and subsisted mostly on grilled shrimp and baguettes with Nutella. Happily, my palate has grown significantly since then and I’ve had opportunities to go back and sample all the tapas and pinxtos I missed the first time around.
South Bend has never had a proper Spanish restaurant… until now. Some friends and I headed to try out DTSB’s newest restaurant—Tapastrie—this past weekend. It is awesome. It may be my new favorite restaurant downtown. I am certainly plotting my next opportunity to go back.
Why love Tapastrie (besides the great pun in the name)? They have an incredible spread of hot and cold tapa options including the classics—jamon iberico (acorn-fed Iberian ham), paella with fresh mussels and shrimp, beautifully bright olives, all sorts of mediterranean spreads. (And lots of mediterranean fusion.) They have grilled shrimp, so you can bring your picky friends. They also have a few specialties, like the chorizo wrapped stuffed dates. We ordered one plate of these. Then two. Then three. I could’ve eaten a dozen. The lamb kebabs were delicious. Bacalao cakes fried to crispy perfection. If I only had one menu suggestion it is that they adopt a version of the Spanish classic—pan con tomate (toast bread with raw garlic and smashed tomato). Our table was desperately bread hungry and went through three servings of pita.
Tapastrie has two options for pairing your tapas with wines: you can order bottles for the table, or you can serve yourself using a card-dispenser system which was a bit confusing and then dangerous. Still the latter is great, especially if you’d like to design your own flight. The cocktails are as good as anywhere in the region, and we agreed that their old fashioned was the best we’d had.
Tapastrie is 21 and up, as you might imagine given the extensive serve yourself wine situation. So leave the kids at home. It is a bit pricey, but worth every Euro… er dollar.