They say that good things come in threes and I now have three favorite tapas restaurants in Milwaukee.
I have been a fan of both La Merenda and Odd Duck for some time, and I have now added Espana Tapas House to the list of great food places that deserve regular and repeated visits.
We were a Espana last week in advance of a play and I was surprised by how good the food and service were. Pleasantly surprised.
The restaurant, on the corner of Wells and Plankinton, has a nice and non-intrusive dĂ©cor with a number of tables next to windows, which always makes for intriguing activity during dinner.
A meal of tapas, which are small plates of a variety of dishes, can be an adventure, if you are adventurous. The idea behind them is to try a little bit of many dishes and share them around your table.
We started the night off with Ko-Bat, a single skewer with charcoal broiled shrimp, pork, chicken, beef and lamb. The nicest thing about this dish is that each item on the skewer retained it's unique flavor. When broiling it is easy to make everything taste alike.
Also hitting the table was a dish called Gambas al Allio, jumbo shrimp sautĂ©ed in garlic, olive oil, chili flakes, lemon juice and fresh parsley. It was wonderful and with fresh, still warm, bread to sop up the sauce, it was a special treat.
Also on our menu were grilled asparagus and cold red potatoes with a homemade aioli.
The star of the night, however were dates stuffed with goat cheese and wrapped in Serrano ham and grilled under a broiler. I marveled at the dish and couldn't help but wonder how easy or difficult it would be to make it at home.
We had a waiter, Tony Aleniz, who who was very attentive without being intrusive and he kept the dishes coming without any long delays. He was also very knowledgeable in his explanation of dishes. He complimented us on our choices and I asked if he had ever warned people off any items. He assured me he had.
A tapas meal is a lot like what Mark Twain said about the weather. "If you don't like it, just wait a minute, it will change."
At most restaurants if you order a dish, but don't particularly like it, you're stuck. At a tapas restaurant wildly different flavors keep coming so you are never stuck with something you don't like.
After some early struggles, Espana Milwaukee has truly gotten its act together and has joined the elite of this city's small plate restaurants.
No Talkbacks for this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Dave Begel
Published July 26, 2016
Being an Uber driver in Milwaukee is a one-of-a-kind experience that lets Dave Begel meet some of the most interesting people, residents as well as visitors to the city. Find out where Begel took guests in the latest installment of Tales of the Road.
Published July 21, 2016
So the nightmare is true and Donald Trump actually may be president. The whole thing has made Dave Begel wonder about prominent conservatives in Wisconsin and whether they will support Trump. It turns out that they are split on the nomination.
Published July 19, 2016
Summer theater in Wisconsin usually means Spring Green or Door County. But there are several summer productions that look interesting and that range from the classical to the experimental, both indoors and under the stars of Milwaukee.
Published July 14, 2016
People say that America is more divided now than ever, but it was less than a lifetime ago when this country was torn apart by the quest for civil rights and the drive to end the war in Vietnam. Those times were full of violent demonstrations.
Published July 12, 2016
The Milwaukee Rep has announced a unique training program for teenage actors in the city, as part of the company's commitment to stimulating dialogue and creating engagement opportunities revolving around social issues facing the city.
Published July 8, 2016
They looked just like any other happy couple coming out of Summerfest when I picked them up at the staging area. But once they got into the car, the tension was obvious, and eventually, it boiled over.
Published July 5, 2016
All of the arts enable us to see things, especially in ourselves, we might otherwise miss. I have an idea, and it's something that could help brand Milwaukee better than any flag, slogan or video. Let's make Milwaukee the epicenter of the world for public art.
Published June 30, 2016
Now that the OSPP has exploded in mid-air like the Big Bang fireworks, the question is where do we go from here? The plan, which many saw as the right wing continuing to try and chip away at MPS, didn't have much of a chance of working.
Published June 30, 2016
Being an Uber driver in Milwaukee is a one-of-a-kind experience that lets Dave Begel meet some interesting people, residents and visitors to the city. Everybody has a story, and Tales of the Road will highlight some of those stories.
Published June 29, 2016
The city has agreed to cut a check for $968,331.75 after losing its lawsuit at trial and again in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals after the initial verdict. The amount covers both the damage award and attorney fees.