|Cava Bodega Menu|
The menu feels a little intimidating at first, with small print covering both sides of an A3 sized card. However, after closer inspection we realised that it included both the food and a wide range of Spanish wines. Also included are a nice selection of Spanish Sherry and Irish craft beers and ciders. Despite its length the menu is divided into easy-to-navigate sections covering vegetarian, fish, meat and dessert tapas options. With relative ease we selected a number of dishes to kick off proceedings, knowing that we could always order more at any time during our meal. After discussing preferences with my dining companion, we selected an easy-to-drink Langa: Garnacha/Syrah (Calatayud, 2015) (€30 per bottle) full of soft red fruits. This wine, like many in Cava Bodega, is also available by the glass or a 500ml carafe.
There is one dish that I always order when I visit a tapas restaurant and in many ways it has become the culinary yardstick by which I judge the quality of these popular shared-plate meals. Unfortunately I have eaten a lot of mediocre Patatas Bravas in my time but the version in Cava Bodega (€5.50 per portion) with its spicy hit of smoked paprika and accompanying creamy sauce did not disappoint.
Portions are generous in Cava Bodega and at the outset our waiter had advised that five or six dishes would be more than adequate for two people but we decided to forge ahead and order a trio of savoury plates. The first of these - Scallops, Black Pudding, Cauliflower, Panceta Iberica, Pistachio (€14) comprised three fantastically plump scallops which had been perfectly pan-fried with a lovely caramelised crust and soft, sweet centres that tasted of the sea. They sat on a bed of creamy cauliflower purée. Meaty, iron-rich black pudding and a strip of salty Iberico ham completed the dish whilst a pistachio crumb and a cauliflower crisp provided textural contrast. Quite honestly, I would go back to Cava Bodega for this dish alone.
Our final savoury dish was the Moorish Chicken, Piquillo Sauce, Black Olive Soil(€9.50). Although my hunger was waning I found it impossible to resist the crispy-coated tender chicken with its accompanying piquillo pepper ‘ketchup’ and the black olive crumb which was used almost like a seasoning. This was an uncomplicated dish but deeply satisfying to eat.
Desserts offered include the classic almond Santiago Tart and Crema Catalana but we were immediately tempted by the Churros, Chocolate Sauce, Chocolate Ice-Cream, Honeycomb (€6 small/€12 large). Churros are deep-fried fritters which are a popular street food throughout Spain and Latin America. They are also commonly served for breakfast with cups of hot chocolate. Here the churros were presented along with a velvety-smooth chocolate ice-cream and a fabulous chocolate sauce flavoured with PX sherry to create a delightful dessert. Chunks of an excellent honeycomb completed this crowd-pleasing dish.
The final dish of the evening, Sorbet, Rosé Cava, Berries, Liquorice Meringue (€9) finished our meal with an elegant flourish and in many ways was, for me, with my sweet tooth, the dish of the evening. I absolutely loved the minimalism of this dessert comprising scoops of fruity sorbet and berries onto which dry rosé cava was poured. Shards of liquorice-laced meringue highlighted the natural sweetness of the berries and introduced an unexpected taste.
1 Middle Street
|Sorbet, Rosé Cava|