Monday, April 2, 2012

My first visit to a Tapas Bar

Other than ice cream and an occasional steak, I could live on appetizers and hors d'oeurve.  Little bites of exotic or everyday food just seems to be the best; snacking all day and feeling like each small bite is a sample of better things to come.  Going to a Tapas Bar just seemed like a natural progression.  What would be better than an entire restaurant filled with bite sized samples of great food?  Add to that a great wine list, and lots of garlic and olives from Spain and I pictured a night of heaven.

Last Thursday, I finally got to one.  365 Bistro Tapas Bar and Lounge is located right off route 287 in Piscataway, NJ.  I think it used to be a run down Chinese buffet, but boy have they improved the look.  It is very upscale both inside and out.  The bar stools are cushioned and the decor is warm and welcoming.  There is a large display of the wines from their impressive wine list.  I thought I had hit the jackpot.

We ordered two appetizers to share and a bottle of my favorite red wine Rosenblum Zinfandel.  First we tried the Kobe Beef Chili with Corn Bread and Pork Rib in Adobo Sauce.  The chili was tasty; full of beef and beans and not spicy at all.  The serving was small, but adequate.  The ribs were tender, but not as flavorful as we had hoped and in spite of the name there wasn't even a hint of heat.  During a great night of music we ordered another duo of appetizers:  Pan Con Camarones – Shrimp, Serrano and Romesco was my choice and my hubby chose and old fashioned New England Clam Chowder.  The chowder was an odd item on a Spanish Tapas menu, but he thought it was one of the best.  Full of clams that were very tender and lots of veggies.  I thought the Pan Con Camarones was the best thing I had all night.  Again, in spite of the name and listing of Serrano, it wasn't spicy at all.  But, it was full of flavor and the Romesco sauce was awesome!!  Later in the evening hubby again chose an untypical Tapas item of Chicken Fingers with Frittes. I am very picky about my French fried potatoes (frittes), but these were crispy and certainly among the best I have ever had.  They have an entire menu of Frittes and if we ever get there again, I will try a few of the more exotic varieties.

All in all, it was a nice evening.  We met some friendly people, both employees and customers.  The chef was friendly and accessible.  Our only complaint was the prices.  It seemed a bit over priced for the quantity of food that was provided.  

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