Zaragoza, Eat – Explore – Enjoy
A couple of week’s ago I was gifted a Zomato voucher to spend at Zaragoza Restaurant who specialise in Spanish Tapas … which I was very grateful for – No better gift for this food loving foodie!
It had come at the perfect time as Patrick, Smith and I were to spend the afternoon in Dublin City with our evening booked for the Macnas Procession as part of the Bram Stoker Festival.
We didn’t get off to a great start with our visit to Zaragoza, I have to admit. First I forgot the voucher. Then we were late for our reservation, very late. I did phone to say we wouldn’t be on time and was happily told not to worry, but you know that feeling when you’re late and you don’t want to be … Anyway, add to these the fact the weather was grey and miserable and you’ve got yourself a woman who wanted to rewind the clock a few hours to start again … but my feelings of ‘meh’ didn’t last long and it was actually our visit to Zaragoza that helped with that.
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From the moment we stepped into the restaurant, the dampness from outside seemed a memory away. The restaurant is bright, airy and bigger than I had expected, with its two tiered dining areas, cocktail & bar area and private dining room. Although there is enough space for more tables and seating, I love the fact that they haven’t overloaded the floor. This means you should never feel like you’re dining with a stranger, and if like us you have an infant in tow, there should be plenty of room for a high chair. The aforementioned cocktail bar area looks like the perfect area to reserve if you are out with friends for a tipple and tapas. The private dining room is ideal for a party. Back onto the open plan dining area and there’s a wall to the kitchen that’s glass so you can see some of the hustle and bustle in the kitchen, a feature I know many people enjoy to observe. There is a dining area outside where you can watch the world go by and soak up some rays of shine, weather permitting. Finally the place is sparkling clean and fresh
We were greeted warmly by Diana, who observing that we had a pram (with a child in it) showed us to our table, one that allowed for Smith’s pram to be kept near and gave us plenty of room for a high chair. It was a rainy weekday afternoon so the restaurant wasn’t full but was definitely kept going with couples and families who made up their clientele. It was the perfect ambience for us as Smith was with us. With the evening brings a much more livelier atmosphere … one that I will return to experience at a later date.
The menu we ordered from was the Lunch Menu which is normally available Tuesday – Sunday from 12 noon to 3pm. The Lunch Menu offers two tapas, one side order, a still or sparkling water and a tea or coffee for €14.95. There is a choice of twelve different tapas and four different side orders on this menu. There are also Lunch Specials available that range in price from €12.90 – €15.95 per meal. We chose the Lunch Menu for €14.95.
For our tapas we chose:
Cured Smoked Salmon Toast, light lobster mayo & black caviar. This was Patrick’s favourite tapa. The toast was crispy and the combination plus the ratio of the different ingredients of smoked salmon, lobster mayo and caviar of this tapa was both easy on the eye and on the palette. We were surprised with how quickly they ‘disappeared’ from the plate.
Tiger Prawns with garlic & chilli in olive oil. There is no doubt that I have ordered this dish when dining out more than any other dish, ever. It’s my favourite tapas. I have to say that Zaragoza did deliver on the prawns which were big and cooked to perfection however I was left a little wanting on the kick from the chilli but that’s my personal preference. I happily soaked up the chilli olive oil with the bread that was served.
Spicy Chorizo, sweet peppers in tomato sauce. There was a generous serving for us to enjoy and the chorizo was jam packed into the dish. Although I’m a fan of spicy chorizo, this was my least favourite dish but with saying that it was still tasty and devoured like all the other tapas we ordered.
Spiced Beef & Pork Meatballs, tomato & garlic sauce. These were really tasty and the portion size was quite generous. The tomato and garlic sauce was so creamy and we loved soaking it up with the crusty bread.
We also ordered the Calamares Fritos (floured crispy calamari) as an extra because the table next to us ordered it and they looked delicious. We weren’t disappointed and they were tasty. The light lobster mayonnaise that accompanied them was moreish.
For our sides we chose:
Patatas Bravas – Homemade fried potatoes in spicy tomato sauce. These were crispy on the outside and very clean-looking so we knew the oil used to fry them was fresh. The sauce was delicious.
Green beans in garlic butter. These were a recommendation and I loved them. The added garlic butter is an ingredient I’m going to use when cooking green beans at home. Yum.
For drinks Patrick enjoyed a glass of Sauvignon Blanc and I enjoyed a glass of Rioja. The drinks menu is very well laid out and as there is a full bar in the restaurant it caters for every taste, from beers and spirits to cava’s, champagne and fine wines. I really like the way that they have the wines grouped together by taste.
For dessert we were treated to a dessert tasting platter that included a palate cleanser of mango sorbet, a bowl of fresh strawberries, a ridiculously delicious chocolate fondant cake, and gorgeous chocolate cased raspberry delights. I ordered my usual espresso.
The food at Zaragoza was tasty and the lunch menu was excellent value. The service was efficient. The Zaragoza team were welcoming and very friendly, especially to Smith who practiced his adorable wave to each of them. I look forward to returning with Patrick and Smith some family day out. I also look forward to experiencing Zaragoza some night with Patrick, a date night.
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