Cafe Tapeo - North Park Slope
My wife and I went to Cafe Tapeo on Saturday evening with two friends at about 9PM. It took about 5 minutes for a table to be prepped for us. Space is tight and cozy which is nice for a cool fall evening. We never felt like the tables next to us were intruding upon our meal.
Drinks: we're basically beer geeks and were excited to see a few well chosen brews. Maredsous 8 - strong dark Belgian Abbey Ale, Ommegang Wit - Hoegaarden style white beer, Lagunitas Pils and one more that I forgot. Overall, a good range that pairs well with most foods. According to my friend, the wine list was good and I had a glass of tempranillo (I think) that he recommended. Tasty, but I preferred the Maredsous.
The food was fantastic! We're going back ASAP in case something changes. Here's what we had, all upsized for four people:
Cheese plate - good selection, missing a bleu though; meat filled beggars purses - nice hearty flavors; brown ale braised baby backs - falling apart tender, could've used a little more seasoning but that's being really picky; carpaccio - was tasty, but I'm not a huge fan of carpaccio in general; scallops - crown jewel of the evening, both the fois and chorizo versions were brilliant; pierogies - we had the classics and they were very tasty (my friend who is full-on Polish agreed).
Service was helpful and friendly. Total meal was about $75 a couple which I thought was very reasonable. We didn't leave totally stuffed because we had further drinking to do, but left with happy memories and full bellies. Go now.
Glad to see you enjoyed it as much as I did. I noticed a nice selection of beers there as well, but didn't have the opportunity to sample any.
I am really surprised that this place hasn't gotten more notice on the boards. I thought the food was delicious (loved the scallops too), and the whole thing just really fun. And too think, before I randomly walked by it, I never even knew it was there!
I live in the neighborhood so I was excited that something different was opening up on 5th Avenue. Well, the good: the atmosphere is really cozy with outdoors seating a plenty. The decor inside is warm, and yes, the music is a bit loud. Great wine and beer list.
The bad: I paid $10 for A RIB. Yes, A RIB- just one. I couldn't believe it. The food is exorbitantly expensive. It's probably b/c the demographic of the neighborhood is changing, but I felt totally ripped of by the prices. And, tapas are small dishes but not miniscule dishes. We also ordered the mushroom and crab tapas. Same thing, tiny tiny portions and crazy pricey. And, sadly, it was not outstanding in the taste dept.
Why go: only to drink. Don't eat here. I went back this week, but only for glasses of wine. And I noticed the price of the ribs went down to $8. Go figure. Still not worth ONE RIB!
The SO and I went here tonight (never noticed it before). I thought it was excellent. They seem to be responsive to customer complaints about portion size as they now offer to upsize the portions by about 60% for an additional $3.
Not sure how much to order for the two of us, we asked the waiter, Jonathan, who was very friendly. He advised 4 plates, but we opted for 5 because everything sounded so good and we were very hungry.
We ordered, in order of eating:
1. BBQ Shrimp wrapped in applewood smoked bacon -- upsized, we got 5 nice sized shrimp. Very yummy, smoky bacony flavor, with a very good bbq sauce and mangos.
2. Croque Monsieur - there were like ham and cheese sandwiches on briochie with bechamel sauce. Upsized, we got 3 rather large (for tapas) sandwiches. They were creamy, gooey and very tasty.
3. Seared Scallops -- upsized we got 4 scallops -- two topped with chorizo and fig relish, two topped with foie gras and bacon and a creamy sauce -- both finished with a balsamic vinegar reduction. The two flavors of the toppings played off one another very well -- the spicy-sweet of the chorizo and figs were cut nicely by the richness of the foie gras.
4. The Beer Braised Ribs -- upsized we got three or four bones, which had quite a lot of meet on them -- falling off the bone tender. Very good.
5. Chicken something or other (forget the name) -- these were cold chopped chicken with a lime sauce and spicy peppers wrapped in a lettuce leaf -- upsized, 4 pieces. These had a hidden spice under the creamy lime sauce that was actually quite powerful. A good finish, because had it come earlier, the spice may have interfered with some of the other dishes.
Along with it we had a Reisling Spatlese.
All told, we spent about $105 for all the dishes and the wine, and we left COMPLETELY stuffed. We really could have done with just 4 dishes.
The food was wonderful, the service leisurely but very friendly, and really for how much we ate, the price not at all out of line with the rest of the neighborhood. And, because of the variety of dishes, it was really fun.
Near the end, the chef (I don't recall his name unfortunately) came out and started chatting with us. He was very excited about the place and the food. It was infectious.
Oh -- and the space is very lovely -- has a great earthy/country feel. And apparently, the wood at the bar comes from one of the original skyscrapers in NYC, adding a sense of history to the place.
I definitely recommend. I can't wait to go back with a group of people and share a leisurely evening there!
re: chow cow
Went last night. It's not really tapas-y tapas--most of the "greatest hits" you think of when you think of tapas aren't represented. The food was pretty good, maybe slightly pricey for Brooklyn. The service was nice but a little on the scattered side. I have to say the acoustics are terrible--really loud, as in your ears are ringing after dinner like you've been to a concert. Something in the combination of all those dings left me feeling slightly unsatisfied. It's been checked off the "to try" list but not been added to the "must return" list.