Monday, August 1, 2011


I love that anytime you tell someone not in the "know" about a "Tapas" restaurant they automatically say, "Topless Restaurant"? I giggle...and with the globalization of everything less and less people have this reaction.

Small plates...or as far as I am concerned, snacks with drinks. Done well, Tapas are the perfect bar snack as you plow through different wines. If the portions are correct, you can imbibe with little consequence. Done poorly, you drank more than you ate. Call the cab, don't rochambeau it, trust me.

Our latest tapas experience was with the wonderfully talented Michael Mooreland. By day he plays around as the C.F.O. of some muckity muck company. By night and by fun, he cooks, drinks, and enjoys the finer hunting, traveling...he's a man after my own heart, a fellow brother in the renaissance of what life's meaning truly is.

We had the pleasure of winning a night with Michael and his partner Michael at their residence in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. Fashionably late we arrived at the door greeted by their sweet foxhound Kennedy. Michael was dressed in his chef's whites and invited us to sit along the kitchen island. It was a big beautiful kitchen, airy, spacious, yet well decorated and homey. Nothing was too big, your comrades were well within sharing distance and the wine bottles easily could exchange hands without getting up and walking across the table.

Michael introduced his aim that he planned tapas for two reasons. Reason number one, my mother-in-law requested it. More importantly, reason two, it was intimate, fun, and interactive. The mise en place was done thank goodness. Basically, at his request, we too got to put on aprons and fold little dish towels at our waist, and stuff empanadas, jalepenos, or portabello mushrooms (Meghan kept her apron on and ate, I think she was happy just to wear an apron and be involved).

The evening started with cold succulent sherry, toasted and well seasoned marcona almonds with Manchego and another Cow's Milk cheese. It again progressed while our glasses kept being filled and we digressed. Items on the menu were simple things like:

Carmelized Onion Biscuits

Bacon, Cream Cheese, and Onion Stuffed Jalepeno Poppers

Gambas al Ajillo (Shrimp with Garlic and Paprika)

Stuff Portabello Mushrooms with Onions and Chorizo

Scallop Ceviche


Roasted Pepper and White Bean Dip

The list probably goes on...and it was done amazingly as bottle after bottle of easy drinking Spanish wine evaporated into the recycle bin. We tried a really great 10 dollar Verdejo and an equally wallet friendly Rose made from Garnacha.

Sweet Kennedy sensing our jubilent mood went from lap to lap as his height was perfect for laying his sweet head on your trousers, looked up, and hoped for a bite. Michael and Michael joined in the fun and we all ate and imbibed with a relaxed sense that recapitulates why it is why I write about food. It's the people, it's the story, it's the enjoyment. Tonight, tapas were done right.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds amazing. And the food was probably better than what we received at a Tapas restaurant in Spain -- but it was free with the drinks, so we couldn't complain. Spanish wine? Yes, please. Spanish food? Meh...