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Tasca Brava

May 10, 2009

Tasca Brava

607 Glenwood Ave

Raleigh, NC

(919) 828-0840

http://www.tascabrava.com/

I went to Tasca Brava with a friend for a drink and to try some American tapas. The converted restaurant was once just another older house on Glenwood. An old closet has been fitted with wine racks to store the proprietors lovingly selected Spanish wines. The dining areas are decorated with care. The chair seats are upholstered in a blue velvet print; above the doorways are decorated with flower pots arranged on wrought iron holders, reminiscent of Madrid side streets.


Ironic to the picture perfect decor otherwise, the menus were the nice, large, faux-leather covered type frequently used, however, on the front a Tasca Brava logo had been glued to partially cover the original logo of Bistro 607 (the restaurant that existed in the location prior to Tasca Brava).

While my friend and I were there for tapas with the idea of a little something to nibble on while enjoying a drink, the “tapas” at Tasca Brava (including things like pan roasted asparagus with olives, octopus & goat cheese mashed potatoes, wild boar sausage cooked in a wine) seemed more like side dishes that would be featured on the side of a great meal rather than the pinchos that I experienced when I was in Spain.

With my friend being a cheese lover, and myself wanting Serano Ham, we ordered the $16 “Spanish Sampler” plate. It came with some chorizo, a few thin and moist slices of Serrano ham, Marcona almonds, and three different Spanish cheeses: one goat, one cow and one sheeps. The jamon & chorizo were of the highest quality. Sometimes Serrano ham can be sliced thick and the gamey-ness can overwhelm, the paper thin slices at Tasca Brava were succulent and delightful with the slight game after-taste. The chorizo was very tasty, full of smokey paprika and heat from other peppers. The olives were also very well done, with several different varieties, each with a distinctive taste in a little dish. The $2 roll I ate though was a disappointment, being dense and bland, the accompanying garlic butter was a nice touch, but the roll did not improve much with its addition.

I had the house made sangria ($6/glass). The chilled wine drink was luscious and thick and almost creamy from the fruit juice emulsion with the wine. Very Delicious!

All in all, I give Tasca Brava a B+ . While it is not budget friendly, the food is extremely well done with obvious care and pride.

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