Solera is an old favorite of Tom and mine. We have had opportunity to dine here on a number of occasions. We even celebrated Tom’s 40th birthday with friends and family in one of their party rooms back in May. The staff at this fun and funky Spanish Tapas Restaurant is the best and all of our needs were taken care of. The party was a great success and we would recommend it to anyone looking for a great venue.
On Tuesday, we returned as a dining couple, to enjoy a pre-theater meal. We saw the wonderful play Twelve Angry Men, with Richard Thomas and George Wendt. I had to keep Tom from yelling out “Norm” when Mr. Wendt came on stage, and I really wanted to say good-night to John-Boy, but I behaved. The play was great and all the actors really made the characters come to life. I have never seen the movie with Henry Fonda, but I will rent it now. It is a powerful piece of drama. But, I digress…
We were seated in one of the back rooms of the restaurant after what was somewhat of a long and rude wait, while the hostess was on the phone booking a reservation. Being that we had a reservation, I think it was slightly wrong to keep us waiting over five minutes before someone else came to help us, especially when we were the only people up front. Oh, well, nothing that a great glass of Spanish wine can’t make right. Solera has an all Spanish wine list and great wine by the glass for as low as 5 or 6 dollars a pour. Their $6.00 Rojai is a real gem.
The menu consists of small plates of Tapas. We generally pick 3 or 4 each and share. The menu is arranged in three sections: Seasonal, Nuevas, and Tradicional.
My picks were Grilled Lamb Tenderlion with Honey Alioli and Harissa, Fried Calamari with Hot Peppers and Tomato Alioli, Grilled Asparagus with Lomo and Mahon, and Piquilla Peppers Stuffed with Herbed Goat’s Milk Cheese. One of my favorites, goat cheese fritters, is no longer on the menu. I was very sad about this, but gave other goat cheese dishes a try.
The lamb was very good and done very nicely. It was accompanied by an over spiced grilled egg plant, that I didn’t enjoy, but I didn’t order it for the eggplant. The calamari was great, not too rubbery and I loved the dipping sauce. I have always liked the grilled asparagus, and it was good, although some of the spears were very charred, and I didn’t eat them. The peppers stuffed with goat cheese came at the end and was too rich for more than just a taste. They should have been brought out before the heavier lamb.
Tom ordered The Roasted Duck with Sherry Glazed Figs and Goat’s Milk Cheese, Chorizo and Hot Green Peppers with Sidra, Ham and Cheese Croquetas, and Shrimp “a la Plancha” in Sherry Sauce with Serrano Ham.
The Ham and Cheese Croquets have always been one of our favorites, and they were as good as ever. I did not try the Chorizo and Hot Greeen Peppers, but Tom liked them. Be warned: Tom, who can eat anything, thought they were hot, so to a normal person, I would stress caution. The shrimp comes still dressed in it’s all together, including the eyes. I don’t have a problem with pulling apart the little bugger, but when they are prepared in the shell, it is a little too fishy for my taste. The highlight of the tasting was the Duck. The leg and thigh of the duck is roasted and served on a bed of wilted spinich with sherry figs and goat cheese. This was incrediable. Duck, in general, is very greasy and very rich, but so good. The goat cheese paired with it wonderfully.
Solera is where I always recommend people go if they are looking for fun food and a great atmosphere. It is great fun trying new things and being a bit adventurous. The more items you try, the pricier your night gets, but they do have some great late night bar specials. If you only have a few minutes, they have great service in the bar area and you can give one or two items a taste.
Our service was very good, except for a couple of forgotten plates. We had to remind our server about our last dish and the wait between dishes was long towards the end. We ran out of time for the dessert sampler, but we probably didn’t need it anyway. I would give our visit 3.5 stars on this trip, and as high as 4 on previous visits. We will return and let it earn it’s half star back.