“Chee japa! Chee japa!”
For the longest time Lollo would say these words over and over again. As said in my About page, he had only a handful of words so whenever he said something consistently, we’d try and figure out what he was saying. Finally one day when we drove by Allen Street in Uptown and he excitedly cried out the same phrase “Chee japa, chee japa”. And finally the mystery was solved. He was of course referring to ‘Si Tapas’.
Si Tapas is by far one of the family favorites so I’m starting out with this Uptown neighborhood restaurant as my first review. Not only do the children think the food is excellent but our adult palates also find the sangria most agreeable. Best of all as a treat at the end of the meal, Pikelet and Lollo have the freedom to run around in the adjoining field while we adults sit outside sipping on our delicious sangria.
Tapa or ‘lid’ in Spanish originated as a practical way of keeping flies away from drinks. Bartenders would serve these snacks and pop the plate on top of the customers’ drink as a delicious lid. My instincts tell me it was also a great way to get your customers to sit longer, drink more and spend mas dinero!
At our dinner table, tapas plates are just the right size for the children and ordering lots of plates means their little palates are exposed to a myriad of flavors at one sitting. Lollo favors the Cordoniz a la Parilla (grilled quail) and Chuletas de Cordero a la Parilla (grilled lamb rib chops). These dishes are perfect finger food for nimble hands. Pikelet is partial to the fresh anchovies marinated in vinegar. The flavors are strong but he slurps them up, one plump white filet at a time.
Gambas al Ajillo (shrimp in garlic) are ordered in numbers of two and so are the Calamares Fritos con Semillas de Amapola (fried calamari). The shrimp swim in rich garlic olive oil and the calamaris come with a side of aioli, both are great for dipping in warm bread. When ordering Patatas Bravas, we opt for just aoili instead of the piquant tomato sauce. Lentejas con champinones is a great way to introduce lentils to their diet. They are served hot with mushrooms and a hint of anise and we usually ask for these without the chili flakes. The Montaditos plate is a crowd pleaser; three toppings of your choice on bite sized bread. Sobrasada (Mallorca style sausage) for Lollo, smoked salmon for Pikelet and sweet tomato marmalade with creamy goat cheese for moi.
For cold tapas, my itty bitty crew likes the tomato salad served with fresh crushed garlic and olive oil or the orange salad tossed with ribbons of carrot and fresh cut mint.
We’ve tried all the desserts from the homemade sorbets and ice cream to the Crema Catalana (creme brulee) with white chocolate shavings. The stand out is the sage pear poached in a Spanish cava and topped with a warm chocolate and tangy passionfruit sauce.
Well… gotta go… the kids have escaped out to the field and Beefcake and I need to enjoy the sangria while we can! Salud!
Till our next happy meal!
Itty Bitty Info:
- Food: Super yummy Spanish tapas using fresh ingredients.
- Ambience: Set in a cozy casa with a casual welcoming bohemian feel.
- Service: Attentive and so nice (and patient) with the kids.
- Kid Friendliness:
- Cost: Most of the tapas dishes are under $10
Itty Bitty Foodies Tip: Mon-Thur from 4pm to 7pm, check out the Happy Hour specials – $2 tapas plates & $14 sangria pitchers.
Parent Foodies Tip: An adjoining field outside the back patio lets the kids play while parents can sit back enjoy the extensive wine list featuring mainly Spanish wines, sherries & ports while watching their little ones.
For more information on hours, location and all that good stuff : go to Si Tapas