Chef's Blog

September 17, 2013

Tapas , Tapas, Tapas!!!

from Chef Thomas Andresakes

Tapas restaurants and menus have been exploding all over the country lately, so I decided to visit a couple in my own backyard. I ranged from high-end restaurants such as Opa! and Jose Garces’ Amada in Philadelphia, to a more down scale, surfer-vibe restaurant called Surf Taco right here in Toms River, NJ. I saw that tapas doesn’t just describe Latin Cuisine any more. I found “small plates” in Greek, American and Italian restaurants as well. Items ranged from small fish tacos with a poblano aioli served in a plastic basket lined with parchment paper, to Feta Steak Fries, Grilled Octopus, Mini Crab Cakes with Red Pepper Pesto, and Crab Stuffed Piquillo Peppers baked in a clay dish. Each place was unique and had its own flare to it, which made each experience an adventure. What was common among all the restaurants was that it seemed like the Tapas brought fun into food. There was nothing pretentious about it. There were big, bold flavors incorporated in so many ways, representing so many international cuisines, with moderate to low prices, that they allowed everyone to enjoy many dishes. Tapas, Tapas, Tapas!!!

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