MOBILE USERS: m.isthmus.com
Connect with Isthmus on Twitter · Facebook · Flickr · Newsletters 
Sunday, July 13, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 66.0° F  Overcast
Collapse Photo Bar

Tapas Rias

Where are you eating and what do you think? What's opening, closing, succeeding, failing?

Tapas Rias

Postby NullDevice » Sat Jul 18, 2009 11:02 pm

On the strength of the Isthmus review, I went to Tapas Rias tonight.

They weren't wrong. It's pretty good. Definitely a repeater.

The bad: service was a little uneven. Our drinks took forever, our waitress seemed exceedingly shy (a problem if one has to deal with people all day), and our first order took a really long time. The bread was also kind of unimpressive. Place was very loud, too.

The good: The food. We had, in no particular order:
Albondigas Catalanas - good, chunky meatballs served with a wine sauce and pine nuts. I think they coulda been a little more heavily seasoned.
Chorizos y [some sausage that my brain has forgotten already]: WIN. Just...yum.
Snails: very tasty. Not as good as La Paella's used to be, but pretty damn tasty.
Ensalada Rusa: delicious. Garlicky, Tuna. Maybe could use a little more tuna.
Patatas Ali Oli: potatos, garlic, mayonaise. Not complicated. Satisfying.
Marinated mushrrooms: again, not complicated. Tasty.
Tilapia: very good. Fish not overcooked, sauce was very nice - a mix of what tasted like garlic, oil and white wine.
Serrano Ham: it's serrano ham.
Tres Quesos: three different cheeses. Not outstanding cheese, but hey, spanish cheeses.
Tenderloin Brochettes: didn't get to try this. Looked good.
Calamari a la plancha: grilled squid. A little olive oil, a little garlic, not too complicated. Very nice.

Desserts:
Flan: vanilla flan. Not too sweet.
Roasted pear: with the mint sauce, very delicious. Didn't need the white chocolate.
Pisitu: a puff pastry/ice cream/chocolate thing. Like a profiterole, kinda, but not really.

So in short, very tasty. And surprisingly not terribly expensive. Not cheap, but considering 4 of us ate well, with wine, for less than a C-note, it was a pretty decent deal.

In short: good.
NullDevice
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 736
Joined: Fri May 02, 2003 2:53 pm
Location: Madison, WI

Re: Tapas Rias

Postby wallrock » Mon Jul 20, 2009 11:17 am

Good to know - I've been meaning to bribe a few friends with free dinner in order to get a group together to try the place. It's within walking distance of me, but you'd think Middleton was a suburb of Superior the way some of my friends act.
wallrock
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 803
Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2008 11:11 am
Location: Middleton

Re: Tapas Rias

Postby BeatBox » Mon Jul 20, 2009 12:07 pm

Null, how was the wine list? Selection and price wise?
BeatBox
Senior Member
 
Posts: 30
Joined: Wed Jul 15, 2009 10:34 am

Re: Tapas Rias

Postby NullDevice » Mon Jul 20, 2009 3:21 pm

The wine selection was adequate. They had reds, whites, Spanish reds, and Spanish whites. It wasn't a stellar list, but it had a few good choices. I'm a fan of the big chewy Spanish reds, so a cheapish tempranillo did the trick.

They also had a few different sangrias, which I didn't sample, and some of the mixed drinks seemed quite popular.
NullDevice
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 736
Joined: Fri May 02, 2003 2:53 pm
Location: Madison, WI

Re: Tapas Rias

Postby BeatBox » Mon Jul 20, 2009 3:59 pm

I prefer a big hearty red as well. Sounds promising.

I'm always on the look out for a good wine list in town and I'm finding them few and far between these days. I don't need a huge list but just don't charge me $7 for yellowtail, you know?
BeatBox
Senior Member
 
Posts: 30
Joined: Wed Jul 15, 2009 10:34 am

Re: Tapas Rias

Postby AaronTheSnob » Thu Jul 23, 2009 12:11 pm

Sounds great. Will definitely give it a try. Too bad they couldn't have found a better and more appealing location. (And I don't mean Middleton; I mean that god-awful, run-down, pitiful strip mall. Yuck.)
AaronTheSnob
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 542
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2008 11:37 am

Re: Tapas Rias

Postby fennel » Thu Jul 23, 2009 12:21 pm

AaronTheSnob wrote:Sounds great. Will definitely give it a try. Too bad they couldn't have found a better and more appealing location. (And I don't mean Middleton; I mean that god-awful, run-down, pitiful strip mall. Yuck.)
That reminds me of this little scenario:
http://www.amazingsuperpowers.com/comic ... e-Seed.jpg
fennel
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 3107
Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2006 4:24 pm
Location: Inside the Green Zone, Madison

Re: Tapas Rias

Postby KarenC » Sun Jan 31, 2010 1:39 am

This place is wonderful! My favorite is the octopus, but their salads and salmon entree are really good as well.
Good tapas are the scallops and shrimp, as well as the ceviche. Good stuff!
KarenC
Member
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Jan 31, 2010 1:32 am

Re: Tapas Rias

Postby LargeMarge » Mon Feb 01, 2010 12:04 pm

My SO and I went there a couple of months ago. Our tapas were not memorable. I enjoyed my sangria. However, I know nothing about wine so please keep that in mind. We both loved the vegetarian paella. The dish is large enough for two people so it makes it very affordable. Next time we go there, we will probably just get the paella.
LargeMarge
Forum Addict
 
Posts: 210
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 3:57 pm
Location: Madison-on the Isthmus

Re: Tapas Rias

Postby Thusnelda » Mon Feb 01, 2010 12:09 pm

We went there last year for a birthday, largely on ND's rec up there, and enjoyed it immensely. We had about 8 or 9 people, and I'm not sure that they were used to dealing with so many (the bill took a little while to sort out), but other than that the service was friendly and the food was good. We all shared a bunch of tapas, and it was a good chance for us to try some new stuff -- I'd never had escargot, but now I can check that off my list.

Overall, a very positive experience, one that I'd certainly recommend over, say, The Melting Pot. Way cheaper, too.
Thusnelda
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 1105
Joined: Thu Mar 20, 2003 10:30 am

Re: Tapas Rias

Postby Henry Vilas » Mon Feb 01, 2010 3:21 pm

I love eating snails. How are they prepared?
Henry Vilas
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 19528
Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2002 8:57 pm
Location: Name sez it all

Re: Tapas Rias

Postby Broadsheet » Wed Feb 03, 2010 3:48 pm

Remember Mike Royko's line? "I used to like French restaurants until I found a snail in my escargots."
Broadsheet
Forum Addict
 
Posts: 230
Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2005 6:43 pm
Location: Madison east side

Re: Tapas Rias

Postby Henry Vilas » Wed Feb 03, 2010 4:44 pm

Mine was actually a serious question. My favorite way is the classic one, baked/broiled in a ceramic escargot dish with drawn butter, garlic and bread crumbs. But sometimes they come in a cassarole. I just want to avoid them if they are cooked in a tomato sauce as tomatoes and I don't get along.
Henry Vilas
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 19528
Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2002 8:57 pm
Location: Name sez it all

Tapas Rias. shameless plug

Postby kulgar » Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:06 pm

Finally tried Tapas Rias. It really is the back of beyond and an awful location and the decor is more open space than intimate, but the food is very good. I'm not an expert on tapas but the seafood was all fresh, the hot dishes delivered hot and the service very good. The winelist is workable, not all New World fruit bombs like Bonfyre but a combination of New World and enough Spanish to satisfy everyone. And $6.50 or $7/glass is now a deal in Madison (or surroundings).

It's not the upscale see and be seen, I can drop $10 on a martini crowd, of Eno Vino, but the food is better and the wine list nearly as good. And the prices are about 75% of Eno Vino which makes the price/value equation very, very good.

Once you are inside, the location isn't a big deal and the prices probably reflect the lower rent. Kickshaw had a great space but the rent and consequent prices killed them....
kulgar
Forum Addict
 
Posts: 141
Joined: Thu May 10, 2007 6:18 am
Location: wherever I am is the location


Return to Restaurant News & Reviews

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

moviesmusiceats
Select a Movie
Select a Theater


FacebookcommentsViewedForum
  ISTHMUS FLICKR

Promotions Contact us Privacy Policy Jobs Newsletters RSS
Collapse Photo Bar