Monday, October 26, 2009

New experience - Tapas Bar and a show

October 21, 2009
Our plans tonight are dinner at Orillas Tapas Bar and Restaurant and a show at the Delaware Theatre Company.

Eating at a Tapas Bar is a first for all of us Divas. We were not sure of what to expect. ... a Tapas Bar.
Humm. Well, not to keep you in suspense...The DeDiningDivas enjoyed Orillas tremendously and highly recommend it. Be sure to bring friends and plan on staying for awhile. The atmosphere is warm, burgundy, dark brown and black accents. Has a nice Spanish flare ever so appropriate and inviting. Our first impressions were that the acoustics were distracting however; as the night continued we did not seem to have any trouble hearing the waitress or one another. Expect to have fun trying bits and bites of just about anything and everything. Don't be afraid to try something different. We learned that at a tapas bar you order as you go. You are not expected to put your whole order in at once. So we started with...

Drinks, of course, they had varieties of sangria's. Each of us had a different type of sangria. One citrus, one white and one herbal sangria made with Cava, the Spanish sparkling wine, plus one margarita. All good and satisfying.

We started off with...

Crispy calamari with Caribbean cocktail sauce
The calamari was wonderfully breaded and fried to perfection. Well received by all. The cocktail sauce made with horseradish and slightly sweet, went well with the dish. This was a hit with everyone. We would have ordered seconds but wanted to try so many of the other items

Albondingas de Bacalao
Salt Cod fritters with pesto
There were three of these and a reasonably decent size for an appetizer. For one Diva, she was quite surprised that it was not salty at all and found it quite pleasant. This dish was good but not a stand out with the group.

Pan Con Tomate
Toasted slices of rustic bread brushed with roasted garlic and fresh tomatoes with Manchego cheese
The toast was very nice with the just the right blend of tomatoes and garlic. Of course, with food comes discussion, there were three pieces of toast, not small mind you, but we felt that a tapas bar food is shared with friends. Usually friends come in pairs or more and that perhaps it would make more sense having an even number of pieces of each tapas. The pieces do not need to be as large as they were, but in even numbers would be appreciated.

Next came...

Chorizo al vino
Chorizo in red wine
Not too spicy, wonderful sauce and flavor, the chorizo seemed a little dry, however, very tasty. We all felt that the mustard sauce did not add anything to the dish. Additional research found that the Spanish chorizo is, in fact, dried, where as the mexican chorizo is not.

Alcochofas con Jamon
Artichokes sautéed with Serrano ham
An OK dish…nicely proportioned with ham and plenty of artichokes. Some of us liked it; others thought it was a bit vinegary. Seems this was a matter of taste.

Next was a dish our waitress recommended... this one was a hit with everyone.

Spinach a la Catalano
Sautéed spinach, pine nuts, raisins and apples
This was the hit of the night. Don't pass this one up. It was wonderful. Just the right blend of bitter, salty and sweet. Will order double of this the next time!

No, we are not full yet... but while we were waiting we talked about... what else, food... Ever hear of white Gazpacho? made with almonds? One of the Divas remembered it from her travels to Portugal. Thought all gazpacho was made with a tomato base... seems this is not the case. We are going to have to look up a recipe for this when we get home. came...

Pulpo con Papas
Marinated octopus with fingerling potatoes
All of us have eaten octopus and like it, but were a little surprised how this was served. It was baby octopus obvious by the tentacles with an olive marinade that went quite well with it. The texture was solid and seemed a little tough. The potatoes were blue fingerlings and were good but nothing special. Not a favorite with the group. But would not give it a thumbs down. Just was not what we expected.

Gambas al Ajillo

Shrimp sautéed with garlic and piquillo peppers
This dish was very salty; shrimp was cooked to perfection and seemed to be brined. Again, there were
only three pieces making it a chore to have to divide.

Albondigas a la Barcelonesa
Meatballs with peppers, roasted onions and tomatoes
They must have been listening to our conversation..... there were FOUR meatballs! These were very good with an interesting blend of spices. Bread for dipping and cleaning up the sauce would have been nice.

It is not difficult to linger over tapas for two hours as we did. It would not have been difficult to stay a few more hours and continue to eat as the Spaniards do, well into the late evening enjoying the company of good friends.

Off we go to The Delaware Theater Company, to see 'Fire on the Bayou'. Fun, familiar and a remembrance of what happened in New Orleans in 2005. Wonderful upbeat music, colorful and entertaining. It made you smile, get up and dance and sway to the music, peppered with the chronology of what was happening in New Orleans in 2005. It did bring back the memory of the reports that you heard in the news when Katrina hit New Orleans and it was presented to the audience in first person. Well written, choreographed and sung. Highly recommended for those who like jazz and like to be moved by the music. If you haven't seen this one you should. It will be playing at the Delaware Theater Company until November 1.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Dinner at Orillas, followed by the Theatre

The four Diva's had dinner together Wednesday October 21st at Orilla's Tapas Bar Restaurant. It's on lower Market St in Wilmington. Then we went to see Fire on the Bayou.
We liked Orillas’s a lot. The dishes provoked questions among us about Spanish and Portuguese foods. Fire on the Bayou at Delaware Theatre Company until Nov. 1, was a great treat. Tickets are still available. Go if you like jazz, singing and dancing with a storyline. The audience hollered and clapped through much of it.
Details and discussion will follow. We will post a formal review, with our consensus shortly.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Dinner at Orilla's; A play at the DE Theater Co.

Tomorrow, the Divas will be going out for our second dinner.  We will be eating at Orilla's Tapas Bar & Restaurant in Wilmington, then going to the Delaware Theater Company to see "Fire on the Bayou".  We are really looking forward to this evening out!

On a personal note, I bid a loving goodbye to Sheba, "the luckiest dog in Delaware", who has gone to join her other loved ones in a better place.