Tapas Las Ramblas earns its keep at its prime locale off Clark and Carmen in the heart of Andersonville. The first thing to entice your senses is the vibrant decor of bright, swirling colors along the walls and bright, glowing lanterns that hang like orbs from the ceiling.
The bar at the front is always filled with people drinking their sangria, martinis and vino. Tapas Las Ramblas has a fabulous drink menu — including sangria ($6 a glass or $25 for a liter), mojitos ($7) and martinis (all $8-$9). The wine list ranges from $6-12 a glass and $24-59 a bottle, and beer is $3.50-$6.
After you whet your appetite with an aperitif, you can feast your eyes and palate on the exquisite menu. With offerings of both cold and hot tapas, salads and paella, you will surely find something to tempt you. The ensalada de remolacha, a beet salad with pine nuts, red onions and manchego cheese, served on a bed of lettuce, is a refreshing start to your meal. Salmon ala parrilla ($7.95), the grilled salmon, is easily one of the best offerings from the menu. It’s served with a lemon and garlic butter sauce that makes every bite sinfully succulent. The solomilla ala plancha ($9.95), grilled beef tenderloin served with blue cheese sauce, melts in your mouth. Every dish on the menu is better than the next and when washed down with good wine and good company, there isn’t much left to be desired. You will even excuse the ho-hum service as the dining room fills with liveliness, since you are too content licking the plates clean.
The smaller portions that make tapas unique leaves room for dessert — all dessert items range from $3.95-$5.95. The platano al caramel is impossible to resist. I tried and failed. The sauteed banana, smothered in caramel and pecans, is served with vanilla ice cream undoubtedly scooped from the heavens. It is the perfect end to a feast of flavors that will bring you back time and time again.
Average cost: $10-$20
Centerstage Reviewer: Katie Chelminski