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Friday, July 24, 2015
The Atrium is the Plaza to be
Tapas in the Clarion
The well known Atrium in the Clarion is transformed into a Spanish Plaza. Spanish chef Maria is dishing up the Tapas of her homeland here every Tuesday to Friday (5.30pm to 8.00pm). And it is not just the food that shouts Viva Espana. A new range of Spanish wines, accompanies the tapas and intensifies that relaxing feeling of being on holiday right in the middle of the city. And, if the sun isn't shining, even if it is, take a look at the colourful new seating before you sink in.
I was in for the “official launch” last week and enjoyed the food, the wine and the company. And isn't that what Tapas are all about. There is quite a selection each evening and all are reasonably priced.
You may have Patatas Bravas (a standard in all Tapas menus in this part of the world) with a spicy Tomato Salsa. Simple but always a welcome dish. My favourite was another fairly common one: the Roasted Red Pepper and Confit Potato Frittata, full of real flavour, simply and honestly prepared.
Another that made my taste buds stand to attention was the Salted Cod Croquettes with a Lemon Aioli, sharp and satisfying. Other favourites at the table included Arancini (delicious crispy fried risotto balls), Mehico Meat Balls with a smoky Tomato Sauce, and Chorizo and Roast Squash salad with sun-dried Tomato.
Adrian introduced the new range of wines to accompany the Tapas. They are supplied by Findlaters and are a good match. All are available by the glass, of course, with prices ranging from €6.50 to €9.25.
In the reds, the general favourite at our table (I didn't take a vote) seemed to be Marques de Riscal Ardo Rioja, with all the flavours and aromas typical of the region. I took a punt on the Torres Atrium Merlot - I liked the name, for a start. By the end, I loved the wine, smooth and rich and a great drop, especially with the Tapas. Other reds were Torres Mas Rabell and Innurrita Norte.
I didn't get as much feedback on the whites but I do know and like the Riscal Rueda. This Verdejo is very versatile and obviously a good choice for Tapas. The Innurrita Sauvignon Blanc from Navara also came in for praise. The others, and I’m sure they were all fine, were Torres Mas Rabell and the Olvena Chardonnay.
It turned to be a very enjoyable evening and a big thanks you to Sonia and Donna and the staff of the Atrium, the inner courtyard of the Clarion (celebrating ten years in business), for looking after us so well. See you soon!