Si Tapas has a lot going for it. For one thing, Ildefonso Jimenez’s place is located in a darling old house in the bustling State-Thomas neighborhood, so it’s long on charm and pretty patrons. And then there’s the menu, filled with familiar Spanish hot and cold tapas, such as shrimp in garlic, cod croquettes, tortilla, paella, and assorted Spanish cheeses and olives. So, then, it’s too bad that the restaurant was experiencing some technical difficulties the night we dined and the staff was frazzled and off their game. We started with sangria, which was rather ho-hum and lacked the requisite floating fruit. Much better was the well-priced—$5 a glass—house red, Torre Oria Tempranillo. Our parade of small plates included a forgettable shrimp with garlic and potatoes with Palacios chorizo, which, though well-seasoned, lacked any real chunks of meat. But wait. What followed was divine: juicy, rosy lamb chops; sautéed asparagus, with a slight crunch and flecked with Idiazabal cheese; a full round of Spanish tortilla, perfectly room temperature and zigzagged with aïoli; and crunchy grilled fennel, sprinkled generously with salt. We enjoyed all of this in the cozy back room filled with other convivial patrons. For a minute, I forgot we were in Dallas.
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