Food & Drink

Restaurant Review: Si Tapas

Skip the paella and go for traditional tapas at its new Farmers Market location.

Though it has opened a new spot in the Dallas Farmers Market, there is nothing like the ambience of Si Tapas’ original location, the little house in the State-Thomas neighborhood with its enclosed back patio that overlooks a lush back lot. The place has an Old World feel and the inevitable sports touches (that framed soccer jersey proves someone is clearly Madridista). I wouldn’t bother with the paella. Oily, with a pale, quickly cooked sofrito and without its crusty-chewy socarrat, that reward of crisped rice, it hardly seemed worth the bother. Instead, go for tapas. You’ll find plump, vinegar-marinated boquerones (anchovies) topped with a rough chop of garlic. Or maybe you’d prefer croquetas, crispy outside with plenty of béchamel binding a creamy filling of serrano ham or salt cod. Orange salad, bright and fresh, was made with care, sporting long, shaved carrot strips, fresh mint, lemon juice, and good olive oil. The cauliflower we found somewhat drowned in a loose, cheesy almond sauce. But garlic soup, a Castilian specialty and an unpretentious peasant dish, was wonderful: light, garlicky broth with bits of smoky serrano ham, bread cubes, and an egg broken in. You’re transported just enough. Si Tapas remains simple, modest, traditional. Its low-key charm explains its longevity.

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