Taking over the spot left behind by Casa Rubia at Trinity Groves, Tapas Castile serves as an enticing gateway to Spain, bridging the contemporary and classic. Co-owners Jessica Kate-Martinez and Kendra Valentine, with backgrounds at FT33 and Casa Rubia, bring you charcuterie and Spanish cheese and their taste of a sun-drenched culture’s food.
First come pintxos, the riches of the Iberian Peninsula assembled into bites of bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with blue Valdeón—piquant, smoky, sweet—or crisp bread spread with goat cheese then topped with garlicky mojo verde, chopped hazelnuts, and honey. Next, be tempted by tapas: roughly grated tomatoes mounded on grilled bread with a lashing of house-cured lardo; ethereal fried eggplant batons drizzled in honey, their creamy centers like cousins to cotton candy; plump Gulf shrimp, topped with preserved lemon; golden tilefish bathing in an unguent of mojo verde. In that lovely Spanish way, you taste every component that contributes vigor.
Valentine’s talent comes through in flavor pairings and a lyrical sense of place on the plate. That did not save the too-salty pulled pork croquettes filled with velouté over a house-made apple butter. But notice how well bites pair with a glass of a dry white or herbaceous, berry-tinted vermouth. Keep nibbling. And then, if you have saved room, a seafood paella promises the treasured, crispy, scorched-rice socarrat, though the wood-fired dish’s saffron flavor proved wan one evening. Among house-made desserts, an almond cake gives you one more delectable experience—this one a pilgrimage to the hills of Galicia.