One of my all-time favorite trips was to Mallorca, Spain.
On the way home, we stopped in Madrid for a tapas and wine tasting tour of the city. It was a walking tour of some wonderful bars and my first introduction to an authentic tapas experience.
It was on that eight-restaurant tour I realized I loved the small snacks and the social environment they encouraged. I was worried I would never experience such a perfect evening again, until I was invited to Prado inside the Omni Scottsdale Resort and Spa at Montelucia, located near Tatum Boulevard and Lincoln Drive.
I will be bringing my friends here to have our own tapas night.
The restaurant is divided into multiple areas including a lounge, bar, patio, tapas bar and a typical restaurant space. This layout makes for a perfect social transition from one area to the next.
During my special event, we started in the lounge with a glass of champagne and two quick nibbles before we moved on to the next space — the bar area. Along the way, the chef and others gave us stories of their experience in Spain along with a little history and insider tips.
The tapas menu at the bar is meant to provide food while guests enjoy an adult beverage.
The hotel is increasing its inventory of Spanish wines, which will play well into their new tapas focus. Amazingly, I enjoyed their new simple gin and tonic cocktails. Even if you, like me, aren’t a gin drinker, I encourage you to give it a try.
The food menu is a la cart and put together in such a way that you can choose a small charcuterie board with any combination you see fit or just order a few quick bites.
Even if you aren’t looking to spend a whole evening there like I did, this would be a perfect start to one. No matter where you sit, you can order from the tapas menu.
But we had a journey to continue, so we visited the newly built tapas bar, complete with a beautiful wood-fire grill. Sampling six different tapas that are on the menu while hearing more about Spain, we continued our journey around the resort.
A highlight from the tapas bar were the lamb chops. They were delicate and wonderfully cooked with just the right amount of spice. It comes with a mint sauce but honestly I don’t think it needs it. If lamb isn’t your game, the filet pinchos — or steak bites, as I started calling them — literally melted in my mouth.
After filling my tapas quota for the month, we took a seat in the more traditional restaurant area and sampled a few of their entrees.
The crab timbale was delectable and comes with very fresh crab and avocado chilled with a gazpacho vinaigrette. On this hot summer day, it was the perfect chilled salad.
The kale salad was also outstanding and, as kale skeptic, that is saying a lot. The almonds, grapes, manchego, broccolini, avocado and green goddess were wonderful together, spinning their sweet and savory flavors to much of my surprise and satisfaction.
If you want to experience the closest thing to a tapas night in Spain — at least on this side of the Atlantic — Prado fits the bill.
Take your time, sip your drink and leisurely order tapas as you feel hungry. There is no rush. This is Spain after all — or at least you might think it is.
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