See my review on Qype.
Sherry is very much my drink at the moment so a visit to the latest addition to the Cambio De Tercio family -a ham and sherry bar- was greeted with considerable interest.
Bonus points for being close to home, too!
When I say that sherry is my drink what that means is that I am slowly, ignorantly working my way up from the driest fino to the more interesting and challenging varieties one sunny weekend at a time.
If this journey was available in book form it would look like the wine list at Capote Y Toros. And the book on tape would be read by our helpful, knowledgeable waiter. Page after page after page of affordable, fascinating sherry by the glass or bottle.
James and I are currently pretending we’re not alcoholics so we opted for two glasses of the Manzanilla. We ended up ordering 3 bottles of an amazing Catalan red (£31) once our other two guests arrived. One of whom is heavily pregnant so… do the math.
It’s quite a small venue and they don’t take bookings so when you snatch a table the waiter tells me that you only have it for ninety minutes before you have to move to the bar. I ask him what happens if we’re still eating. He says “then, of course, you can stay until you are finished but…” His sentence finished in my head. No one is ever still eating after ninety minutes. Ninety minutes of tapas? What enormous, bloated animals wouldn’t be done by then?
We were still eating.
As we sit down I say that’s fine because I had a secret weapon: the afore-mentioned heavily pregnant dining companion. Nobody is going to make a pregnant lady perch on a stool in a tapas bar.
The food itself?
Well it was always going to be good. It’s an amazing restaurant group. This addition definitely doesn’t disappoint.
As you’d expect from a ham and sherry joint, there are a lot of jamon choices on the small -dare I say it- perfectly formed tapas menu.
This suits me to the ground because ham is one of the two foods I miss the most about Spain.
The other is octopus which, Dios mio, is incredible! If you don’t order it when you go to Capote Y Toros I will personally punch you in the face.
Notable absences from the tapas menu? Patatas bravas for one. You’re definitely dining at the more authentic, less Benidorm end of the cuisine range here. (Given that I freely admit to bastardising paella on my own time this is an end I visit infrequently.)
Everything was pitch-perfect right up until the dessert ordered from the specials board. It was nice but it was essentially a fruit cup. Order from the menu and you’ll be much happier (with the Pedro Ximenez ice cream, for instance).
I’m benchmarking Capote Y Toros against Navarros as this has been our tapas yardstick for years. It holds up well. Objectively it’s probably better, especially as it’s also considerably cheaper. Five stars for the food, five stars for the sherry, five stars for the service.
Go there now. Go there early.
And don’t forget what I said about the Octopus.