Interesting Spanish menus compared

jkom51October 10, 2013

Spanish cuisine is sweeping the Northern CA San Francisco Bay Area. We have several in the East Bay where I live, and of course one of our local celebs, Michael Chiarello, has just garnered an award as Esquire's Chef of the Year 2013. Chiarello's new San Francisco restaurant Coqueta is Spanish-style tapas, and one of the hottest seats in town.

Today I was reading a local review on yet another Spanish restaurant called Iberia, south of SF in what we call "the Peninsula" or South Bay.

I love to go to restaurant websites and personally find reading the menus both inspiring and interesting. Reading Iberia's menus made me go check out Coqueta's menus (we haven't been to either yet). It was interesting to see what was similar and what was different. I thought some other folks here might find it fun to do some menu comparisons too.

There's a difference in style, btw: Coqueta is pretty much geared towards tapas, being in a tourist area; whereas Iberia offers a more traditional Spanish experience. Iberia's tapas menu is only available at the bar, while the dinner menu for sit-down service shows dishes that are more complex and intriguing than the tapas menus.

I'll also post a third menu link, to Paul Canales' Duende tapas restaurant in Oakland, which is more similar in style and intent to Chiarello's Coqueta. Canales has a very gutsy, earthy style of cooking; being more of a local neighborhood restaurant he can get away with stronger and less-familiar flavors than Chiarello's Coqueta is able to do.

Here is a link that might be useful: Michael Chiarello's Coqueta menu

This post was edited by jkom51 on Thu, Oct 10, 13 at 15:21

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Continuing the above, here is Iberia's menu. The tapas menu is separate, only available at the bar. Although the dinner menu does offer tapas, these are larger plates than what is served at the bar, and do not merely duplicate the tapas listing.

(If you click on Iberia's "Menu" tab at the top, you can find the Tapas menu link)

Here is a link that might be useful: Restaurant Iberia's dinner menu

This post was edited by jkom51 on Thu, Oct 10, 13 at 15:29

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 3:24PM
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And here's Duende in Oakland's menu. Again, this is set up more like Coqueta/SF, but with a local emphasis. Canales found a really large space for his first restaurant (he's a well-known local chef in Oakland), and being an amateur musician himself, included a live music club that is physically and acoustically separate from the bar and dining room areas.

Here is a link that might be useful: Paul Canales' Duende tapas menu

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 3:36PM
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Thanks for sharing these menus. I also look at menus to help me select or before I go to a restaurant.

In my area, we have a large Spanish community and many, many Spanish restaurants to the point where we have a main street that is nick named "Boliche Boulevard" because of the number of Spanish restaurants.

We love our Spanish food here. But what I noticed is that the selections on the menus you shared are very different from what we have. Perhaps it's that we have a Spanish, Cuban, Italian mix.

Here is a little background:

Ybor City is a historic neighborhood in Tampa, Florida located just northeast of downtown. It was founded in the 1880's by cigar manufacturers and was populated by thousands of immigrants, mainly from Spain, Cuba, and Italy. For the next 50 years, workers in Ybor City's cigar factories would roll millions of cigars annually.

The neighborhood had features unusual among contemporary immigrant communities in the southern United States, most notably its multi-ethnic and multi-racial population and their many mutual aid societies.

The neighborhood has been designated as a National Historic Landmark District, and several structures in the area are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. In 2008, 7th Avenue, the main commercial thoroughfare in Ybor City, was recognized as one of the âÂÂ10 Great Streets in Americaâ by the American Planning Association.

In 2010 Columbia Restaurant, a Spanish restaurant founded in 1905 and is the oldest restaurant in Florida, was named a "Top 50 All-American icon".

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 6:37PM
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