First, full disclosure. I’m tipsy as I type right now. I just came from a girls’ night out at a tapas bar featuring South American wine pairings and the night had run a lot later than any of us expected. Almost two hours later.
Tapas Y Vino is a tapas and wine (as the name suggests) bar/lounge/restaurant on the second level of the Grand Millenium Sukhumvit hotel. Drawn by the blurb of a night featuring a set menu pair with a variety of South American wines, I convinced the girls to join me. In all honesty, I would have gone alone if I had to.
The restaurant itself has a bar vibe… with wonderful service. They were fully booked but managed to fit us by checking on a no-show reservation. It was a narrow restaurant, that had more bar space than table space. At one end, it had a semi-enclosed dining table area surrounded in a circular wall of floor-to-ceiling wine racks. The clientele had a foodie feel to it. Aside from the hotel guests, the patrons provided the allure of young well-heeled professionals with few older white men pairing up with extremely young Thai girls. We fitted the loud American stereotype to the T. Not intentionally. But the more wine we drank, the more laughter emitted from our table. For once, the service staff didn’t ignore us. Efficient in rolling out their set menus to the tables, they weren’t fazed by one of us opting to drink just wine by the glass with no food or our erratic eating speed varying with the flow of our conversation. The staff, all comprised of women, showed us as much friendly service as any of the other patrons, despite the fact that we were all young Westernized women, a much ignored demographic in the farang expat world.
The food was delicious and surprisingly filling. For a tapas served individually, the portions were large. The food were not, to me, distinctly Spanish nor French. Dishes included a wedge of red onion quesadilla, Southwest creviche, pork tenderloin, seared tuna, crumbed softshell crab, bean and goat cheese torte. Western, but not specifically tapas, or in my taste, Spanish. They were gourmet fusion, as I best can describe them. Dessert tray included a wasabi ice cream, pumpkin pudding, and a delicious chocolate souffle. I was stuffed by the middle, tasting just a nibble of the second half of the menu, except for the souffle which I licked clean.
They did a surprisingly respectable job of wine pairings. Wines from Argentina, Chile, Venezuela, and, most unexpected, Uruguay. The Malbec and Tannat&Merlot wines really stuck out as the best of the batch but I couldn’t complain about the selection at all. With a combination of about 15 tapas and seven glasses of wine, we all walked out very bubbling and happy, completely forgetting that we were also to be served a choice of coffee or tea to end the night.