It’s happened to me a few times, in that when I am not really looking I end up stumbling across something a bit special.
I was wandering through Tachbrook Street on a non market day, so it was pretty empty and I spotted Art of Tapas with its Miro inspired signage. There were only two customers sitting by the counter, so after checking the menu a few times I thought yeah, I’ll give it a try.
The place has several “arty” touches – the specially designed kind of perching table outside with glass holders, the really “cute” hug me cushion, and as an extra bonus (which I am afraid could not be guaranteed on any other visit) one of the customers who was obviously a professional opera singer giving an informal audition to his companion – a stunning rendition of ava maria.
Off course I wasn’t there for the bonus entertainment, I wanted to try the food. All the “arty” touches in the world would be not make me want to return to any restaurant. However I will most definitely return to Art of Tapas, the food was very good. I ordered a Spanish Omelette and a dish of Octopus legs, Chorizo and warm white bean salad. The omelette was tasty, light and fluffy, served with what at first seemed to be a bit too much lettuce and mayo. However the lettuce was so fresh, I actually cleaned my plate. The Octopus dish was also good, the beans nice and soft and the Octopus legs were perfect, not in the least bit chewy. Definitely much better than a similar dish I had a while back at Art of Tapas’s nearest geographical rival Goya.
The restaurant has only been open one month, and there are plans to have more seating outside for the summer, which will be great. I only hope that when this place gets busy (which I am sure it will) that they can continue to deliver food and service of the level I experienced on my first visit. I also liked that when I asked for a glass of tap water, I got a large jug of iced water.
They have an excellent BYO Wine policy too, £3.00 for one person, £5.00 for two or free if you add your wine to their Sangria – Nice!
UPDATE : June 2013 – Outdoor seating is now provided.