My friend called me a couple of weeks ago and the conversation went like this:
Friend: “I’m going to a watch a band perform and your coming with me”
Friend: “Also we are going to eat at a new, trendy place called Santiago’s Bodega”
This was also ok with me as I’m really a fan of experiencing new dining experiences.
Santiago’s Bodega is located in the Mills area Orlando – a very up-n-coming neighborhood, that is a little hipster, a little hippy and a lot of diverse. The menu is composed of soups, salads, cold tapas, and hot tapas.
Our group of 3 started the night off with the red Sangria (as any self-respecting meal that consists of tapas should be started)
Then the fun started. Our server gave us an insightful look into the restaurant’s history and design scheme (I was impressed with his knowledge) before providing pointers on menu delights and portion sizes.
Without further ado: *Tapas come in varying portion sizes and it is common to order 3+ to sample amongst the group – be warned that while it may not seem like a ton of food, your belly will quickly be satisfied.
Spicy Shrimp Bisque: I opted for a cup, as opposed to a bowl. The bisque proved to be warm and comforting, served with a single shrimp floating on the top. There was a hint of spice but for those who do not like “heat” it would still be tasty.
Yellowfin tuna ceviche: This tasteful bowl contains avocados, mangos, onions, and yummy tuna. The tuna was perfect and the blend of flavors conjured images of life on a beach. The portion was split between 2 people, however would have been enough for 4 people to sample.
Shrimp and Chorizo – two skewers that you should eat, that is all
Croquettas – these typically come two to a plate, however if you ask the server is happy to add additional for each member of the table. Filled with potatoes, prosciutto, and provolone cheese these little pan-fried babies are divine and were a table favorite. Be sure to utilize the scallion cream .
Saganaki – I’ve had the flaming cheese dish at other restaurants and enjoy the presentation more so than the dish itself. Personally, I’m not a fan of saganki however I like saying the word….
The dessert menu is small in comparison to the rest of the menu, however ask the server about the specialty of the day. We dined on “cronuts” (the croissant-doughnut fusion that was sensationalized by the Dominique Ansel Bakery in New York). While I did not order an espresso or cappuccino, I wish I had as they would have paired perfectly.
All in all it was a marvelous evening. The service was wonderful and the food exuded thoughtfulness and a willingness to satisfy the cravings of a discerning pallet.