Cevíche Tapas Bar & Restaurant is a feast for the eyes as well as your tummy, but we will get to that in a second. You can’t eat until you sit, you can’t sit until you walk in, and you can’t walk in until you park……
Cevíche Tapas Bar & Restaurant is a feast for the eyes as well as your tummy, but we will get to that in a second. You can’t eat until you sit, you can’t sit until you walk in, and you can’t walk in until you park…… So let’s start with the parking.
Cevíche is nestled into the ever so popular Church Street in downtown Orlando. There are several public parking lots located all around the downtown area, but my favorite is right under I-4. It’s convenient, they have meter maids and security patrolling the majority of the time, and,unless there is a special event or game, it’s normally only $1 an hour.
As soon as we arrived (7:30 pm) we were greeted by two lovely smiling hostesses who whisked us away through the dining room. As I looked around this incredibly romantic setting, I immediately felt the warm Spanish influence. Make sure to look up and take the time to admire the 16th century ceilings, follow the carved wood across the room, and breathe in the detail that has been delicately placed around the room. But, the atmosphere is just a single notch in this experience. Now that the mood has been set, and we are seated in front of the picturesque fireplace, let’s get to the service.
Eric is his name, and charming is his game. Yes, that’s right ladies and gents, he is oh so knowledgeable; and handsome to boot. We ordered the ‘Blanco’ and ‘Primero’ Sangria that Eric had suggested, and he didn’t disappoint. How could you go wrong with two pitchers of Sangria?
As Eric will tell you, when you go and request his table, the menu can be overwhelming. There are over 100 items divided among eight sections”. The majority of the menu is Tapas style, meaning you can order 2 or three each and share these appetizer sized plates. A few dishes are larger, such as the paellas that also take a little extra time to prepare, but definitely prove worth it. All in all, the menu is a lot to take in, but after a rousing game of round robin picking out menu items lead to decisions that lead to a small feast. We ordered over 15 items, and they were all good. So let’s hit the highlights shall we.
1. ‘Tabla Mixa’- Chorizo and Morcilla sausages, Serrano ham with Mahon, Manchego, Cabrales, and Tetilla cheeses, sliced fruit and homemade pâte
This antipasto platter is a true stand out. Not only was it a smart presentation, but the choices and quality of meats and cheeses really pushed this dish forward. And, make sure to try the house made Quince gelle with the all salty sweet items!
2. ‘Pargo a la Andaluza’- Grilled red snapper with onions, peppers, capers, and sliced garlic
A little bit lighter of a dish that showcases the delicate flavor of the red snapper. That I might add was not over cooked (Thank God). Even the tri colored peppers gave a pleasant cooked crunch and rounding out a beautiful mouth feel.
3. ‘Churrasco al Cabrales’ -Grilled New York strip medallion with compote of white leeks and shiitake mushrooms, served with Spanish Cabrales sauce
Perfectly cooked to medium rare (the way all steak will be served unless otherwise specified) and served with some pretty sensational sauces. I stopped the entire table and made them dip between the earthy mushroom sauce and the rich salty spike of the Cabrales. This is decadence in beef, and a personal favorite of the night.
4. ‘Paella de Puerco y Pollo’- Chicken, roast pork and vegetables slowly simmered in saffron rice
This was one of the last dishes that came out because of the time it takes in the oven, but well worth the wait. The rice was light and well-seasoned, the pork and chicken fell apart, and the entire dish had a beautiful citrus spike from fresh squeezed lemon on the dish. The flavors were delicate and balanced, and the aroma leads to a full senses experience.
5. ‘Pudin de Pan’- Bread pudding with Spanish brandy, served with ice cream and a white chocolate sauce
Eric could not speak highly enough of this dessert. The brandy flavor is faint, and it pulls on the notes of vanilla and rich cream that the bread has been soaked in. As you indulge yourself, you can feel the pop of the moist golden raisins. Well done.
The meal was complete, we were stuffed, and espresso was served (properly I might add). I sat back and looked around admiring the low roar of a happy crowd, and a well trained staff as they zip around making magic happen. This is why I love restaurants: When everything is in place, true magic happens. Bravo Cevíche, bravo.