We are doing pretty well so far, half way into 2018 and working our way through our ‘to eat‘ list, so when it came to our meal out in July we found ourselves reviewing our list and pondering where to eat next.
As we both fancied tapas, the decision of Sotano seemed a good one! Luckily Cand had visited before as it is a bit tucked away down Little Stonegate, but it is certainly worth seeking out (you are looking for this dark grey door by the way!).
We were immediately welcomed by a really friendly waitress that told us to sit anywhere and she would come and take our order. We headed for a cosy sofa corner area, but concluded we would just spill olive oil all over the place and ourselves, so we resettled at a nice high table by the bar and studied the menu. As we’d read on Sotano’s website they pride themselves on their range of croquettes so we were keen to give those a go!
I am never quite sure how much tapas to order but after looking at the menu for a short while our waitress came back to see us and suggested six or seven dishes between two should be fine, so we ordered our wine (a tasty Rioja for £16.95) and carried on debating the menu. As Cand is a vegetarian I always feel a bit bad going meat crazy on a tapas outing, so we always agree that I will have one meat dish and Cand chooses one dish exclusively for herself. Obviously this always works out well for me as I get to try some of her dish anyway – ha ha! Plus with the great range of croquettes we decided one meat croquette for me, one veggie for Cand.
When our waitress came back with the wine, she pointed out we had 3 minutes left on the offer we hadn’t spotted, whereby if we ordered before 7.30pm (QUICK!!!!!!!!) we could have a bottle of house wine (which we’d already ordered anyway) and six tapas plates for £40. Well that focused our minds…. and we decided upon:
- Croquettes with ham (mine)
- Croquettes with mushroom (hers)
- Patatas Bravas with wild sauce & alioli
- Spinach with chickpeas
- Chorizo with brandy (mine)
- Mixed vegetables (hers – sadly they had no tofu as Cand really fancied a tofu dish)
For good measure (in case the portions were small….) we also threw in a:
- Toasted bread with olive pate
And voila (is there a Spanish equivalent of that?), very quickly a whole load of tapas arrived! I feel that tapas should be a speedy to arrive kind of meal, and as we were starving (or so we though) we were more than happy to start tucking in!
In fact we ordered so much tapas it was too much to fit in one photo (unless I stood on a really high chair and I am not that committed to this blog yet), so here’s a photo of my flambeed Chorizo – yep that is sausage on fire!
We really enjoyed all the food, although found the portions pretty big! There was no way I could have eaten all the Chorizo, delicious as it was. I guess that is a downside of the exclusive meat dish/dining with a vegetarian (sorry Cand – only joking) . The olive pate topped bread was really delicious, smoothed in a thick layer of green olive paste – that was probably our downfall as it was so filling.
The veggie dishes were great too, and Cand really enjoyed her mixed vegetable dish after her initial tofu disappointment.
The croquettes were yummy too, and I would say my favourite dish and we happily polished all of them off – they were light, yet deep-fried deliciousness at the same time.
Once we’d eaten as much as we could manage (though the kind serving staff did say we could take it home), we settled back to enjoy some of the Open Mic night that started at about 9pm. It was a really fantastic atmosphere as the basement venue lends itself really well to the music and bustle at the bar.
Sadly we both had really busy and early starts the next morning, so we made a move home just as the night was getting started. That said, our seats were filled the minute we hopped down from them as this little restaurant/bar was rammed on a Tuesday night.
We were already planning our return visit on our way out – only this time so we could stay longer and enjoy the food and the music.
🍛 Meal for 2 with wine: £44 (we just made it for the Oferta De Tapas which is Sun & Fri 12-7.30pm and Tues – Thurs 5-7.30pm) to which we greedily added some bread
🎉 My Highlight: The service – we thought it was totally brilliant, really friendly and helpful. Oh and the croquettes – they are yummy, and a reason alone to visit!
⚡️ Cand’s Highlight: The croquettes too – although it turns out the tofu was amazing, as Sotano is so good she went back again a week later when tofu supplies had been replenished!
🍴 If we could change one thing…
The fact that we were unable to stay out beyond 10pm…The Open Mic night was fab and just getting going when we left. Even the bouncer laughed at us for leaving but kindly told us we didn’t look that old 😉
Jane ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Cand ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️