Tapas, Spanish appetizers served hot or cold, are trending on many Phoenix restaurant menus, from classics like croquetas to a Southwest take on ceviche.
Whether you’re craving authentic or tapas-inspired small bites, here are 12 Valley restaurants to check out next time.
A dozen tapas grace the menu, including escargot Barcelona ($10.50); warm Mission figs with blue cheese and prosciutto ($12); and citrus scallop ceviche ($13.50) garnished with sweet wonton strips. You’ll find a robust wine list at this Sunnyslope spot.
Details: 8801 N. Central Ave., Phoenix. 602-354-3846, timocentral.com.
This Latin restaurant in central Phoenix features a wide variety of small plates. The Tour of Fuego ($16) comes with one empanada, one salmon croquette, a spicy veggie tostada and a Cubano slider. If you just want empanadas ($13), these turnovers are stuffed with ground beef, peppers, onions, black beans and Cheddar cheese.
Details: 713 E. Palo Verde Drive, Phoenix. 602-326-5235, fuegobistro.com.
Geordie’s at Wrigley Mansion
The extensive lounge menu features French-inspired petite plates like escargot in puff pastry ($16); a creamy torchon of foie gras ($10); tart of boudin noir ($7); and frog legs with garlic and herb butter ($9).
Details: 2501 E. Telawa Trail, Phoenix. 602-955-4079, wrigleymansion.com.
Tapas Papa Frita
An authentic tapas menu is the highlight at this Spanish restaurant in downtown Scottsdale. Pimiento piquillo con centollo ($8) are crab-stuffed piquillo peppers in a saffron sauce. Caracoles a la Mallorquina ($8) feature snails, chorizo and Serrano ham. Classic tapas include pan boli ($5), a toasted bread with a fresh tomato rub and olive oil; and boquerones ($7.50), fresh anchovies in garlic escabeche.
Details: 7114 E. Stetson Drive, Scottsdale. 480-699-5004, tapaspapafrita.com.
The bar’s tapas menu at this Scottsdale resort is packed with wood-fired small dishes like chorizo pinchos ($5), Schreiner’s spicy pork sausage served with house-made harissa chili paste. Various cured meats and Spanish cheeses are offered so you can build your own board.
Details: Omni Scottsdale Resort and Spa at Montelucia, 4949 E. Lincoln Drive, Scottsdale. 480-627-3004, omnimontelucia.com.
So many tapas, where do you even start? How about fried chickpeas tossed in Moroccan spice and sea salt ($6); or papas del padre ($6), which are fried potato wedges served with mustard aioli. For seafood lovers, there’s crab ceviche ($14) with jumbo lump crab, avocado, tostadas and spicy green chiles.
Details: 16848 E. Avenue of the Fountains, Fountain Hills. 480-816-5316, sofrita.com.
The menu flaunts global-inspired tapas like marinated cucumbers from Germany $8); marinated olives, artichoke hearts and red peppers from Spain ($8); or Russian pelmi ($14), which are beef, pork and mushroom dumplings. From Denmark, there is smorrebrod ($16), mini open-faced rye sandwiches topped with smoked salmon, shrimp and blue cheese.
Details: 8876 E. Pinnacle Peak Road, Suite 100, Scottsdale. 480-284-7600, scottsdale.bodega13.com.
For Mexican-influenced fare, try jalapeño cheese fritters oozing with spicy cheese ($6.85); or mushrooms stuffed with sauteed spinach, seasoned mushrooms, onions, garlic, peppers and cheeses ($5.40). Another favorite: firecracker shrimp that’s flash-fried, tossed in chile aioli and served with mango relish ($8.99).
Details: 3440 W. Chandler Blvd., Chandler. 480-855-0960. Also, 16092 N. Arrowhead Fountains Center Drive, Peoria. 623-878-8282, abuelos.com.
The Wild Vine Uncorked
Horseradish and garlic are kitchen staples at this Chandler tapas lounge and wine bar. Get started with fried artichoke hearts with horseradish Parmesan aioli ($6); and pan de ajo ($4), a fresh-baked sourdough boule served with a whole roasted garlic clove and sweet butter. Lollipop lamb chops ($13) are served with horseradish aioli dipping sauce.
Details: 4920 S. Gilbert Road, Chandler. 480-883-3492, thewildvineuncorked.com.
Cuisine & Wine Bistro
Head to the Gilbert location for chorizo croquettes ($9) served with Sriracha aioli; or beignets de fromage ($9), which are filled with creamy Swiss cheese and served with mango and ginger chutney for dipping.
Details: 1422 W. Warner Road, Gilbert. 480-497-1422, cuisineandwinebistro.com.
Brushfire Tacos y Tapas
Ham and cheese croquetas ($2.89) and papas bravas ($2.29) are on the menu at this Peoria restaurant. Add an order of empanadas filled with chicken and vegetables and served with spicy mayo ($2.89); and shrimp en fuego ($4.99) served with a sweet and spicy sauce.
Details: 8395 W. Thunderbird Road, Peoria. 623-776-3556, brushfiretacos.com.
Feta ($1.50), falafel ($1), dolmades ($2) and baba ganoosh ($1.50) are among an array of Mediterranean-inspired tapas featured at happy hour (3-6 p.m.) and reverse happy hour (9 p.m.- close) daily.
Details: 7530 W. Bell Road, Glendale. 623-486-2615. Also, 1652 S. Val Vista Drive, Mesa. 480-339-3595. Other locations at pitajungle.com.
By: Georgann Yara, Special for The Republic Published