By: Wela Quan
My love of Spanish tapas started when I first moved to Montreal about three years ago. After the end of first year law school, me and my friend Mae decided that instead of going to the end of year law school party (a.k.a. drunken debauchery), we would instead go and try out a tapas restaurant. That was probably the best decision I have ever made because the restaurant we went to was so amazing that till this day it is mine and Mae’s favourite restaurant in the world. Now that’s a bold claim for two bona fide foodies! While this review is not about my favourite restaurant Pintxo’s and Basque tapas, it is about Ethan’s favourite restaurant: Alta, which serves Spanish tapas.
Tapas are Spanish appetizers or snacks meant to be eaten with wine. Even though they were traditionally eaten as starters, tapas have become so popular that there are now restaurants which serve them exclusively as the meal. The great thing about Tapas is that they are small in quantity and because of this, diners can order several different dishes at a time. As someone who loves variety, tapas dinners are the most fun with a group of people.
The first time I went to Alta was on a weekday evening with Ethan. Now I am sure you all know that it’s always the skinny Chinese kids who can surprisingly pack it away and as far as Ethan and I go (two skinny Chinese kids who can pack it away), we were able to eat around 8 tapas . This time when I went to Alta (my second time), Ethan and I went on a Friday night with three other friends and together we ordered close to 16 tapas.
When we finally sat down to eat, we were all famished. In the beginning we tried to pick items in order according to where they appeared on the menu, but that soon broke down and we resorted to a yell out what you want system. The last time I came to Alta with Ethan, we had a romantic dinner and ate at a leisurely pace. However this time, probably because it was Friday night, the restaurant was full of people and extremely lively. Since I cannot recall everything I ate that night, I will talk about the few dishes that I remember distinctly.
64 W. 10th St.
New York, NY 10011