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Restaurant review: Paco Tapas, Bristol

Published on January 5, 2017
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Michelin starred chef Peter Sanchez-Iglesias pays homage to his Dad Paco’s Spanish heritage in the third instalment of the Sanchez Brothers’ trilogy at The General. With its fine sherries and tapas to rival the tabernas of Barcelona, he may have left the best until last, says Kathryn Lewis

Paco Tapas

We’re not dissing the delights of Casamia’s tasting menu or the seriously good pizza slice to be savoured at Pi Shop. But ten dishes deep into the Paco Tapas menu and with no end to the Andalusian gormandizing in sight, we were struggling to think of anywhere else we’d rather spend an eve.

VISIT FOR the best tapas outside of Español – hands down. We were eased into the evening with salted almonds, plump olives and a glass of bone dry fino sherry at the bar. Boards of fiery chorizo and translucent slivers of Iberico de bellota with a fat-to-meat ratio of butter-like proportions followed – and disappeared soon after.

An order of gently charred, oil-drizzled sourdough was essential to mop up every last morsel of the glorious golden yolk oozing from the tortilla and the aoili that survived the double dipping from the jamon and crab croquetas. Finally, blushed eight-year-old dairy cow beef and quail stuffed with sobrassada and dates cooked over apple wood pushed the limits of our gluttony.

DON’T VISIT with a greedy dining partner who’ll snaffle more than their share of each dish. Things could get difficult.

WE LIKED the extensive sherry list; the fortified wine is firmly back in vogue. Ask one of the well-informed team to match a tipple to each of your dishes, but be prepared for a cold hard hit of Bristol air on departure.

INSIDER’S TIP The cluster of stools at the lustrous steel bar are the best seats in the house. Watch the chefs perform under the spotlights of the open kitchen and feel the warm haze from the wood fire.

What we ate (tapas)

Bread and olive oil
Boquerones
Lomo iberico de bellota
Tortilla Española
Jamón croquetas
Clams
Grilled baby fennel
Octopus a la gallega
Galician beef (8 year old dairy cow)
Stuffed quail, sobrassada and dates

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