I love the idea of Tapas. The little dishes, the sharing, taking your time, enjoying the company, and sipping Sangria whilst you do so. If I had the Spanish climate to go with it, I’d be in heaven, alas today I’m in a cold and grey Manchester. But La Vina, set smack bang in the middle of bustling Deansgate, brings that little slice of the Med to me.
The dark red walls, large iron chandeliers exude a broody laid-back atmosphere, whilst the barrel dining tables brings a rustic feel.
To begin, Stuart and I shared a platter of sliced chorizo Iberico bellota, Salchichón Iberico bellota, piquillo peppers, manchego cheese, olives, ciabatta and mini chorizo bites. Simple, straightforward and delicious. This is hands downs, my kind of nibbley thing – I can do it all day, everyday – it’s how I eat. But mains awaited. I went with a light option of Croquetas de Espinacas (hand-crumbed croquettes, filled with a creamy goats’ cheese, spinach & Béchamel sauce) and Esparagos (freshly chargrilled asparagus served with a chunky olive tapenade & fresh lemon zest). Completely delish, and the right amount for me to feel stuffed (I’m really small). Stuart had New Meat Bombs (pork & gorgonzola meat bombs in a sherry jus with a truffle shot) and prawns from the specials board, all of which he devoured and loved.
Of course, there will be certain members of the Tapas Police who may question the authenticity of this restaurant, but what it does have is great food, friendly service and a wonderful atmosphere, and that does it enough for me to be…. Livin La Vina Loca. (sorry).
La Vina, 105/107 Deansgate, Manchester M3 2BQ