There's a new concept that just opened at Trinity Groves, the West Dallas restaurant incubator: Called Tapas Castile, it's a Spanish tapas bar going into the space vacated by former tapas bar Casa Rubia.
According to a release, the name Tapas Castile is a nod to the Castilian region, considered the birthplace of modern Spain. The restaurant will offer a modern take on the traditional Spanish tapas bar.
Offering rustic renditions of iconic favorites, the menu has meats, cheeses, and boards with meat and cheese. There are meatballs, ham croquettes, cheese croquettes, mussels, fried eggplant, olives, and almonds.
Three entree-style dishes include whole fish and a paella that feeds four.
Owner-partners are Jessica Kate-Martinez and Kendra Valentine, who both worked at Design District restaurant FT33. Kate-Martinez will manage the front of the house; Valentine will serve as executive chef.
Kate-Martinez' mother's family hails from Spain, and she has been traveling their regularly since she was a teenager. She's also a certified sommelier who has also worked harvests at a number of Spanish wineries over the years. The restaurant's wine list is extensive and exclusively Spanish wine, with something for everyone.
"I often hear people say that tapas is just small plates of expensive food," Kate-Martinez says. "But if you've ever been to Spain, you know that couldn’t be further from the truth. In cities and villages across the country, tapas is truly the food of the people. Each region has a unique approach to these simple yet crave-worthy dishes, but what they all have in common is that they use the freshest, artisanal ingredients available."
Valentine traeled to Spain with Kate-Martinez and found it to be a life-changing experience. The restaurant's farm-to-table menu reflects what she saw as she ate her way through Spanish kitchens, including a focus on fresh seafood, seasonal produce, and pork.
Valentine has a passion for butchery, so customers can expect to see the whole animal show up in her dishes from house-cured Lomo (pork loin) and Fuet (pork sausage with a spicy black pepper kick) to albondigas (pork meatballs in sofrito) and chuleta de cerdo (double-cut pork chop with romesco and pear butter).
Trinity Groves co-founder Phil Romano says that the biggest hurdle with any ethnic cuisine is making it approachable. "With Tapas Castile, they’ve created the perfect blend of authentic Spanish fare with a modern Texas twist that is both delicious and user-friendly," he says.