Tapas are headed for Dallas' Bishop Arts District, from some very familiar names. Called Sketches of Spain, it's a new restaurant from Javier García del Moral, Paco Vique, and the team behind The Wild Detectives bookstore.
Sketches Of Spain, also the name of a highly regarded album recorded by Miles Davis in 1960, will open at 321 N. Zang Blvd., next door to Potpourri of Silk Bakeshop, in a charming vintage house that was previously home to a horror shop called Collectors' Crypt.
Sketches will specialize in "Pinchos," a more sophisticated version of Spanish tapas, typically found in the north of Spain. Pinchos often use toothpicks; "pinchar" means "to pierce."
The menu is still being finalized, but will surely include:
- Patatas bravas, baby potatoes with aioli & spicy sauce
- Salmorejo, a creamy cold tomato soup with diced vegetables
- Champiñones jerez, or mushrooms sautéed with garlic and dry chili in a sherry sauce
- Escalivada, a ratatouille-like roasted vegetable salad with eggplant, red pepper, and onion
- Gambas ajillo: prawns in a mild garlic sauce
- Boiled octopus on potatoes with olive oil and paprika
- Fried squid in squid ink
- Piquillo relleno de bacalao, or cod stuffed with Piquillo red pepper
- Croquettes in two varieties, chicken and ham
Other unique dishes they intend to bring include Flamenquines, a roulade with battered ham and cheese rolled inside a pork steak; oxtail stew; and callos con garbanzos, a stew with tripe, chorizo, and chickpeas.
According to del Moral, they would like to be open by early November.
"It will be a casual place to eat and drink," he says. "We like places that serve several purposes, and this one will be no different. Whether you want to have a full meal, a bite or just have a few drinks with a friend, this place will accommodate that."
Iñaki Betrán is their chef and managing director.
"He has an extensive career working for award winning restaurants, also running his own taberna in Spain, and international experience in places like Cuba and Australia," del Moral says.
"This is the very same team as The Wild Detectives with the addition of Iñaki," he says. "Paco and I are the owners, Iñaki will be the managing director, Victor Rimach will be his assistant in the front end and the bar program, and Andres de la Casa will be our branding director."
Del Moral has a personal connection to the cuisine.
"I'm from La Rioja where pincho bars are widely popular, and the chef and managing director that will run the place is from San Sebastian, which is considered the epicenter of the pincho culture in Spain and one of the most popular food destinations in Europe," he says. "Iñaki, our chef and managing director, has many years of experience working in Michelin-star winning places like Arzak."
"Our inspiration for this place is the traditional Spanish taberna, a unpretentious place where you can have solid food at reasonable prices but also a place where you meet with a friend to have a drink and end up sitting five hours drinking and talking, an inviting place where you can just hang out and spend quality time with friends," he says.
As for the name, he says they're big Miles Davis fans.
"This album always hits close to home for obvious reasons," he says. "The name also makes other nods, pinchos are sketches of what a full plate is, and our place in a way is a little piece of how we live bars and taverns in Spain, a little sketch of that way of life."