When it comes to small plate restaurants, Bristolian’s are becoming increasingly spoilt for choice.
We’re lucky that the city is saturated with culinary talent, driving forward the quality of food.
This year, a small tapas bar is at the forefront of that culinary force – meet ‘Paco Tapas’, the youngest of three restaurants under the Sanchez Brothers banner. Having been open for a matter of months, they were awarded a Michelin star. In response to this remarkable achievement, it was hard to resist a visit.
As expected, the menu consisted of small plates divided into 8 sections. We decided on 7 dishes (the below highlights my top two). The dishes arrived when ready, giving the feel of a tasting menu. There is a set chefs tasting menu option if you can’t decide what to have.
The first highlight was the ‘Stuffed Quail, Sobrassada & Dates’ at £16.50.The quail was beautifully cooked, rare and juicy with the stuffing that offered an unique and flavoursome accompaniment – it’s a dish that you know you have zero chance of re-creating at home! Next up, the ‘Burnt Leek with Romesco’ at £4. This humble dish was a real triumph and demonstrates why the restaurant carries a coveted star. The perfectly cooked, smokey leeks draped with a stunning romesco sauce, makes for a satisfying accompaniment to any protein dish.
In short, both the quality of the service and the meal were truly exceptional. They use great produce and have developed classic flavour combinations, but it is the quality of the cooking that really shines through. There are many tapas style restaurants in the city, and although the prices at Paco Tapas are a touch higher than most, you know you won’t eat better.
Personally, I would come back to this restaurant for special occasions as the service, ambience and food made me feel very special.