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Gypsy Tapas Bar: Free Spirit

Gypsy Tapas Bar // 14 Liteiny Prospekt // Tel: 993 77 57 // Open daily from noon till the last // guest // Meal for two with alcohol 2100 rubles ($59.65)

Published: May 14, 2014 (Issue # 1810)




  • Photo: VK.com

The logo for Gypsy Tapas Bar, a new bar on the corner of Liteiny Prospekt and Furshtatskaya, says “The place for those who love to travel,” and upon entering, we are greeted with an eclectic mix of ornaments, suggesting someone has just returned from a recent trip. Despite calling itself a tapas bar, the place is decorated with more Middle Eastern flavor than Spanish, however it is still welcoming, with the two invitingly large legs of ham sitting on a counter.

Despite greeting us warmly at the table, the waiter was of no help with our coats and instead we had to fold them by the windowsill due to the lack of hooks around. Glancing through the extensive drinks menu, I could not resist the temptation to try the “I Want a Summer Gypsy!” cocktail (300 rubles, $8.52). A mixture of rum, amaretto, berry syrup, strawberries and lemon juice, it was as sweet as it looked in presentation however, it could have done with less ice. My partner was not as lucky. Ordering a “Quiet Sangria” from their sangria range (250 rubles, $7.10), it was also beautifully presented, but was too watery.

The bar offers a one page tapas menu starting from 70 rubles ($2) for tapas with potato and up to 490 rubles ($14) for tapas topped with freshly sliced Serrano ham. We decided to sample the fresh goat’s cheese with anchovies (90 rubles, $2.55) and calamari and green sauce (130 rubles, $3.70). The flavors of both tapas were enjoyable: the salty anchovies were the perfect companion for the goat’s cheese, while the calamari rings had a firm texture and were delicious with the green sauce in which we could taste some fresh lemon. The only downside was that the bread was not freshly toasted and instead was soft and chewy in texture.

For mains, we ordered the fried Bacalao with red and yellow sweet peppers (390 rubles, $11.70) and a grilled red bass (460 rubles, $13.06). Presented with a thin crispy coating, the fresh white fish underneath was flavorsome, especially when eaten with the accompanied serving of grilled peppers.

My partner, however, spent most of the time busy deboning the red bass, which was served on a bland mixture of cooked vegetables in an awkward high-edged wooden plate. Offering a small side dish for the bones or serving it on a flat china plate would have been a better option here. However, despite the bones, the fish was well cooked and sweet.

With some room for dessert, we shared a creme catalane with fresh berries (280 rubles, $7.95), along with two Americanos (100 rubles each, $2.83). Presented in a jam jar, the creme catalane was a real delight and the highlight of the meal. The burnt sugar was blow-torched to perfection, covering the rich vanilla custard underneath. Topped with fresh berries, this dessert alone is reason enough to come back another time.

As we sipped on our coffee, we were treated to an excellent Smokie tribute band, quite fitting to the atmosphere of the venue. And as we left, humming the tune of “Lay Back in the Arms of Someone,” we did indeed feel like a pair of travelers, who had been temporarily whisked away by the gypsy spirit.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Saturday, Sept. 20


Starting on Sept. 18 and ending tomorrow is the Extreme Fantasy Wakeboarding Festival in Sunpark by Sredny Suzdalskoye lake in the Ozerki region of the city.


Those after something more laid back can instead head to Jazz and Wine night at TerraVino with legendary jazz guitarist Ildar Kazahanov. 12/14 Admiralteyskaya Emb.



Sunday, Sept. 21


Learn more about African culture and get some exercise during today’s “Djembe and Vuvuzela,” a bike ride starting in Palace Square that includes several stops where riders can listen to the music of Africa or watch short films about the continent. The riders plan to set off at 4 p.m. and all you need to join is a set of wheels.



Monday, Sept. 22


Do you love puppetry? If so, then be sure to go to BTK-Fest, a five-day festival that starts on Sept. 19 celebrating the art. Contemporaries from France, Belgium, the U.K. and other countries will join Russian artists to put on theatrical performances involving a variety of themes, materials and eras. Workshops and meetings are also scheduled for a chance to discuss the artistic medium in further depth.



Tuesday, Sept. 23


Marina Suhih, Director of the External Communications Department at Rostelecom North-West, and Yana Donskaya, HR Director for Northern Capital Gateway are just some of the confirmed participants of today’s round table discussion on “Interaction with Trade Unions” being hosted by SPIBA. Confirm your attendance with SPIBA by Sept. 22.


Kino Expo 2014, an international film industry convention, will be at LenExpo from today until Sept. 26. The third largest exhibition of film equipment in the world, the expo focuses on not only Russia but former Soviet republics as well.



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