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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 goats 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 goats 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

Thursday, Aug. 28


Learn more about the citys upcoming municipal elections during the presentation of the project Road Map for the Municipal Elections being presented this evening in the conference hall on the third floor of Biblioteka at 21 Nevsky Prospekt. Steve Kaddins, a coordinator for Beautiful St. Petersburg, which gives residents an online forum to lodge complaints about infrastructure problems in the city, will be on hand to answer any questions. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. and is open to all.



Friday, Aug. 29


Park Pobedy will feature the sights and sounds of the world outside of Russia during the Open Art International Festival today. Taste foreign cuisine, learn how to make tea like the Chinese or relax in a hammock during the free event. Although entrance is free, you must register beforehand if you wish to attend.



Saturday, Aug. 30


Break out the tweed and channel your inner Englishman during the English Hunt Picnic this afternoon organized by the Bagmut stables from Krasny Bor in the Leningrad Oblast. Equestrian stunts, English archery and classic hunting fashion will all be available to visitors hoping to live like the characters in Downton Abbey if only for a day. Tickets for the event cost 7,900 rubles ($219.40).


Bookworms will have their chance to swap out well-read classics for something new for their bookshelves at Knigovorot, a free book exchange that will be held in the Yusupov Garden on Sadovaya Ulitsa today. Come for the chance to get a new book or take the opportunity to discuss the literary merits of your favorite authors with fellow fans.



Sunday, Aug. 31


The Neva Delta International Blues Festival wraps up this afternoon on Vasilevsky Island with a concert featuring not only some of Russias best blues bands but international stars as well. Admission is free for all three days of the festival, which begins on Aug. 29, and the shows starting at 5 p.m. each day.



Monday, Sept. 1


Today marks the beginning of Lermontov-Fest, a fall festival celebrating the life of one of Russias most remarkable poets who, in a fate eerily similar to Pushkins, was killed in a duel at the age of 26. Organized by the Lermontov Library System, the next several months will see art exhibitions, concerts and public lectures focusing on the Lermontovs short yet prolific career. Check the Lermontov Library Systems website for more details.



Tuesday, Sept. 2


Join expats and practice your Russian during the Russian Clubs weekly meetings every Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. The club is free to participate in although you need to be a registered member of Couchsurfing.



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