Cúrate offers a collection of ways to enjoy Spanish tapas. Cúrate Bar de Tapas is a large restaurant that opened in 2011. (Other portions are shops, cafes, and to-go items.) The menu includes many staples of Spain’s tapas culture as well as an all-Spanish wine list. There were 2 rooms and a patio that were packed with people even on a weeknight. High ceilings, windows to the street, and copper top or marble tables set with pens to mark your menu for your selections. All plates are meant to be shared. One room had a long bar facing the kitchen and the second room had the ham area in the back. It was fairly well-lit inside but parking is as you can find it on the street, and it is an area with lots of restaurants and bars, so allow yourself some extra time to arrive. We had a terrific server, Denby, who understood our desire for flavor in the dishes and helped craft a menu that was well-paced and tasty. It is popular but get a reservation if you can.
We started with the Pimientos de Piquillo Rellenos which are piquillo peppers stuffed with Spanish goat cheese served on a parsley salsa verde. There were 3 well-stuffed bright red peppers on the plate. These are not spicy hot but are filled with wonderful flavor. The sauce was perfect with them. Delicious.
The Berenjenas con Miel were fried eggplant drizzled in honey from Honey + the Hive and garnished with rosemary. The slices of eggplant were soaked in buttermilk overnight, prior to frying, and lastly drizzled with the local honey. The light crust on the 3 slices was crisp and a lovely contrast to the creamy interior. The honey was the crowning touch to send these over the top for me. They were beyond great and I could see why the server said some people eat them for dessert.
The Nabos con Romesco were roasted Hakurei turnips and their greens, glazed with cream sherry and served over romesco sauce. The turnips were so very tender but there wasn’t enough of their tasty greens. The well-flavored romesco sauce was a wonderful match for these root vegetables.
Cerdo Ibérico was charcoal-grilled pork pluma from Ibérico pigs served with charred rosemary and thyme. It was cooked nicely pink on the inside and you could tell the meat had wonderful marbling – it was so tender and juicy. This was another amazingly good dish, full of flavor and texture.
Setas al Jerez was a selection of mushrooms sauteed with a splash of sherry. It was a nice selection of mushrooms, some with much more flavor than others but all quite good. They were wonderful too.
Butifarra a la plancha was a housemade Catalan-style pork sausage served with marinated lima beans from Rancho Gordo, confit tomato, and garlic aioli. The sausage was very savory and the large beans were perfectly cooked. The sauce was a creamy aioli that accented the other ingredients nicely. Lots of textures and tastes in this one too. Not Spain, but pretty close.
For dessert, we had the Tarta de Queso or burnt Basque Cheesecake with stewed local quince. It was like the cheesecake in Spain, but that’s a high bar to get over and this one didn’t quite get there – close but not there. Also, the person who brought it out said it was with apples which threw me cause the texture was wrong. Denby confirmed that it was quince and it was nice.