There's been a spate of tapas joints popping up around town like shrooms after the rain. With the exception of one - which I was curious about because of the partnership with a New York chain - I had managed to stay away from this fad. I've always been skeptical of restaurant and food fads, and steering clear of them in the past has usually proven to be the prudent course of action.
In the middle of this crowd was a new outpost from another famous chef from abroad. Jason Atherton, he of 1-macaron Pollen Street Social fame, established a beachhead on Ship Street in the form of 22 Ships. The foodie crowd had been buzzing about this place for months, but as usual I took my sweet old time for my first visit. There were people complaining about the establishment's refusal to take bookings, so people have to actually just walk in and take their chances… ¡Qué Horror! To think that they'd run it the way that a tapas bar in Spain would be… where you actually stand or sit on bar stools and just nibble on little bites of bar food, then go hopping from one bar to the next… without reservations at any of them! What on earth were the owners thinking?!
I finally got my chance tonight to check out the place when a friend suggested it. We decided to get there earlier than we normally would eat dinner, to increase our chances of securing seats quickly. The place was doing good business, but fortunately the turnover seemed to be reasonably quick, too. We got seated in no time, although my friend got pushed up against the wall at the end of the counter. The upside is that we got to see pretty much everything that was happening in the kitchen…
My dining companion "wasn't very hungry"… and ended up nibbling most of the evening. This meant that the burden of polishing off the dishes fell on my shoulders. Oh well, there are worse things in this world!