Here’s the thing about Milonga Wine & Tapas. It really should be called Milonga Wine, Tapas and Italian.
Because the place is not only a tapas bar or a wine bar. In fact, it’s not even only a Spanish restaurant. It’s a restaurant with a bit of an idenitity crisis.
In the main restaurant, there are white tablecloths, a mainly Italian menu with big portions of pastas and proteins, and an outdoor patio.
In the bar and lounge, it’s very dark: almost clubby. The bar is black, and so is the ceiling. The seats are red, and so are the walls. There are globe lights hanging from above the bar, and flat-screen TVs.
But as long as you’re firm in your convictions about what you want, you’ll be fine. In fact, you’ll probably eat quite well at Milonga. I know we did. It just wasn’t exactly where we wanted to eat. More on that, after the jump. But first, a photo of an absolutely beautifully balanced shot of ceviche:
So I went with a few friends after work. It was the Thursday before July 4th weekend and the weather was (finally) fantastic. We were hoping to sit outside on the patio.
As you can see, no one was dining outside. When we asked if we could sit outside, we were told yes, but only if you’re ordering off the dinner menu. That is the same as if you are dining in the dining room:
On a gorgeous summer day, where would you rather be? On that patio? Or here:
Where the crowd is cacophonous and their noise bounces off every hard surface in the room.
We asked why we weren’t allowed to do tapas on the patio, and we were told it was because it wasn’t profitable. People lingering over a couple of tapas won’t bring the check total high enough.
So that’s the bad news. It’s too bad it kind of marred our visit, because the food was very, very good indeed. The tortilla Espanola ($4) was the only dish that wasn’t out of the park. It was good, but when everything else is great, well….
The octopus, on the other hand, was a knockout. Pulpo a la Brasa ($8): Octopus with olive oil, tomatoes and gaeta olives.
Great texture on the octopus. And the sweet octopus with the briny olives worked great.
And this dish was a revelation. Chorizo and figs ($5):
This can sometimes be a big mistake. Not enough balance. Either it’s too sweet or twoo much spicy meat. This was just perfect.
And then the ceviche. It was a special, so I don’t remember the price. But it was terrific.
Tender, sweet, spicy, juicy… my mouth is watering!
So I will definitely give the dinner side of Milonga a try. That menu has a mostly Italian slant (rigatoni Milonga, Fettucini Bolognese), and it does have some tapas on the appetizer list (chorizo and figs, for example), but not many (baked eggplant rollatini, clams oreganata, grilled Italian sausage).
And the last item on the menu? Paella ($29) with shrimp, scallops, clams, mussels, sausage, chicken and lobster. Mmm. If it’s anything like that ceviche….