Although I was in the office for several hours today, I was able to get by because I knew at 10pm I would be able to reunite with Don Draper and the gang. My 10pm plans were derailed when I remembered that earlier in the day Mr. G and I agreed to go to dinner with the elder Mr. G and his Ms. S. I spent a few minutes salivating over the menu for Pipa and realized it would be well worth it. (Not to mention that DVR is a lifesaver!)
We arrived at Pipa for our 8:30 reservation and decided to sit indoors. The restaurant is located in a warehouse style space with an open kitchen and TONS of chandeliers, which apparently are for sale! There was a live band playing and the music wasn't offensively loud. We settled into our seats and made some decisions about what we would like to eat.
In no particular order, here it goes...
These Bolas de Queso Croquetas were nay the best. Everyone else at the table loved them, but fried balls of goat cheese with white wine dipping sauce didn't really do it for me. I tried it though, which is better than my usual habit of turning my nose up at anything that looks like I may not like it.
The Cangrejo Coca got rave reviews from most of the table. I mean what's not to love about Catalan Flat Bread topped with crab meat, goat cheese, tomato, green & red bell peppers, jalapeno and mustard oil. I was surprised that the goat cheese worked so well as a way to hold together the ingredients.
Gambas al Ajillo was delightful as always. What's not to love about sauteed Ecuadorian shrimp with garlic and chilies. And of course I couldn't help myself and dipped the bread in the sauce.
Crispy Calamari was lightly floured but crispy and topped with the most amazing smoked paprika aioli that I've ever encountered.
The Scallops a la Plancha was heavenly. Diver scallops, sauteed spinach with manchego cheese sauce and caramelized onions. Woweeee!
Stuffed Piquillos were also really good. Piquillo peppers stuffed with crab meat and shrimp covered in a piquillo aioli.
The table also ordered Beef Meatballs which were served in sofrito sauce with green pepper demi-glaze, creme fraiche and tomato. Ms. S remarked that it was like eating meatballs in pico de gallo.
Our server was definitely not on point. He forgot all about our Gambas then tried to play it off. We did order some Patatas Bravas while we were waiting though and those sliced crisp potatoes with brava aioli were just what I needed to fill me up.
And by fill me up I mean transition to dessert!!
We ordered the Crema Catalana which was vanilla custard with caramelized brown sugar (read: creme brulee) and Bomba de Chocolate a delectable milk chocolate shell, hazelnut tuille and chocolate, vanilla and hazelnut sauces.
I have GOT to learn how to make hazelnut desserts.
Pipa was a glorious dining experience and the company was fabulous! I definitely recommend it if you're looking for a great Tapas (y mas) place. Although be forewarned our server was definitely not on point. I mean seriously, who brings you spoons for dessert AFTER you already ate dessert!!