El Bareto - Review
|Published: 11th September 2010 17:05|
If you haven't yet visited El Bareto - the Spanish Tapas Bar on Gledhow Valley Road - I would definitely recommend it.
We were lucky enough to visit on a warm September evening and when we arrived at 8.30pm diners were sitting outside in the spacious outdoor seating area enjoying their meal. We were going to sit outside for a pre-dinner drink, but decided to head straight on into the restaurant as we were keen to listen to the music which Maya and her guitarist provide most Friday evenings.
Inside there is a real cosy ambience with a warm authentic Spanish welcome from Pablo, Maya and Yeyo - the Villegas family who run the restaurant. There is a friendly bar upstairs which was busy full of people enjoying the Spanish beers and wine on offer. As well as the Spanish Beer - Estrella and Alhambra, which was what we chose and was a very refreshing start to the evening - there are a variety of other beers including Belgian, Italian, Mexican, Argentian, Irish and Alcohol Free. There is also an extensive wine list, at very reasonable prices.
The restaurant itself is downstairs, and there is also another bar downstairs which was again bustling full of people enjoying their drinks and listening to the music. The music really created a lovely atmosphere and was a mixture of Spanish music and easy listening including covers of the Beatles, Queen and Soft Cell (all our favourites!) - we found ourselves humming along to many of the excellent arrangements. Maya's easy listening versions of these hits was very "Peggy Lee esque" and her gentle, sweet voice provided the perfect backdrop to our meal.
You could certainly enjoy yourself just having a drink or two and listening to the music at El Bareto, but if you didn't stay to sample the tapas you would be missing out. To start with we chose tapas dishes of Patatas Jefa - which was a delicious combination of potatoes, sausages and onions in a spicy sauce and Langostinos al Ajillo - Garlic King Prawns. Both dishes really delivered on flavour, the spicy sauce with the potatoes and sausages was really picquant and the prawns were very succulent and juicy.
For our next course we were going to choose the seafood paella to share as we had heard great stories about the Paella at El Bareto but we were both seduced by the Specials Board and in the end chose two dishes from there - the Duck with caramelised sauce and goat's cheese and Grilled halibut with asparagus.
The duck was cooked beautifully and the sauce and goats cheese complemented it perfectly. Again, the halibut was cooked perfectly and was really light and fresh tasting. The portions were very generous, however we did manage a dessert and chose the home-made White Chocolate Cheesecake which Pablo recommended - although we were so full we did have to share it. I don't need to describe the pudding - just take a look at the photo below - and I can assure you it tasted as good as it looked!
To accompany our meal we chose a bottle of Rioja - which was described on the wine menu as "El Bareto's Staple" - it was a really good wine and at only £14 a bottle - exceptional value.
For food, drinks, ambience and music I would whole-heartedly recommend El Bareto. The Villegas family certainly know how to give a warm, authentic Spanish welcome. Their strap line "mi casa es tu casa" certainly rings true here.
Here are some pictures from the evening.
El Bareto is open Monday - Saturday 5pm - midnight. To make a booking call 0113 266 6946
El Bareto Entrance
The Upstairs Bar
Enjoying the tapas
The Specials Board
Trying the Rioja
Almost too good to eat...