Restaurant Review: Red Tapas Bar and Grille

Published December 16, 2012 by mrsrag

Location: Downtown at the Gardens, 11701 Lake Victoria Gardens #3102, Palm beach Gardens, FL 33410. Next to Dirty Martini. Phone: 561 333-7331.


I’ve heard some people say that size doesn’t matter.  This is a lie…a bold faced lie.  It absolutely does matter.  Especially when it comes to food portions, in my opinion.  Tapas is defined as “small savory dishes”.  Usually, it’s appetizer size portions served with cocktails.  I’ve had tapas in many different places; Las Vegas, Rhode Island, California and the Sunshine state – just to name a few.  Tapas appeals to me because I enjoy variety when I’m eating and I like getting a taste of everything the venue has to offer.  The several items we tried at Red Tapas were absolutely delicious, intricate and complex dishes that exhibited culinary prowess.  As I explained earlier, tapas is defined as “small plates”.  These plates were very small indeed.  Honestly, too small for my apetite.  And the prices seemed excessive.  Ross and I decided to have a taste of their Filet Mignon Carpaccio, blackened Edamame and Lamb chops.  I wasn’t expecting a 20 oz. steak or two giant chops, but I did expect to feel satiated at the end of the meal.  Instead I found myself already pondering what I was going to eat for dinner.  Perhaps, I’ve been utterly spoiled by our other bar hopping favorites.  Without naming any names, there are a couple of places that come to mind when I hear Carpaccio.  One place has a Ahi Tuna Carpaccio and the other has a beef.  The portion sizes that you receive at these other destinations are quite impressive.  Literally they are triple the size of the Filet Carpaccio we tried and half the price.  And if you’re lucky enough to stop at one of these places for happy hour, you are looking at an even better deal.  In this unstable and weak economy we really enjoy getting the most bang for our buck.  I didn’t feel like we got our money’s worth at Red Tapas.

I am going to name names honey if you don’t mind.  You see Maria and I were heading for The Cheesecake Factory for their wonderful and ample Ahi Carpaccio, when we spotted the brand new Red Tapas (they’ve been open a month) and decided to give it a shot.  I thought the atmosphere was pretty decent, we sat outside near the bar in an interesting cushioned, bench-like table combo, they also have tables with little gas firepits at them which I thought was cool as well.  The music selection was a bit odd for 3 o’clock in the afternoon, a pulsing, generic club beat, but at least it wasn’t too loud.  I’m in total agreement with Maria’s evaluation of the food, very good but way too small and overpriced.  The lamb chops were the bomb, but $15 for two little ones?  Their beef carpaccio was delicious, but again, $11 and very small.  You can go around the corner to the Gardens Mall and have an equally delicious, giant beef carpaccio for less money at Brio.  Honestly, we’re the furthest thing from cheap people that you’ll run into, but we’re also not about squandering money either.  I’m certainly not ready to give up on Red Tapas.  The place is aesthetically pleasing and we noticed they have a happy hour 4 to 7, so I’m pretty sure we’ll give them another try.  But I would say if money is a concern for you and you’re starving, you may want to consider an alternative destination.

I’m definitely up for giving them another try.  Planning would have garnered some success, as Ross previously mentioned, we could have waited for happy hour.  The place has only been open for a month, so I’m hoping they get some accurate feedback and make the necessary changes to be successful.  On a positive note we did have a very tasty Riesling called Su Yuen, made by the Francis Ford Coppola winery.  This crisp and refreshing white wine could have easily accompanied any of the numerous dishes on the diverse menu.  It was the highlight of my first experience at Red Tapas.  Hopefully, there will be more things to rave about following our next visit.

Ah the Su Yuen.  Nice wine, nicer bottle, with a little fable about the Princess and the history of dim sum on the label.  You know, we ended up at The Cheesecake Factory for the ahi carpaccio the next afternoon.  Christmas shopping takes a lot out of you, you simply have to find a place to unwind and detox from the “holiday cheer” you encounter out there.  Wherever you end up, I hope you find the right combination of loved ones, laughter and libation.  Cheers! 

Maria’s Rating: 2.5 Wine Glasses out of 5.

Ross’ Rating: 2.5 Wine Glasses.






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