Went last night after hearing some good things. It’s easy to miss the parking lot just before the Grove 2 off rt 35, but if you turn onto Patterson Ave, right after World Market and Deans and then make your first left into the lot, your next left is for Albarino. It was a nice night and the outside tables were packed so it’s a good thing we made reservations. The staff were attentive and professional.
They bill themselves as a wine bar and tapas place, but they have a full bar including some interesting Gin and tonic options and craft cocktails. We decided to sample a few of the tapas. The empanada and the garlic shrimp came out first, and while the empanada was good, the shrimp were excellent - perfectly cooked in a bowl redolent with garlic. The only thing that would have made it even better would be if they served bread to soak up all that goodness.
They had an iberico ham special at, I think, $28 an ounce for just the ham. For some reason I thought we weren’t able to get real pata negra here in the states, so I was wary. We decided to have a different special that used the ham - two sunny side up eggs over crispy ham and brussel sprouts. This was the star dish of the night on a night with a few stars. We also had an order of fried eggplant that struck me as kinda plain.
They have a pastry chef and we sampled two desserts. The chocolate pastel was a bit dense but chewy and good. But the almond cake was light and airy and paired perfectly with some citrusy caramel.
We enviously observed another couple eating the paella for two and I think next time we go it will be with another couple so we can share some of that.