Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tapas...NOT Topless!

This blog has been slow in the making , but here goes finally!

Thursday, April 30Th was my birthday...we will not discuss my age, and I think I will stop aging now.
The first 6 hours of my day was spent in the car, as the passenger from Phoenix to San Diego. Carlsbad California to be exact, my guy and I arrived at, as you know our Favorite Starwood Hotel, the Sheraton located directly next Lego Land...Never been to Lego Land and since I have no children...no desire to go.

On check in Guest Service Representative Kira Kahn welcomed us and for my birthday bumped us up to the concierge level. So Of course we started the evening with free wine and appetizers on the lawn, relaxing in the Adirondack chairs. While the wine was not the best, it was definitely the best price! Thanks Kira!

Chef Reed Anderson, I am told is the man in charge of creating the fabulous Tapas at the Sheraton Carlsbad. The ingredients for Tapas night come to the chef every week via the local farmers, so the menu changes according what is fresh and in season, and it shows! Every Thursday at Twenty/20 Grill &Wine Bar is Tapas night from 5pm to 8pm and it is big!

Unlike the food, which as Tapas means...small food, my interpretation. The always friendly staff serve up a variety of cooked to order Tapas, special wines for $5 a glass and there is live music.

The chefs prepare all the Tapas right out on the Patio on Portable grills and Flat tops. This adds to the great ambiance the smell of great food cooking, the cool ocean breezes and the relaxing live music...perfect! The large patio has a great view of the ocean, yes there is a parking lot and about 2 miles between us and the actual beach.

There are lots of romantically lit tables a double sided fire place, and relaxing couches. Tall out door heaters are scattered about, and in theory keep the area comfortable year round. being southern California it can get a bit chilly when the sun sets.

The heater situation was a funny one, I say this after a couple glasses of wine mind you...there seemed to be a shortage of full propane tanks, and the management spent all night juggling large heaters trying to find ones that worked...Our table seemed to be the place heaters go to die. A heater would be all fired up and heating those around it until they moved it to our table! Then poof! it was dead. we killed at least three heaters before we found a good sturdy one! No worries though, there was plenty of wine and laughter to keep us from freezing. My darling sister (barefoot mommy) and her husband joined me and my guy for this fun occasion. Good company, great wine and even better food will go a long way to make you feel warm in any situation!

The Menu is pretty simple with price sections of $1 - $6. Each price section had one or two delicious options. Having experienced Tapas Night on a previous occasion I was looking forward to sharing the experience with family. Our server first brought out a bowl of popcorn as a snack with black sea salt sprinkled on it, and offered wine. The special wines of the night were a variety of Malbec and a Tempranillo...unfortunately I had, had a couple glasses of wine prior to dinner (free club level wine...)and forgot to get the names of these wines....Bad Wino! Lets just focus on the food for now...

Our server left us alone with the menu to make our selections. Let me just state our reservation was for 7 pm... This only gave us an hour to eat Tapas! Our waiter (and my guy) didn't seem to feel the urgency in this as much as I did. About 20 minutes after seven when he arrived to take our order I felt this could be my last chance to place an order ( I know, ye of little faith!). So being the food fan I am I ordered one of everything except a salmon dish...and the shrimp cocktail...not a fan of sea food. The waiter, looked at me like I was crazy, and might have even asked "are you sure? you know you can order more later, just as long as its before 8pm". by now it was already 7:30 and I was taking no risks! Everyone else went with about 3 selections...optimists!
These are some selections I made; Bruchetta which was actually just a toasted slice of baguette with olive oil and balsamic, tasty and simple.

Grilled pear tomatoes in olive oil sprinkled with feta cheese. The mini Chili Relleno, sweet little yellow peppers grilled and stuffed with creamy goat cheese, yummy and adorable!

Then there was the chicken taco...with ham, avocado and a sour cream sauce and I believe Panela cheese.

Hummus on a small pita, simple yet delicious. Being a lover of all things beef I also got the fillet with the sauteed mushrooms and a sharp English cheese, this was the best! Next time I am getting two of those!

I can not remember the exact name for the next one...I think it was Mongolian Beef BBQ. There were strips of beef in a sweet and tangy sauce sprinkled with sesame seeds, and served on top of watermelon and a side of cucumber slices.

This evening was absolutely wonderful, we laughed we ate really good food. Yes we may have been a bit cold, but it did not slow down the fun! Thank you Barefoot Mommy for the great company, and thank you Chef Reed for all the wonderful flavors!

This is definitely a 5 sister rating every time!


  1. Happy belated Birthday, Wino!

    Wow, what a feast and in such gorgeous surroundings too. Love it! I'm completely charmed by that popcorn and absolutely craving the mini chili relleno. Yum!

    What a great post, thanks for sharing your special birthday feast. :)

  2. Thank you Diva! I am also craving those Chili relleno! I am waiting on an email from the chef to get the exact kind of pepper they were...I will keep you posted!

  3. Oooh, please do. I love chili relleno and am always up for trying a new pepper. Yay!