Housed in one of Bristol’s historic Harbourside Buildings on Princes Street, you will find this super independently owned Spanish Tapas Restaurant which first opened back in 2002.
As you walk into the restaurant the rustic tiled floor, beamed ceilings, whitewashed walls, Spanish music and lively atmosphere, gives a very authentic Spanish feel. There is a nice choice of tables from cosy intimate corners for a romantic meal for two through to large tables for bigger parties or groups. Join them on Sunday evenings for live flamenco dancing, live Spanish music and traditional paella from 7.30 pm.
We visited in July with a couple of friends from out of town who were in Bristol for a Salsa dancing event. I suggested El Puerto as I have visited there many times over the years, always enjoyed the food and I hadn’t been there for at least a year or so.
The reservation was made for 8pm, when we arrived our friends were already enjoying a drink at the bar. We were shown to our table by a jolly fellow and our orders taken shortly afterwards. One of our friends had indicated he was looking to eat something fairly substantial so I suggest one of the main meals (fish, steak or mixed grill etc) but upon viewing the menu he also decided there was such a good choice of Tapas we should share a variety of these (a very good decision in my eyes).
Tapas dishes range from £4 – £7 each and in my opinion are good value for money, they are large enough that 3 per person is more than enough for even the hungriest of us, 10 or 12 between a group of four give a really varied selection. A separate gluten free menu and vegetarian options are also available. There is also a fairly large wine list, a very good selection of Spanish beers and of course Sangria. See their full Menu.
We ordered an array of dishes, including – Chorizo a la plancha (grilled chorizo sausage), Pollo Ajillo (chicken in garlic & white wine sauce), Costillas Crujientes (crispy pork ribs), Chuletitas de cordero (Lamb Chops marinated in garlic), Espeto de Sardinas (Sardines cooked over charcoal), Pescaditos (Whirebait), Patatas Bravas & Patatas Ali Oli (deep fried potatoes with spicy tomato sauce and with garlic mayonnaise), Abondigas (meatballs in tomato sauce), to name but a few (my mouth is seriously watering just writing these !) We were also served bread with aioli and olives while our tapas was being prepared.
The dishes were brought to the table freshly as they were prepared, a few at a time, which in my opinion is ideal as none get the chance to go cold whilst eating and makes for an extended period of chatting whilst eating and drinking. I opted for a bottle of wine recommended by the waiter and the boys had Estrella, both were going down very well.
After we finished the tapas only two of us decided that we had just enough space to fit one of the mouth-watering homemade desserts on offer. I went for the El Puerto Strawberry Mess (their take on an Eton Mess with Fresh Strawberries, Organic Cream, Ice Cream & Meringue) which was absolutely delightful.
To summarise our night out El Peurto was fantastic – good company in pleasant surroundings, lovely atmosphere, scrumptious food, nice cold beers and friendly attentive service.
El Puerto has changed management a few times over the years, the new owner “Kani” took over just a few months ago and is keeping up the reputation of being Bristol’s #1 Spanish Tapas Restaurant.
57 Prince Street, Bristol BS1 4QH – 01179 256014 – 01179 279279 – email email@example.com
Parking is available right opposite in The Grove car park – £3 from 6pm – midnight
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