Dali: A Fantastic Little Tapas Bar

Dali is lively, welcoming and romantic Spanish tapas bar in Cambridge and is a well-known and well-liked place among Harvarders to bring a date. I can see why. The sangria is phenomenal, the atmosphere relaxing yet elegant and the menu is full of tasty, funky little 5-bite, small plate dishes some of which are extremely hard to find anywhere else in Boston. But then again… Why would you even bother looking anywhere else?

Patatas Ali-Oli

As far as cold potato salad goes, this wasn’t bad. The creamy sauce was not too thick or fatty and the garlic-caper-dill flavor combination gave great fresh, summer flavor to the potatoes. Not exceptional, however, and ordering something plain off this otherwise crazy, diverse menu is a mistake in my opinion.

Tortilla Española

I’m not usually a big fan of the tortilla, especiall cold ones but this one was warm so I gave it a chance. It was deliciously thick and flavorful, with simple traditional flavors. Fulfilling chunks of potato layered into a bed of egg with slivers of caramelized onions swimming across it. There was also a very feint hint of dill which gave the tortilla great fresh flavor.

Anca de Rana

Yeah, I guess it does taste like chicken and I don’t particularly care for chicken, too plain of a blank slate on its own. The texture, however, is completely unique. The bite-sized little tendons under the (what I thought was a bit too heavy) fried coating were a bit stringier and chewier than any part of a chicken. Although I wouldn’t describe it as an enjoyable texture per se, it was definitely different than any other protein I’ve tasted.

Oxtail in Port Sauce:

Like the frog legs, this one was on the Specials list. It has to become a daily dish and soon, at least before I leave Boston! With oxtail, you work hard for very little actual meat but the tasty little bits you do manage to scrape off the mass of bone and cartiledge are tender, possess a great depth of beefy flavor and are completely worth the effort. The Port sauce was deliciously thick and aromatic, making the struggle a bit easier to put up with.

Chorizo a la Plancha

A pretty simple but very authentic dish. Thin slices of salty, spicy, slightly chewy chorizo layered into an earthenware bowl and topped off with a few slivers of onion. As an Eastern European gal I prefer sausage when it’s cut a bit thicker, into chunks rather than thin disks, because I believe you get more of an idea of the mix of flavors that way. Nevertheless this was a tasty treat for sure.

Gorditas

Bacon-wrapped prunes filled with goat cheese. The bacon was a tad too dry and thin in my opinion and thus didn’t stand out too much against the dry prune it was wrapped around. The goat cheese gushing out from within the prune was delicious but it overpowered both of the other ingredients completely. The “juicy bacon – aged, earthy and chewy prune – tangy goat cheese” combo which I think was what Dali was going for kind-of disintegreated into a goat cheese in a boring, lifeless pocket thing. Orinoco’s Datiles, bacon-wrapped sticky date stuffed with a crunchy almond, definitely wins this match.

Empanadilla de Carne

The dough was crunchy and crisp at the edges and light and fluffy on the inside. The ground beef filling was incredibly flavorful and contained the perfect amount of moisture. The creamy green mojo sauce on the side was a great complement and added a tangy, citrus flavor to the beef. I’m picky about empanadas but this one was pretty delicious.

Conejo Escabechado

This dish was wonderful. The rabbit was cooked very well and the meat was fall-off-the-tiny-little-bone-tender. The sauce was thick and delicious. The wine gave it a great depth of flavor and the juniper added an almost cinnamon-y, autumnal spice to the dish.

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