Nearly every time I've gone to Chris' parents house in Narragansett, he has mentioned 'Spain' as being a great option for a nicer meal. Being a lover of all things Spain, I was quite delighted when the whole lot of us decided to dine there one evening over Memorial weekend.
The restaurant itself is quite large and seems accustomed to hosting large parties of vacationers or a variety of celebratory occasions. The lighting has an overall dim yellow glow to it, and pictures from all over Spain line the walls. The first floor has a main dining room and sizable bar, while the second level is dining only and rather lush thanks to all the hanging green plants. With our party of twelve we were led upstairs after a few minutes of waiting.
Taking my first glance at the menu I found a few things problematic, namely the presence of pasta and some other not-quite-Spanish items. After some further consideration and realization that this place was not in Madrid, I was ok with the stretch of Spanish cuisine. When our bread was presented with herb butter and not olive oil I cringed a bit, but not to turn down some nice butter I quickly became accustomed.
Those of us of age began with two pitchers of sangria, one red, one white. While tasty, the red was a bit too juicy for my tastes and could have used a bit more spice, not to mention a bit of a kick via brandy or another liqueur. This, however, did not stop me from several glasses. I unfortunately did not taste the white, but it looked nice and refreshing. Skipping appetizers, everyone figured out their meal choices and were ready to order. I had a taste for veal and went with the veal "Jerez", served in a sherry (Jerez) sauce and sauteed with asparagus, spinach, "imported prosciutto", and provolone. It was a sizable portion and I quickly devoured every bite with gusto. The veal was very tender, and who doesn't love anything smothered in cheese and prosciutto? The vegetables were nice, as were the surprise mashed potatoes. How Spanish, I know.
Derek apparently also had a taste for veal, opting for the "Madrid" option.
This was prepared in a light egg batter sautéed in white wine and citrus sauce and was accompanied with rice and some vegetables. This was gone in no time, so it must have been delicious.
Christopher went with the paella marinara, a variety of shellfish baked into saffron rice. This included scallops, shrimp, mussels, and much to my delight half a lobster! The seafood itself was very nice, though I thought the rice could have used a bit more flavor to it.
Bessie chose the "Pasta de Vigo", named after the Galician city. This consisted of shrimp sautéed with romano and sun dried tomatoes, fresh basil, Absolut Vodka, and garlic & herbs all served over the chef's pasta, which appeared to be linguini. A simple dish, there is not much that could have gone wrong with it, and the sun dried tomatoes added a nice bit of extra flavor. Meanwhile Tara went with one of the daily specials, the lobster ravioli. From what I recall the dish consisted of eight ravioli with a smattering of shrimp served on top. The ravioli were very much enjoyed, and Tara attested to legitimate chunks of lobster inside each pasta. She did, however, say that the accompanying sauce with Absolut vodka was much thinner than what she is used to having with ravioli of that sort.
At the end of the meal everyone was satisfied and certainly no one had room for dessert. If you are ever in Narragansett and looking for a satisfying meal with a hint of ethnic "flair", I wouldn't hesitate to mention Spain...just don't come expecting to be transported onto the Iberian peninsula.