Thursday, May 17, 2007

Tapas at Club Cayo Coco

Tonight my company's social committee put on an event that is totally my thing -- tapas at Club Cayo Coco. We were supposed to have a group of 32 people, but only 23 showed up on time so we ate like kings. And I had promised my new trainer yesterday that I would eat better. I can start tomorrow.

We started with mojitos and pitchers of sangria that were both really good. I think the last time I had sangria I was in university in Montreal. We used to go to a Mexican place called Carlos and Pepes that was a restaurant by day but turned into a beer-soaked den of iniquity at night. The sangria tonight was much better. It probably had decent red wine in it rather than dep wine (if you lived in Montreal when you were under 20, you know what this is).

We were set up in a private room upstairs at awkward long tables. I had pictured it being a more casual and loungey situation, but it turned out to be pretty formal. I suppose it would have been difficult to eat the food we had standing up and juggling a drink at the same time.

For the tapas, they started by bringing out warm, crusty bread with garlic butter and pico de gallo, which is a spicy, tomato-based condiment. The bread was a big hit. Next came a decent chickpea salad with red peppers and onions, whole roasted mushrooms with garlic, and marinated seafood, which consisted of shelled mussels, squid, and shrimp in a citrus marinade (kind of like a ceviche). The mushrooms were delicious and the ceviche thing was passably fresh, but the squid was pretty rubbery. This was followed by sliced chorizo sausage (smoky, nice), deep-fried calamari (to die), chicken breast in a garlic butter sauce, beef meatballs in tomato sauce (tender, amazing), and garlic butter shrimp (excellent, fresh).

The restaurant curated our dinner, so we didn't make any choices, but everything was pretty good and they gave us a nice assortment of dishes. Our amazing social committee footed the bill for the entire meal so I have no idea what it costs. But, if you go I strongly recommend the mojitos, sangria, roasted mushrooms, deep-fried calamari, beef meatballs, and garlic shrimp.

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