With a veritable bible of Spanish wines and sherries, Tapavino has spruced up the CBD's traditional tapas offerings. And like the heritage warehouse that now calls owner Frank Dilernia's recent venture home, it's not going anywhere.
We began with a glass of the delicious Beronia Tempranillo ($14), a rich, well balanced and big Spanish rioja, as we surveyed the place, nibbling on warm, Spanish olives with padrom pepper ($6). The powerful wooden beams holding up the first floor were impressive, echoing Sydney's industrial past and adding a powerful divide between the horizontal lines of the wine bottle back bar and chequered, chopping board table tops.
Our kind waitress assisted us with the menu. She insisted we try the Pata Negra jamon from the jamon bar to our right ($24). The King of Pigs, before its timely execution, was everything a royal bite should be. Swiftly followed by the sweet special lamb ribs, braised in cider ($11) and the mashed broad bean, pea, mint and goat's curd tostado ($12).
Wine time again, we opted for the Broquel, a deep Argentian Malbec ($8), and waited for round two. Hungry for more jamon, the house-cut with cauliflower and manchego cheese puffs ($14) took care of any lingering pork cravings before the steak, mushroom, sherry and grape hot pot ($15) sizzled its way to our table complete with nice, flaky pastry. The sea perch, piqullio peppers, egg, potato and sherry mayo, wrapped in paper and sporting a 20 minute wait, was also well worth it ($20).
For dessert, a tasty glass of Nectar Pedro Ximenez sherry ($10) could have done the job, but with Sydney's current preoccupation with savoury sweets, we simply couldn't overlook the chocolate terrine, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt ($12).
Without a doubt, Tapavino represents everything tapas stands for: eating fine food and drinking even finer wine. So whether you're in the market for one or both, you won't have to look much further.