We now have the best of both eating customs right here in Bayside with El Patio. Light eaters can have tapas as their early evening meal and serious heavy eaters can enjoy the generous servings served from the main course and pasta sections of the menu.
The long, narrow dining room is minimally decorated and is on the second floor with a picture window view of Bell Boulevard. Of the two staircases to the second floor, the one at the front entrance has a better handrail and is easier to climb. The wheelchair accessible first floor contains the long bar and a few tables where food can be served to those who prefer not to climb the stairs.
The year-old El Patio offers a long list of tapas, hot and cold. You can enjoy them as tapas or order several as appetizers. Our first order was from the tapas menu; Shrimp in Green Sauce with parsley as the main ingredient to give this dish its color and flavor. Our second tapas was Shish Kebab Spanish style (Pincho Moruno): cubes of grilled chunks of pork with onions on a skewer nicely presented with shredded lettuce, green and black olives and long, white asparagus spears wrapped in a red pimento.
With the tapas, we ordered an accompanying half-pitcher of popular red sangria (white sangria also available) made with sparkling water, red wine, brandy and assorted bits of fruit (apple, orange, lemon). We were served a full small pitcher and two full glasses. There is also a nice list of reasonably priced wines by either the glass or the bottle.
The first entrée we ordered was Shrimp with Rice served in a typical hot, metal paella pan - truly hot in temperature, not with spices. On a bed of saffron rice rested jumbo and medium shrimp, green pigeon peas, bits of pimento and olives; a large and tasty serving for $17.50. The Classic Paella a la Valenciana includes an assortment of chicken and seafood made to order and requires 20 to 25 minutes to prepare. That should be about the time required for you to enjoy the sangria and the hot or cold tapas.
Our second entrée was also served piping hot. It was the Seafood Combination in a large oval, earthenware casserole heaped high with mussels, scallops, two-sized shrimp and topped with a lobster body. A side dish of small, whole, batter-coated potatoes, rice, broccoli florets, baby carrots and olives added to generous offering. (In fact, we took home portions of both entrees.)
Other interesting listings on the menu are in the pasta section. Included are many popular pasta dishes such as Fettuccini Carbonara (heavy cream sauce with bacon) and the Penne Mediterraneo, which is loaded with seafood (shrimp, scallops, clams, mussels, calamari) in marinara sauce with garlic and white wine. As is typical with this restaurant, the seafood offered is fresh and well-prepared.
Along with American coffee, we ended our dinner with excellent double-sized portions of flan (the caramelized custard) and crème brulee (browned sugar-encrusted vanilla crème).
El Patio Tapas Bar Restaurant and Lounge
42-09 Bell Blvd.
Hours: Lunch and dinner 7 days. Sunday brunch.
Credit Cards: All major
Parking: Curbside or nearby municipal parking lot.
Special Entertainment: Thursday night at 11 p.m., Deep House , Hip Hop, Reggae; Saturday night, Salsa Music
Specials: Lunch special - $10 including a complementary drink. Prix fixe menu Sun thru Thur. is $16 and includes complementary drink.
Catering: Available for private parties.
Shrimp in green Sauce...$9
Shish Kebab Spanish Style...$10
Cold or hot tapas...$12
Rice and Shrimp...$17.50
Seafood Combination (in casserole)...$22.50
Sangria, red or white (1/2 pitcher)...$14
©2004 Community News Group
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