Missing the small plate sharing, tapas scene I was happy to be able to cease the craving today with Como Taperia, a Spanish tapas restaurant I have been meaning to check out.

I was gifted 2 boxes for 2 to go. Each equipped with 2 self mixed cocktails, 6 small plates, and a dessert. The goal was to showcase Martini Vermouth, and how it pairs well as a digestive for traditional Italian food. Plus how easy it is to mix in a variety of simple cocktails, making it great on this casual weekday with its lower alcohol content.

Martini Vermouth has been made in Pessione, Torino, Italy; the original city of the Italian Aperitivo for over 150 years. Martini Vermouth’s secret recipe with over 500 botanical samples is created at the discretion of their master blender for quality & consistency year over year. (As taken from Martini’s press release).

I would take my boxed goodies over to my friend’s place and bring girl’s night out, in. Some assembly was required as two dishes needed a good pan fry, and they were best when done right before eating. When done, we re-plated and brought everything together on a handsome tapas board with our Martini Dry cocktails.

The first of the latter was the V&T, made with Martini Dry spirit, cucumber bitters, and Indian tonic. You basically mix everything together over ice and garnish with cucumber slices. This was a refreshing and easy to drink cocktail. It made for a great start as an aperitif, and paired well with all the dishes to follow.

The second cocktail was SL’s Negroni 4.0, made with Martini Bianco, Lumette N/A gin, Wood Ciaro Amaro, and orange. Another easy mixer, but with a more complex flavour. We got woodsy and floral notes that evolved the more we put lips to glass. This served as a great drink to cleanse the palette with, and to end our sumptuous meal on.

The Shishito Peppers required a toss in the pan before eating. Such blistered green peppers are a staple at most tapas bars in Spain. You add oil to hot pan, over medium heat, then cook the peppers until they start blistering. Finally finishing them off with quality sea salt. These were so simple, yet turned out to be my favourite items in the box. I will have to buy some of these peppers myself and repeat this again at home. Or I can always just get it done perfectly from Como. I guess that is one of many reasons to actually try their dine in service.

Similarly the Jamon croquettes needed some time frying in a pan, before eating. Each log was stuffed with jamon iberico and breaded, then bound in a rich sauce. To get each golden brown and crispy, we heated vegetable oil in a pan, searing each side until the desired colour; making sure to not leave them in the oil for too long, otherwise they would explode. To finish, you dry them on paper towel to blot oil and cool. This was my second favourite small plate. They served as the only carb, and a much needed element to round out our meal with. Whereas a loaf of crusty buttered bread to use as dip and a base for the following would have been ideal. Especially with the octopus below and all its seasonings and herbs.

As for the croquettes they were crispy on the outside and had the texture of whipped mashed potatoes on the inside, speckled with the salty ham. It ate deliciously as is, but I couldn’t help but want a tangy dip to coat it in. All the flavours of these breaded sticks melds together, giving you a nice full taste of the ham, and not just cheese that over powers.

The rest are served room temperature, like the Gordal olives. These big and juicy olives were imported from Spain. With plenty of juicy flesh, these weren’t too salty. They were great to nibble on, and served as a fine pairing with our first cocktail as a rejuvenating agent.

We got more olives with the Glida. The classic Gilda is a simple assembly of guindilla (a type of chilli pepper), anchovies and olives, topped with quality Spanish olive oil. You eat it all in one go and get a burst of flavour for our efforts. Salty and tangy, this one will be good with a full bodied red wine.

The Goats cheese stuffed peppers offered some much needed sweetness to the assembly (outside of the dessert). Peppadew peppers stuffed with citrus whipped goat cheese. The sweetness of pepper and salty rich cheese meld well together.

The Galician style octopus was slowly poached then grilled, served with yellow German potatoes, anchovy verde, olive oil, and pimenton. This too was served at room temperature. Saucy with the oil and flavourful with the seasonings, you fully made out the texture and flavour of the cephalopod; and went back for more bite after bite.

For dessert we had the Arron Con Leche. This ate like a fun oatmeal, topped with juicy peach slices. Mildly sweet with a nice porridge-like texture it served as a great way to cleanse our palettes and end our meal on a satisfying note.

All together the food was on point, and everything paired well with everything else, and the drinks. This teaser taste definitely deserves a second go with a dine-in at the actual restaurant. I got a look around when I picked up my order, and noted how cozy the space was, and how the decor cleverly incorporated marketplace goods for sale. All definitely deserving of a repeat, Martini Dry drinks and all.

#martiniwithfriends
@martini
@comotaperia

Como Taperia
201 E 7th Ave, Vancouver, BC V5T 0B4
(604) 879-3100
comotaperia.com