Thursday, November 28, 2013

Santiago's Bodega

It’s official… I have a new favorite place. I have been there about ten times already (and I believe they have only been open here in Orlando for about six months).
It is a fantastic place to take people from out of town or any Foodie in general. I have introduced several different people to it and they have all enjoyed it very much.
Ladies and Gentlemen…. Santiago’s Bodega!

Santiago’s Bodega has been a staple of Key West for many years, and now they have expanded to Orlando on Virginia Ave right off of Mills. The ornately beautiful and eclectic décor is housed where Logan’s Bistro use to be, but also in the space next door…. So it is quite spacious! They offer a Dining room, a Bar with high top tables and booth seating, and if the weather is nice you can also dine outdoors.

The food is Tapas style, meaning that the portions are small and the idea is to order several things and then share. Each item runs around $10. The Salads are quite large and could serve up to four people, but the other plates usually serve two or three. All of the servers that I have had have been outstanding and helpful, and the plates are all made in house with the freshest ingredients and all pack in a ton of flavor in every bite. The plates are brought to your table when they are ready, so expect for staggered service.

Another thing that I LOVE about Santiago’s is that they are open until 2am every night! Finally Orlando has another Late Night option other then IHOP or Waffle House!

All this being said I have been saving these photos for quite some time now and feel like I finally have enough to write this review. With each photo I will list what it is and what my thoughts were on that particular dish! Enjoy the food porn!

croquettas – cayenne spiced and pan-fried patties of potatoes with ground prosciutto, provolone cheese and scallion cream $8.5
Love them! Super tasty and crowd pleasing!

saganaki – haloumi cheese sprinkled with oregano and flambéed with brandy, served with pita bread $12
Not only is it delicious, but the portion is substantial… as well as the way they present the dish is pretty cool!

 pinchos morunos – spicy skewers of pork tenderloin with apple chutney $9
I was skeptical and probably wouldn’t have ordered these on my own, but my friends really wanted them and I was blown away by how good the flavor was! I could eat them all day!

bacon and basil wrapped mushrooms – with basil aioli $8
I’m certainly not going to say these were bad, but they were not my favorite. I did not love the sauce.

miniature quesadillas – pan-grilled with cheddar and jack cheeses, fruit salsa, fresh mango, and cilantro $7.5
These little guys are so cute! I just love them. Love the crispy cheese on the griddle!

tartlet – sautéed bell peppers, onions, garlic, and herbs de provence atop creamy goat cheese $8
I was expecting more by the description and was a little let down, not enough Goat Cheese!

puff pastry – stuffed with chopped portobellos, onions, and fresh thyme with béarnaise sauce $7
Now you’re talking! Yummy!

roman meatballs –with a nest of angel hair pasta $9
Just a touch on the dry side, but have a great flavor and not a bad portion size either

dates – stuffed with goat cheese and wrapped with prosciutto $10
This is one of my two most favoritest (Yes, I know that’s not a real word) dishes!
Also one of the dishes that I try to insist on even if someone thinks they don’t like Dates! They are simple… a Date, stuffed with Goat Cheese, wrapped in Prosciutto grilled and served on a toothpick… however the taste is out of this world! Sweet, Salty, Creamy…. I feel like this is the perfect bite!!!

avocado and pear- mixed greens tossed in a creamy parmesan dressing, topped with toasted pine nuts $12
A great flavor combination and good to the last bite

the wedge – iceberg, blue cheese dressing, bacon and tomato slices $9
Another great, crowd pleasing Salad

camembert wedge - topped with sautéed garlic, onions, almonds, apricots, and red bell peppers with crostini $8
This one had a great presentation but there was not enough cheese for me, doubt I would order this one again.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts – pan roasted, toasted pine nuts, aged balsamic parmesan
This is my other absolute favorite dish, and if someone thinks they don’t like Brussels Sprouts they should definitely try these first. What a fantastic, flavorful way to serve them (and they reheat well too the next day)

Another pretty cool thing that Santiago’s does is during the day for lunch sometimes they offer a “Tasting Tray” which will have an even smaller portion of three different Tapas. This is a great way for someone that is dining alone to enjoy several things for a lower price (around $12)

Now their signature Dessert is the Bread Pudding (Baked with fresh croissants and drizzled with a caramel bourbon glaze then finished with a scoop of English Custard Ice Cream and fresh berries). I can certainly see why this is the crowd favorite because it truly is delicious and decadent.

However my personal favorite is Crepes (Chocolate and Walnut filled Crepes dusted with Powdered Sugar, served with Strawberries and Fresh Whipped Cream). Just the right amount of Chocolate and easy to share.

So I encourage each and every one of you to try Santiago’s Bodega. Obviously there are some items that I have enjoyed more then others, but I invite you to try a few and formulate your own opinions. There are plenty to choose from. I definitely think you will enjoy the experience as well as you will have the feeling of trying something a little bit different then the same old places that you normally go!

Santiago’s Bodega on Urbanspoon

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