Imagine finding yourself with plates full of tapas, a good drink and live musicians performing live music a short distance from your table.
Sounds like a dream night in Spain, right?
While you could hop on a plane and look for an open table in Plaza Mayor, you’d probably be better off finding your way to Francis Lewis Boulevard and stopping at Sangria Tapas & Wine, a Spanish restaurant located at 29-02 Francis Lewis Blvd on the Flushing-Bayside border.
This reporter once visited Madrid and the trip to Sangria invoked many memories, whether it was by looking at the simple yet elegant dÈcor or listening to the music —played at a volume that allowed for conversation to be heard without shouting.
But it was the food at the eatery that brought flashbacks of watching the El Clasico in a crowded restaurant and other experiences rushing back.
In Spain, you can find tapas offered free of charge to drinkers at different establishments. While the food isn’t free at Sangria, the quality of it is just as good if not better than you’ll find overseas.
Take for example the croquetas de jam—n — potatoes mixed with Serrano ham and cheese and deep fried. Crunchy on the outside with a fluffy and cheesy interior, these are great as a first course or one of the many tapas you can order for the table.
Or you could go for the datiles rellenos — bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with cheese and almonds. It may sound like there’s a lot going on with that, but the saltiness and sweetness compliment each other to create a satisfying bite.
There’s also the pulled pork tostones, shredded pork with a tangy sauce and served on a fried plantain. The pork is tender, the sauce not overpowering and using the plantain offers something a little more exciting than just bread at the end.
Of course, you could always go for something simple like a salumeria — a sampling of meats, cheese and a tropical fruit paste.
But why stop there? In addition to the wide selection of tapas, Sangria offers a number of great entrees and paellas — a large rice dish served with either veggies, meat or seafood.
And don’t forget to indulge in the namesake drink or a margarita.
The restaurant occasionally has live music — a flamenco band and dancer performed during my visit.
When live entertainment is available, it’s announced on the eatery’s Facebook and Instagram pages.
Sangria Tapas & Wine is open seven days a week and opens 4 p.m. every day.
It can be found at sangriatapaswine.com or reached at (718) 358-2727.