Date night in Tapa-dise // Nerja, Spain

Date night in Tapa-dise // Nerja, Spain

tapa-dise tapa-dise1

A few weeks ago I went to tapa-dise.
It all went down in a dreamy beach town called Nerja, on the Costa del Sol, Spain.
With our tummies growling after a day at the beach (check out my beach post here), we washed up and made our way to Nerja’s “Balcony of Europe”. A lovely little square overlooking the beaches, Sierra Nevada’s and the sea. Resting atop a steep cliff, strolling the balcony really does feel as though you’re on the edge of the continent.

Nerja_Spain-10 Nerja_Spain-9 Nerja_Spain-4

Lingering for awhile to absorb our surroundings, the view from the Balcony is just… silly, especially at sunset.

Nerja_Spain-5 Nerja_Spain-6 Nerja_Spain-8 Nerja_Spain-3

After Dan had his fill of doodling around and posing, we moved on (I’d still be on that balcony if I could). Since dinner time in Spain starts at 9-10PM we headed to La Fuente for drinks.

Nerja_Spain-1 Nerja_Spain-11

Generous glasses of Tento De Verano were served as we got chatty with our waiter, a part time professional photographer. Tento de Verano is a popular summertime drink in Spain, a refreshing mix of red wine, spritzer and fruit, much like a sangria minus all the sugar.

Dinner

As the sun set in the beautiful courtyard and bats zoomed by overhead, we rehashed (for the millionth) time how lucky we were to be able to experience such a place. In our former DC lives we never would have dreamed of such a date night.

Nerja_Spain-12 Nerja_Spain-13 Nerja_Spain-16

Our new waiter-friend then brought out locally made limoncello. Dan insisted that it should be taken like a shot while I protested.

Limoncello

Ready for sustenance, zillions of fantastic TripAdvisor reviews directed us to Redondo Bar so we strolled over to see what the fuss was all about.
That’s when it happened. That’s when we went to tapa-dise.

Nerja-22

To kick things off, we ordered freshly cut Manchego cheese (which melted in your mouths) and Iberico Jamon with gorgeous, tasty, marbling.

Nerja-23

While the waiters worked the round bar (hence the name ‘Redondo’ bar) we put in orders for more tapas. Overhead legs of iberico ham hung, the plastic cups used to catch the fat and grease of the aging meat. I later learned that it’s during this 36 month process that the hams lose about half their weight and the saturated fats change to oleic acid (also found in olive oil).

Nerja_Spain-23

Enough about the ham.
Next arrived a delicious plate of meatballs with a tangy, delectable glaze.

Nerja_Spain-24 Nerja_Spain-26

Then patatas bravas, so yummy that Dan flew in for a bite before I could get a picture. Tasting similar to fried bits of potatoes, they’re served with a tomato based vinegar and red pepper sauce. They are also dangerously addictive.

Nerja_Spain-27 Nerja_Spain-28

Of course, calamari with lemon was in order. Rule of thumb – when you can smell the sea from your seat, you need to order seafood.

Nerja_Spain-25

And finally, the most glorious thing I consumed the entire trip – balsamic glazed fried eggplant breaded with sweet potato. Crispy on the outside, warm and buttery inside, I could not set down my fork. We returned to Redondo two more times within a span of 24 hours for these bad boys.

Nerja_Spain-21

Redondo Bar knocked our soaks off with the tapas and ambiance. So much so that I’d rank it as one of my favorite places to eat in Europe. (I sound so dramatic, don’t I?) Really though, the visit made for a fantastic end to the evening. Date night for the win! A wonderful meal with a wonderful man, lucky me!

  • That dress is so cute! What a beautiful place for a date night.

  • “The view was just silly” – haha! Sometimes you do have those moments where you think “This is so amazing and unreal it’s almost funny.” Loving these Nerja posts!

  • Beautiful pictures! What a fun date night, the food looks so good.

  • You had me at ham… I’m not normally a big pork products gal but Spanish ham is THE BEST in the world! Your date night looks like a dream!

  • Yum, this definitely looks amazing! I haven’t had Tapas in so long (eating out in Norway is horridly expensive and hence never really worth it), but I’m itching for some now! That eggplant sounds amazing!

  • WOW. all of this looks incredible! the food, the sangria, the views… and your little shot photo sequence is adorable 🙂

  • Oh those eggplants sound so amazing!

  • You guys look like you had so much fun!

  • This looks amazing! I’m drooling all over my keyboard right now. I’d go back to Spain just for the tapas!

  • Beautiful pictures!

  • I love your narrative and the way you incorporate your photos. This is exactly the kind of blog I love to read. Can’t wait to read more!

    -Ash
    http://www.thenashvillianblog.com

  • Ash, you’re the sweetest. Thanks for the kinds words, so happy to have you joining along! 🙂

  • Thanks so much dear!

  • Me too! Please send me your leftovers when you go!

  • We seriously did. Our weekend in Nerja was pretty great all around. 🙂

  • yes! I’ve tried making eggplant at home but it never turns out all that well.

  • Thanks, Jamie, a nice little evening indeed! The limoncello sequence, that was more of just a plain old mess. 🙂

  • Tinto de verano is the best! I love that view on the balcony. Your dress = amazefest. Such a great destination, thanks for sharing.

  • It was a wonderful evening! You should definitely hop down to Spain soon, you’d love how far the euro goes!

  • Ha! I agree, Iberico is just soo yummy. Lucky for us there’s a gourmet Spanish store just down the street so we’ve been picking Iberico almost every other day.

  • Ha! I’m so glad you understand. Sometimes I just run out of adjectives so “silly” was it! 😀

  • Thanks, dear. I picked it up at Zara. I love that place.

  • It IS soo yummy isn’t it!? I’d love to have a glass in hand at this exact moment. I picked up my dress at Zara, I love that place! 🙂

  • Wow, beautiful photos! And good thing I just ate instant noodles before visiting your blog or I would have been completely jealous!

    deasynoel.com

  • …You can never go wrong with tapas–that’s one of the reasons I can’t wait for my move to España this September!!…

  • Wow that view is just amazing! And you two are just so cute together! 🙂 I want to eat everything you had here.. including the limoncello 😉 Also, I can’t believe you can see the bats like that!

  • Ugh, this makes me think back to Madrid and how much I enjoyed GORGING myself there! Tapas… oh how I miss you! Love the dress 🙂

  • Margo. OMGosh…1) Tapas! 2)Sea! 3) Spain! Let’s just say, my mouth is a-watering!

  • What an awesome date night! 🙂 I really do learn something new every time I read your blog, like today I learned about Tento de Verano (which sounds delicious!). Ah! You make me want to grab the next plane and head back to Europe!

  • Looks like so much fun!! All of those tapas photos sure made me hungry 🙂 What a legendary date night!

  • Looks like a fantastic night out!! I love your limoncello pictures. One of my favorite things to order is ham and cheese plates…yummy!

  • I LOVE the Costa del Sol! I’ve never spent time in Nerja, but this post has convinced me to take a trip there STAT! Aren’t patatas bravas and tinto de verano addicting? I enjoy more than my fair share of them here in Madrid, but I think I’d rather savor them by the beach 😉

  • So many wonderful things about this post! I looove tinto de verano, the view is spectacular, your dress is gorgeous, and ummm.. patatas bravas & fried eggplant? You ate two of my favorite Spanish snacks! Lovin’ your Spain posts chica!

  • Ha! No joke, Ramen noodles was my main form of sustenance in college. I love them. I do not however love Cup-O-Noodles, so if that’s what you ate then you have my pity. 😉

  • WOW! When do you move there Betty? How exciting!

  • Yes! That view is pretty nuts right? Whenever you’re ready, let’s go to Nerja and feast together! 😀 Set aside the view, I’d go back for the tapas alone in a heartbeat.

  • Thanks! I got the dress from Zara-I felt a bit trendy with the cutout in the front. 🙂

    Living in Madrid must have been amazing! Although I love Germany, living in Spain seems like a dream.

  • Ha! If only I could hop back in time and re-do that evening every night! That trifecta of tapas/sea/spain is pretty phenomenal, right? 😀

  • Natalie you are so sweet! Do you have any traditional Spanish restaurants nearby, I wonder if they’d make it for you to try!? Whenever you catch that flight, let me know and I’ll meet you in Nerja for more tapas! ;D

  • It was definitely a blast. If only we could do date night in Nerja every weekend! 🙂

  • Yes! Thanks for not judging my lame-sauce limoncello shot sequence. I always make the worst faces.

    What kind of cheese do you typically order? Dan and I always go with manchego because we love it so much.

  • Ah! Lucky you for living in Madrid! Mercado de San Miguel is one of my favorite places ever.

    Agreed, patatas braves and tinto de verano are both terribly addictive. 🙂

  • Jennifer – so many compliments! Thank you, thank you! The dress is from Zara. 😀

  • P LOVES manchego…any hard, salty cheese. I like pretty much any kind of cheese. We had this swiss type (but milder) in Belgium that I loved! We change it up…I’m all about variety 🙂

  • hello hottie!! you look stunning! the whole evening just sounds like complete bliss. what a date night!

    p.s. we went to the st germain creperie you recommended – SO GOOD. thank you!! x

  • …Well, the plan is to go over there mid-September–you know, to settle myself and everything…

  • Just found this post and I’m currently spending my summer in Mijas and have been planning on going to Nerja while I’m here. Will definitely make sure to hit up Redondo while I’m there! Since I’ve arrived in Spain, I think patatas bravas and jamon iberico are going to be two of my most missed foods once I finally make it back home. (Along with salmorejo because that stuff is magic, I swear.)

  • TrixieBean

    This blog is amazing! I’m so jealous of these pics. Very inspiring 🙂

  • A H

    Amazing itineraries… I will be following your Spain itinerary in a few months. BTW, which camera do you use? Your photos are so vivid.