Tapas in short are ‘small plate’ appetizers and snacks and they have taken the world by storm. The term ‘tapas’ comes from the Spanish verb tapar meaning “to cover.” Traditionally a “tapa” is a small portion of any kind of Spanish cuisine. In ages past, guests of taverns and inns were given a “tapa”, a small taste of food served on a pot cover, as a sample prior to ordering a meal. This tradition continued as bartenders began serving ‘tapas’, a slice of bread or cured meat, over the tops of sweet sherry and other libations to instill thirst in a customer and raise bar sales. Today many foodies eat a variety of tapas to create a full meal, reminiscent of Dim Sum brunch in Cantonese culture which is closely linked to the Chinese tradition of tea drinking.
La Merenda, Milwaukee, WI
This casual tapas bar and restaurant is located in Milwaukee’s historic Walker’s Point. Featuring small plates from around the world, from Indonesian delights to Spanish favorites and everything in between. Sourcing most of their products from local providers, this cuisine haven ranks high on community empowerment. Offering catering as well as many vegetarian and gluten free items, make this a stop on your next trip.
Aventura, Ann Arbor, MI
Winner of the 2015 OpenTable Diner’s Choice Award, Aventura brings Spanish flavor to life in downtown Ann Arbor. Boasting a variety of mouth-watering tapas delights fit for sharing and unique private dining rooms able to host up to 32 guests, it is no wonder it has risen to the top of the tapas list in the Midwest. Also offering off-site catering, Aventura is happy to bring Spanish flair and fun to your next event.
Temper Grille, Granger, IN
Fine tapas-style cuisine is served with a little bit of attitude to create an unforgettable dining experience at Temper Grille. This attitude can be found in the flavor, color, texture, smell, and presentation bringing all your senses to life. Though there isn’t private dining, the artistically tasteful dining area and extensive beverage menu make this a great post-event dining experience for small groups wanting to get away and enjoy great food and company.
Icehouse, Minneapolis, MN
Located in what was originally the loading docks to the old Cedar Fuel and Ice, this two-story industrial-chic space offers late-night delights for all willing to venture in. Small groups can enjoy intimate dining at the Chef’s Table or relax on the patio overlooking the Icehouse courtyard. This venue hosts live music and events allowing guests to be entertained while enjoying multiple course tastings from the Chef if you dine at the Chef’s Bar. The American style cuisine, from brunch to happy hour and dinner to desserts, will leave your guests wanting just one more small bite.