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American Tapas (Happy Birthday, Vanessa!)

June 29, 2009

I’ll admit it, I really think most “American-ized” imports from Europe are giant fails. Think soccer, hot chocolate, any chocolate, British-style comedy… there’s more, but it’s Monday and it’s early. But when Vanessa says she wants tapas for her birthday, well damnit, the girl is getting tapas.

True: the thought of “American” tapas didn’t exactly rev my engine either, particularly way out in the ‘burbs. As evidence of my city snobery, if this was a Starr or Jose Garces concept, I would’ve been all about it. The Epicurean in Phoenixville had me suspicious, though. This is a spot to frequent post-goat races.

Yeah, of course it totally rocked. My nay-saying aside, I’ve been completely converted and will definitely be frequently indulging in a mess of tapas, even sans goat races. As far as a birthday spot goes, it really was rather awesome. There were none of the crowds that make loud birthday groups so unmanageable at a lot of the best city spots, but even better – as we were the unruly birthday group – there was a noticeable decrease in nasty glares and stares for our loudness. Ah, suburbs, you and you’re friendly folks are no match for our city-flavored crazy nature.

Tapas were definitely the deal of the night – $7.95 individually, or pick any three for $19.95. We picked 3. Then 3 more. Then 3 more after that. Food was flying around our table at neck breaking speed, with the waitress stopping by twice to make sure we liked everything (and that we weren’t just throwing food around).

Here’s what I remember tasting – and grabbed a quick picture of:

of marinated striped bass, citrus, cucumber, jalapeño
Super delicious, and came with tortilla chips that made it really pretty filling

Seared Sesame Crusted Tuna
with cucumber jicama salad, wasabi drizzle
This was probably the looser of the night. The tuna was just ok, slightly fishy, but good sized portions and a really awesome cucumber salad made up for that.

Goat Cheese Ravioli
A Hiku (yes, goat cheese does occasionally move me to poetry):
Goat cheese wrapped in dough
Wild mushrooms, roasted peppers
Screw dumplings, more please

Tomato, Avocado & Crab stack
Citrus dressing and red pepper compote and goodness

Pork Sui Mei Pasta dumplings
filled with pork, scallions, water chestnuts, wasabi, topped with shrimp, dressed with Asian reduction

Duck special
with roasted corn salad and some killer raspberry puree

Also eaten, but not pictured because we ate them too fast:

Steak Bruschetta
Brushed garlic toast points, grilled filet mignon with blue cheese

Artichoke and Mozzarella Fondue
served with only 5 house-made garlic crustini – not nearly enough crustini, but ya know what? Fingers dipped into hot cheese still taste lovely.

Mini Chicken Burrito
Cayenne sour cream, Spanish style rice and some kick. Like, a lot of kick. How do you pack this much kick into an itty bitty burrito? Fine, don’t tell me. I will just eat you any how’s.

The Epicurean
902 Village at Eland
Phoenixville, PA 19460
(610) 933-1336

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