Austin Monthly critic Jolène Bouchon visited Spain via South Lamar at El Chipiron, where she found agreeable Spanish fare served in a beautiful, modern, and yet cozy space. Chef and owner Pablo Gomez, who opened the restaurant in June, created a menu went beyond the expected tapas array (though the classics are still there too):
Instead of patatas bravas and paella, you’ll find arroz negro, a garlicky rice studded with mixed seafood and made dark and murky by squid ink, and pisto, a hearty ratatouille-like mix of eggplant, tomato, squash, and peppers made rich with the addition of jamón, a poached egg, and a few slices of grilled Iberian bread.
Other favorites include the "bright" tomato soup, and the "knockout" array of chorizo, oxtail terrine, and fruit. Desserts were simple and not overly sweet, like the poached pear and rice pudding. As for drinks, Bouchon indulged in the gin and tonics, which won her over, like the Texas-inspired one:
The aptly named Tejano pairs Dripping Springs Gin with Mediterranean tonic, and plays up the combo’s pepper and citrus notes—and the sunbaked terrain of the Hill Country—with rosemary, star anise, peppercorns, orange and lime zests, and the insertion of smoke. Man, it’s something.
Bouchon appreciated the short and intimate menu, though she predicts that it will grow eventually. While service was general friendly, sometimes dishes took a while to be delivered.
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