Some Sundays are made for roast dinners and some Sundays are made for snacking. As we strolled up Ranelagh, heading northwards, we were definitely in the mood for grazing and a cleverly positioned blackboard advertising an outdoors heated terrace at La Bodega proved the snare.
We've been to La Bodega several times and while I like the comfortably darkened interior with its mismatched seating, a summer Sunday evening felt more suitable to eating al fresco. On Sundays, live guitar music fills the dining room, gently wrapping the diners in the magic of Spain. The corridor out to the terrace passes the kitchen area but then opens up in a lovely area with raised decking, faux grass, fairy lights and lanterns. Baskets of rugs are positioned around the space so that diners can wrap themselves up when evenings get too cold.
|The outdoor heated terrace at La Bodega|
The menu at La Bodega is pretty typical tapas fare and we ordered with gusto. A generous portion of Garbanzas con morcilla (chickpeas cooked with Spanish black pudding €6.50) kicked us off, quickly followed by my favourite patatas bravas (deep fried cubes of potato with spicy sauce €5.00).
Other dishes followed in swift succession from the kitchen including pan Catalan (crunchy bread rubbed with tomato and topped with thick jamon €5.00) and another vegetarian favourite habas con jamon (pan-fried broad beans with jamon €6.00). Our little feast was rounded out by a portion of gambas al ajillo (prawns fried with garlic €7.95), with additional bread ordered from the kitchen for soaking up of the tasty juices.
|Garbanzas con morcilla|
|Habas con Jamón|
|Gambas con ajillo|
It's been a long time since I was in Madrid, but when I saw the traditional dish of churros served with liquid dark chocolate, I was hooked (€6.00). Freshly fried sticks of dough, coated in granulated sugar and dipped into slightly bitter chocolate is an experience everyone should try at least once. It's a recipe for diabetic disaster, but once every so often won't hurt, right?
|Churros con chocolate|
It's worth mentioning that many of the tapas at La Bodega are available in two sizes, the regular size and the larger racion. I personally found the regular size to be more than enough, so I'd recommend reserving the racion portions for the hungrier days.
Any restaurant that survives for a length of time in Ranelagh is clearly doing something right. While not wildly exciting in its selection of tapas, La Bodega produces a solid, tasty selection of classic tapas, topped up with live guitar music and a comfortable interior. The new heated terrace will have the dual effect of increasing dining space while offering an attractive option for wine on a summer evening. Viva la España!
La Bodega, 93 Ranelagh, Dublin 6
Tel: +353 (0)1 497 5577