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A favourite with Mayfair's Spanish community and converts to the new Iberian cause, El Pirata may not be as trendy as some of the young tapas upstarts in the capital, but it does the business by
offering speedy service, authentic flavours and very fair prices into the bargain (note the set lunch deal for around a tenner). Staples such as albondigas, kidneys in sherry, grilled sardines and
patatas bravas are supplemented by more enterprising daily specials including grilled pressa (shoulder of Iberian pork) or chicken breast wrapped in serrano ham with capers and Albariño jus –
perfect with a bottle of Mahou beer, a tot of sherry, or something from the well-spread Spanish wine list. Eat in the lively ground-floor room surrounded by mirrors and Picasso prints, or bag a
table outside when the weather's kind.
Restaurant bullies are the best. Now I’m not talking about the ones that look you up and down as if to say ‘What are you wearing to my hallowed establishment’ and ‘How dare you summon me because you’d like food/ drinks/ service/ insert as appropriate here’, but the ones who sit you down, make sure you’re comfortable, whisk away your menus and tell you what you should order. All done with a twinkle in their eye of course.Paulo is that sort of restaurant whiz. In the time it’s taken to take off our coats and sit down, he’s registered that we’re a bit tired, in need of Tapas TLC and has swung into action, a...
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