SquareMeal Review of
Although there are now several options for upscale tapas in Covent Garden, Opera Tavern was the first on the scene and remains one of the best. Set in a converted pub with an original Edwardian bar and cosy ‘theatre box’ windows overlooking the street, this outpost of the Salt Yard Group has real character. The trademark alliance of Spanish and Italian influences results in reliably appealing seasonal dishes, such as creamy burrata with smoked aubergine salad, tender Ibérico pig's cheeks with sweet butternut squash purée, or char-grilled octopus on a chickpea fritter with red pepper and vibrant mojo verde. Otherwise, impeccably sourced charcuterie and signature plates – moreish croquetas, garlicky patatas fritas with bravas sauce and deep-fried zucchini flowers drizzled in honey – never fail to please. The wine list leans more towards Italy these days, though there’s still a terrific selection of Spanish sherries from top producers such as Hidalgo. Friendly service is always spot-on too.