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24 April 2012
I arrived to Capote y Toros not knowing what to expect and, most notably, disliking sherry.
This popular, buzzing, lively local place is excellent all round. The tapas is sublime (the reviewer who commented on the duck liver was spot on – my favourite dish of the evening and so good we had it twice!). As for the sherry, I'm a total convert. The barman and waiter both made excellent recommendations and we journeyed through sherry selected for our taste.
Perfect for a date, a dinner for two or a supper with friends, get here early – I'm telling all my friends about this place.
And as for my views on sherry after this visit…well it appears my ageing aunt was on to a good thing!
25 February 2012
I like Capote y Toros as soon as I walk in and the friendly waiters pop me on a barstool, hang up my coat, choose a sherry for me, and smile whilst I wait for my friend who is 20 mins late. There are no reservations and the queue is growing but when my friend arrives we are ushered straight to our table. The food, all traditional and authentic Spanish tapas fare, is worth any wait. Absolutely everything was absolutely delicious but particular mention must go to the duck liver (light like a foie gras mousse, melting in the mouth), white beans in flavoursome ox tail sauce and, surprisingly the honey-drizzled goats cheese salad which has beautiful crispy asparagus and nut crumbs. The waiters, again, help us choose a reasonably priced bottle from the long Spanish wine list. It gets increasingly busy buzzy and the manager is doing a great job of moving the hordes between the bar and the tables. Although we are asked (with an edge of justified desperation) if they can have the table back they are so grateful when we say that we're happy to finish our drinks at the bar that when we move the manager has guarded a couple of bar stools for us. That's what I think of as good service. There's a lively (some might say noisy) atmosphere and the slightly cramped locale gives rise to a sometimes over the top camaraderie amongst the clientele: I bump into an old date and a man who is old enough to know better weirdly tries to get me to pull his nose on the way out. At £58 for sherry, plenty of red wine and 2 courses (including the expensive but amazing Iberico ham and a shared cheese plate) I think it was good value given the quality of the food. The walls are covered with pictures of bull fights and there are only 2 vegetarian dishes so not a place to bring animal activists but everyone else should be happy.
20 April 2011
I have to just say how impressed I was by the lastest offering to the Old Brompton strip from the same owner that gave us ‘Cambio de Tercio’, ‘Tendido Cero’ and ‘Tendido Cuatro’ (2 out of 3) of which are located virtually next door to one another. Capote y Toros is a small space with perhaps 25 covers maximum, with walls lined with over 100 different labels of sherry from dry clear variety to the deeply dark and syrupy aged types.
I had accidentally gate-crashed a dinner and sat perched on the edge of the table but found the staff to be most accommodating and considerate of my unexpected arrival. A platter of wafer thin slices of 5J Jamon was served along with chorizo cooked in sherry with a divine tomato sauce, black pudding, stuffed piquillo peppers, the most deliciously moist octopus and wonderful little meatballs in a sherry-soused tomato sauce. Each dish bursting with flavour with just the right amount of sauce/juice to be mopped up with a hunk of bread.
My friends ordered a flight of sherries to accompany the meal and I got a little taster of each along with an unexpected education of how versatile sherry actually is. I never thought I would be a drinker of sherry but I really enjoyed the less dry, aged and almost syrupy sherries… How wonderful. No wonder the place with heaving… Trendy local blondes greet the owner affectionately with kisses and hugs and you immediately see why yet another opening on the same 10 metre strip of Old Brompton Road, makes absolute sense in every way. Good luck to them and I will most definitely be back, the very next chance I get!
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