I must say I was too curious about this mystery restaurant. I tried to guess which one we were going to but Mijo did not give out any clues. The story ended well because both of us enjoyed the place and the food. The restaurant's name is Canela Bistro Bar in the Castro neighborhood of the city.
After a round of cocktails at Toad Hall, Mijo and I left happy hour for our 8 o'clock reservation. At this point, I had no idea where we were going.
Finally, we reached Market and 17th Sts so I was narrowing down the restaurants here. I was delighted to find out that the mystery restaurant is Canela Bistro Bar. We've never been there before. It is in the former location of a good Italian restaurant called Capri.
We ordered two glasses of rioja 2009 Sierra Cantabria. Our server poured our wine into our glasses from small carafe. I made a mental note about this that maybe this is more than for aesthetics but also their way to aerate red wines? The wines were delicious.
They first served the croquetas. This is always on our table everytime we go to a tapas bar. It is flavored with spanish ham.
Next is the super tasty Pinchos Morunos which is Moorish kebabs marinated with spices and olive oil. It was grilled perfectly, not overdone not medium well.
And then followed by Ajoarriero tapenade which is salt cod with tomatoes, onions and spices. Somehow we always end up ordering a salted fish at a tapas bar but the good thing is they come in different ingredients and sauces. Another good thing is that you can never go wrong with me when it comes to salted fish.
This is the crostini that came with the salted cod tapenade.
This one is the coca flatbread. We were surprised by its size considering all the food we had ordered that night came in small plates and servings. This was good but very filling. It is like pizza with a twist and came with mushrooms, farmers sheep cheese and spanish serrano ham.
Lastly, we ordered this seared morcilla sausage on potato and celery root puree. It is commonly known as blood sausage but with a twist. It was good because I can hardly taste that hints of iron present in blood based dishes like the Filipino dish called Dinuguan.
Since we only ordered tapas servings, we had room for dessert. Mijo and I shared this warm pudding which is creamy and decadent.
I also had to try their signature cinnamon espresso. I love the combination of cinnamon and coffee on both the aroma and the taste.
I don't usually mention the bathrooms in restaurants but I think it is worth including it here. The bathroom is sparkling clean, smells good and they use hand towels to dry your hands. Yes, hand towels and not paper towels. How's that for something extra?
Mijo and I absolutely enjoyed the food, the service, the extras. We totally recommend this place to locals and out of towners alike.