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January/February 2019 HOOK Magazine 23 The bold red-le8ered Basque sign out front is representa7ve of the warmth that awaits anyone who steps in. Cas- tro, together with his cousin, first stripped away most of the former interior, leaving only the bar top and a wood planked wall. Rich dark wooden tables and chairs were added along with a long banque8e booth and comfy stools sur- rounding a well-stocked bar. The cozy narrow space has a sea7ng capacity of 55. Original art by Spanish painters San7- ago, Vargas and others, adds pops of color and whimsy. The detail Castro placed in the decor was one he also directed into the food. He realized that offering tapas—appe- 7zers and small plates popular throughout Spain—was the way to go. "Times have changed," he says. "People want to try different things. Every ten days, for instance, we have a differ- Benny Castro Gambas al Ajillo (shrimp in garlic sauce) Burrata and beets tapa salad

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