Variety Is the Spice of Life, and of Café Azafran
Generally, the term Tapas, Spanish for appetizers, means a wide variety of lots of little things. It’s a style of dining that invites socializing, culinary adventure, and not having to choose just one entrée—quite comforting for those of us who have trouble making up our minds.
Café Azafran, on the ocean block of Baltimore Avenue in Rehoboth does Tapas to perfection.
But first things first. Of course, to start, we challenged Bartender and Chanteuse (on Thursday evenings she sings with John Flynn at the keyboard) Holly Lane to make us some of her special cocktails. I had the Pomegranate Fizz martini, which was a delicious concoction of vodka, pomegranate juice, orange jucie (with pulp) and a spritz of soda for the fizz. Not too sweet, quite delightful.
A friend ordered a Negroni—an Italian martini of gin, sweet vermouth, and compari. “It takes me back to Rome in 1970!” he said, savoring the drink and the memories.
My mate stuck with her usual, but it was a very generous portion of Johnny Walker.
The complimentary olive tray, fresh sliced bread and dipping oil made it a happy hour indeed.
As we decided on a tapas feast, we had more than 20 menu items to choose from, and between the three of us we covered a lot of bases, and tasted almost everything. With appetizer prices from $8 (potatoes Bravas, with saffron aioli) to $15 Shrimp a la Placha in a green herb sauce, the range is wide.
Everything was good, not a loser in the pack, and some things were truly exceptional. Favorites included the full-flavored, world class cooked scallop with a mushroom accompaniment, veal sausage with white beans and a savory adult mac and cheese with al dente pasta and a creamy white cheese sauce. Heavenly.
And green beans are not merely a veggie when the haricots vert come with toasted hazelnuts and gorgonzola.
The kitchen at Azafran also excelled with the lightly fried oysters. Baby broiled crab cake and, melt-in-your-mouth red and yellow sautéed peppers.
I could go on, but why? A picture is worth a thousand words of my babble.
Check out Café Azafran any night, as they are open seven days a week for lunch and dinner. Every Thursday Night from 6:30-9:30 p.m., keyboardist John Flynn and Holly Lane perform live, with sophisticated cabaret music along with the intimate welcoming atmosphere of this urbane but casual dining spot. Sunday through Thursday, enjoy a Tapas Happy Hour, from 5-6:00 p.m.
There’s even an outdoor seating area in the back, where I intend to return to this coming weekend with my pup Windsor.
See you there!
Cafe Azafran is located at 18 Baltimore Avenue. Call 302-227-8100 for information.