NEW EATS: Restaurant serves delicious Spanish food for adventurous grown-ups 

12:17 p.m Wednesday, March 8, 2017 Restaurants

One of the Dayton area’s most popular restaurants is taking local diners on a virtual culinary trip to Spain’s second largest city with its newest concept. 

No passports needed. All you’ll need is an empty stomach.  

El Meson, 903 E Dixie Dr. in West Carrollton, introduced its new Barcelona Tapas concept last week in its Conga Bar dining room.

Bill Castro, the restaurant’s co-owner, said Barcelona Tapas, a dining experience meant for adventurous adults, is about exploration, relaxation and fun. 

“Dining is a total experience,” Castro said. “Spain brings so much to all the senses.”

It will roll it out again this Friday, March 10 from 5-10 p.m. with a bounty of tapas --  smaller, often shareable plates of Spanish food.  

Reservations are requested.

Castro said the goal is to make Barcelona Tapas an every-Friday occurrence in the Conga Bar dining room.

El Meson’s regular menu will still be served in the eatery’s other dining areas. 

This arroz con pollo arancini dish was among those served at Barcelona Tapas at El Meson in West Carrollton. Photo: Amelia Robinson

Diners pick items from the cold and room temperature bars. Servers roam the dining room, offering selection of hot tapas in the traditional Spanish fashion. 

It is similar to how dim sum is served in some Chinese restaurants, or how food is served at Brazilian steakhouses. 

About 20 tapas are on the menu, ranging from $5 to $12. 

The Tamiami Mami, El Meson’s winning entry in the Miami Valley Restaurant Association’s Buckeye Vodka Battle of the Bartenders, is featured on the menu. Items on the menu are subject to change. 

Take what you want, but take it from me: only a sillyhead would pass up the polenta and spiced shrimp, the thin-cut jamon serrano, or the grilled chorizo with bread.

We ordered a pitcher of El Meson’s red sangria, settled in, and feasted on plate after plate. 

To give you an idea of what to expect, here are some of the dishes we tried and enjoyed.

Note: Three chunks of chorizo come served on crusty bread. It is a tasty way to try the classic Spanish sandwich. 

Choripan was among the dishes served at Barcelona Tapas at El Meson in West Carrollton. Photo: Amelia Robinson

Note: A familiar food spiced up with Spanish flavors.

Mac & cheese with caramelized onion and chorizo was among the dishes served at Barcelona Tapas at El Meson in West Carrollton. Photo: Amelia Robinson

Note: These crispy panko fritters are filled with cheese, rice and moist chicken.   

This dish was among those served at Barcelona Tapas at El Meson in West Carrollton. Photo: Amelia Robinson
This dish was among those served at Barcelona Tapas at El Meson in West Carrollton. Photo: Amelia Robinson

Note: Slices of light, natural ham right from the source. 

JAMON SERRANO  was among the dishes served at Barcelona Tapas at El Meson in West Carrollton. Photo: Amelia Robinson
JAMON SERRANO was among the dishes served at Barcelona Tapas at El Meson in West Carrollton. Photo: Amelia Robinson

Note: You can’t go wrong with shrimp with a kick and creamy, cheesy polenta. There is so much right here.  

This polenta with spiced shrimp was among those served at Barcelona Tapas at El Meson in West Carrollton. Photo: Amelia Robinson

Note: This surprisingly refreshing dish came with plump shrimp and a sauce made with dill pickle, olive oil, celery and onion. 

Egg, shrimp and asparagus banderilleros were the dishes served at Barcelona Tapas at El Meson in West Carrollton. Photo: Amelia Robinson
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