I have a thing for small bites, so few things delight me more than a great tapas experience. Lucky for me, I live within walking distance of my favorite Portland Spanish restaurant—Urdaneta. My husband and I love to sit at the bar, watch Chef Javier and his staff cook, and chat with Jael and her wait staff. We were sad we were unable to do that this past year, but they designed a beautiful outdoor space, which, while not the same, is truly delightful. A few weeks ago, we were thrilled to be able to return to Urdaneta and soak in their warm hospitality.
I could go on and on about each tapa we sampled that night, but I’m going to focus on one dish—Matrimonio. It’s Spanish for marriage, and what a marriage of flavors it is! Two varieties of anchovies served with an artichoke based sauce and dates on top of a crispy plantain. Oh my! The plantain, so crispy, so light. It was completely different from the fried plantains I’ve ordered so many times. And the anchovies! When I think of the pizza I ate as a child with those overly salty yet flavorless anchovies, I get so sad. It took me decades to recover from those experiences and a trip to Spain as an adult before I realized how delightful anchovies can be. All I can say is thank you Chef Javier for the perfect bite!