I’m going to start by saying that this place was cool, and I mean Nordic style steak house cool with a great buzz, friendly staff and incredible tapas. The only downside; I’d eaten a big breakfast beforehand which I rather regretted on arrival at Ambiente Tapas, as the menu was so extensive that I automatically wanted to sample as much as possible along with copious amounts of red wine. Sadly for me, I had the unfortunate task of choosing which four dishes I was going to order before I simply burst as a result of over eating. So here goes, my choices are as follows:
Bistec De Arrachera – to translate, this was a long plate of dry rubbed skirt of beef served with roasted onions and chimichurri. I chose this dish simply because, who the hell can go wrong with steak and chimichurri? At £6.95, it was the most expensive of the dishes I ordered and personally I would have liked a slightly larger portion for the price, but the steak was succulent, nicely flavoured and enjoyable as my only meat dish on the line-up.
Mejillones A La Marinera – AKA, mussels steamed in white wine & garlic cream (the cream was omitted for me for obvious reasons). You can’t go far wrong with a big bowl of mussels when they’re swimming in a delicious broth. Despite the fact that I couldn’t have the cream sauce, the juice left behind at the end was absolutely beautiful. Once I’d munched my way through the meaty mussels, I scooped up every last morsel of the broth – very tasty indeed.
Aceitunas Gordal – that is Queen Gordal olives for us Anglo-speaking specimens. Were they the best I’ve ever tasted? Nope, but they sure weren’t the worst either. I’d happily order them again. Add some black olives and red peppers to the bowl and Bob’s your uncle.
Judias Verdes – in other words, green beans pan fried in garlic with sun-dried tomatoes and pine nuts. Wow, wow, wow! Don’t be fooled by the fact that this dish sounds healthy as hell, because I really did save the best until last. This concoction just goes to show what can be created with just a few simple ingredients and really justifies why we love the simplistic food of the Mediterranean so much. In fact, I have thought about whipping this dish up at home countless times since as it’s so darn easy. The sweetness of the tomatoes mixed in with the crunch of the pine nuts, hint of garlic and juicy beans married together like a symphony. If someone gave me a mahoosive bowl of this then I would be in heaven. Divine with a capital D, people!
Overall, would I come back to Ambiente Tapas? Hell yeah! I’m only sorry I’d eaten a big breakfast that morning. If you’re in York and love tapas, chill and good wine, there’s only one place to be.