tapas-style dining at Fireproof Restaurant in Columbus, Ohio

Embrace the Tastes: What Is Tapas-Style Dining?

While some cultural cuisines are easy to conjure up an image due to their popularity and your own familiarity, others fall more along the periphery of your experience, preference, or general knowledge. Whether you’re looking to expand your palette or want to brush up on your culinary delights before a celebratory dinner, we’re here to dive into the origins — and modern deliciousness — of a mainstay of traditional Spanish cuisine: tapas.

A Tale of Spanish Tapas

First thing’s first: tapas actually refers to the style of serving food, not specific dishes. However, this doesn’t mean there aren’t classic dishes you’ll spot at any reputable tapas bar. “Tapa” is simply a small portion of food, and when you order tapas, you’ll end up ordering lots of small plates and sharing.

A common story behind tapas is that it started as small slices of meat or bread served in bars that patrons would use to cover their drinks to keep flies out. “Tapas,” the Spanish verb for “to cover,” seems like it can plausibly corroborate this. Bit by bit, the small bar snack became just as essential as the drinks that were served — and they also became more elaborate. The tapas-style dining of today is much more sophisticated and diverse. Rich cheeses, cured meats, roasted vegetables, fresh seafood, and deep-fried delights are all common players in the tapas game.

Making the Most Out of Tapas-Style Dining

Tapas-style dining is a truly one-of-a-kind culinary experience ideal for everything from small, more intimate gatherings to larger group outings. Menus chock-full of tried-and-true classics, crowd-pleasers, and adventurous eats lets everyone try as much or little as they want and discover new favorites they may not have otherwise thought to try.

While tapas dishes are mouthwateringly enticing, there’s something of an etiquette when you’re looking to go out and indulge. Keep these tips in mind to partake in delectable food like a true Spaniard:

  • Order your drinks before ordering tapas: In Spain, the first thing you do is put in your drink order; a glass of wine or beer would be the way to go. Plus, you’ll have more time to peruse the menu! Feel free to ask for recommendations on both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
  • Take your time: There’s no need to order all of your tapas at the same time, so take it slow and order as you go! Savoring your dishes is all part of the quintessential dining experience.
  • Share away: Tapas is all about sharing your food with friends. Start small and get to know the portion sizes; you don’t want to stuff yourself and leave lots of dishes unfinished! Depending on your group size, you may want to order two or three tapas to start.

Ready for a night out with some tapas-style dining? Look no further than Fireproof Restaurant! For more information about what we’re ready to serve you, take a look at our menu or contact us about private dining in Columbus, OH!