Casa B, a tiny tapas restaurant, recently opened near us in Union Square in Somerville. A few Friday nights ago, I mentioned to Jeff that they had a dish with beef tenderloin, sautéed onions, and crispy shallots on the menu, and using that as leverage, I convinced him that we should head over that night.
We walked over, and after we were greeted by the hostess, we were led downstairs, which made me happy because I had heard there's a good view of the kitchen. My sources were right, and we even saw co-owners Alberto and Angelina preparing some dishes throughout the evening.
Once we settled in at our table, we glanced around the restaurant. I loved how open the small space looked and felt. Displays of wine bottles and greenery provided a tranquil setting. And the tea lights hanging above the tables cast a soft, romantic light.
When I looked down at our table, the first thing I noticed was the teeny tiny silverware. I may have squealed with delight.
We each started with a glass of wine. Jeff isn't much of a wine drinker (yet), but he enjoys a sweeter white wine like Riesling or Pinot Grigio. While neither was on the menu, the bartender came over and helped him select something similar and poured him a couple of wines to try. He ended up going with a Sauvignon Blanc.
I was leaning toward Malbec, a red I often turn to during the winter, but I spotted a Rose de Malbec and was intrigued. It was a darker red than any rose I've had before but not so dark that it looked like a red. (Honestly, it was pretty close in color to cranberry juice.) It had more body than any rose I've had as well and had light berry flavors. I was definitely happy with my choice... and the diminutive carafes and glasses our wine was served in.
Wine decisions made, we looked over the menu. Eventually, we each chose something we really wanted and then two things to share.
Once we placed our order, our waitress brought out some complimentary fried plantains and an asparagus dip.
And within moments, my crispy avocado rolls arrived. These tiny rolls were filled with avocado and tomato and served with a prune and cilantro dipping sauce. I found them heavenly.
Jeff's choice, the sandwich de bistec, a beef tenderloin, onion, and shallot pincho, came out next. As much as I loved the avocado rolls, I think he had the best pick of the night. The meat was tender and perfectly seasoned.
And I had fun watching him cut the sandwiches with the tiny silverware.
We shared a dish of bunuelos. These Colombian cheese fritters were delightfully crisp and paired so well with the roasted red pepper aioli. I was expecting them to have cheese in the middle, but it seemed more like it was dispersed in the batter. They were sort of like savory, cheesy doughnuts.
Last but not least, we split one of the entree specials. While the dish looks small, there was more than enough in there for the both of us after everything else we ate. And what did we try? The Puerto Rican pot roast with yucca gnocchi, chorizo, and sage. Jeff thought the yucca gnocchi was potato gnocchi, and I admit that I let him think that just so he would try them (he liked them). I loved all the sage and little bits of chorizo as well as the gnocchi. While we both loved the flavor of the pot roast, we wished it was a bit more tender.
Once we got the dessert menu, the meringues with passionfruit curd caught my eye, and I convinced Jeff to try the tres leches cake. The cake, which was incredibly moist, came served in a pool of Taza chocolate ganache and topped with a sort of homemade marshmallow creme.
My dessert featured a beautiful presentation of a stack of meringues and passionfruit curd in a pool of raspberry sauce with wisps of Taza chocolate ganache and fresh blackberries. I ate every bite of meringue with a little of the raspberry sauce. The combination of crunchy, sweet meringues with the sort of citrusy, tropical curd and tart sauce was heavenly. I definitely recommend trying this dessert.
We both really enjoyed our impromptu evening out, and I know we'll be headed back to Casa B soon.
Have you been to Casa B yet?