Joanne Cronin, Instagram
Restaurateurs Vanessa Murphy & Anna Cabrera are a force of nature. There’s simply no other way to describe these two.
For the past months, we’ve been invested, watching them get ready to open the ‘difficult second album’.
La Gordita is the big brother in every sense to Las Tapas de Lola. The dark wood exterior quietly assures you that is going to be a place to visit, while the sleek interior is a far call from the previous (and much loved) occupant Gerry’s. You could say they’ve done a lot with the place.
On to the food which comes from head chef María Luisa Morelada. The menu requests that everyone orders two courses, including one main and excluding snacks. It’s an understandable ask in these times, but might discourage some.
Carlingford oysters @carlingfordoysters are spot on (€3.50) but my heart is stolen by the anchoas de Santoña. These meaty little salt bombs come lounging atop Valdeón butter (a Spanish blue cheese). At €17 these would want to be the best MF’ing anchovies ever, and they quite simply are.
Tortilla vaga del dia, a thin open omelette, is dotted with deeply garlicky flakes and prawns (€15). Thin slices of fried aubergine with sugar cane honey (€10) misses a salty kick in my opinion while bombitas de morcilla (€9.75) are delicious.
Bogavante de Formentera is an indulgence at €37, but I have to have it. However, the metal dish rapidly loses temperature, so after I’ve finally battled the meat from the shell sans pick, I’m eating cold potatoes and egg.
For dessert, tarta de manzana delivers buttery, caramelly flavours in spades (€12). The wine list is geared towards Spanish producers, as you’d rightfully expect, and features a strong sherry showing. Service is warmly welcoming from start to finish, clearly led from the front by Vanessa & Anna.
The pricing here puts La Gordita into the more spendy tier of restaurants. It’s grown-up fun, suited for intimate chats and easy going nights. And yes, you can feel the love.