D intern Sara Stoltz lived in Spain for three years where she taught English and wrote for an English-language magazine and a national culinary magazine. She got to meet lots of temperamental Spanish chefs (names please, SS) and eat plenty of Spanish food. Here is her first impression of Si Tapas & Spanish Cuisine in Uptown.
After living in Madrid for three years, I thought I’d had my fill of all things tortilla and chorizo. Instead, being back in the states now I find that every Sunday I long to linger over a big chunk of mellow manchego and a nice slice of tortilla or as we say in Dallas, Spanish omelet. Even though I did a lot of cooking in Spain and my tortilla-flipping skills are still in shape, I prefer to go out to eat.
If I lived near Oak Lawn, I’d make Si Tapas & Spanish Cuisine part of my weekly routine. Si is the brainchild of former Hola! owner Ildefonso Jimenez. He took over the charming cottage on Allen Street that was recently vacated by Watel’s. The patio in front could pass for one of the many terrazas that line Madrid’s tiny streets, except there are no heavy clouds of cigarette smoke in your face at Si.
I went to Si for a lazy Sunday afternoon lunch. The menu is extensive, with dishes from all over Spain: sausage from Mallorca and Cabrales, a super-strong, acidic blue cheese from Asturias in northern Spain. Our first plates were green beans with Dijon mustard and thinly sliced serrano ham, and a tortilla, which didn’t come as a cake-like slab but as an individual little tart with lines of aioli squirted back and forth across the top. The tortilla was too dry for my tastes, I prefer them runny and with more onion.
Next up was thick slices of morcilla, fried blood sausage, which we found too salty until we added a chunk of manchego and a slice of bread to each bite. And finally, a hearty bowl of fabada Asturiana, a white-bean and sausage soup that is the most comforting thing you can eat on a cold night in Spain, but probably too heavy for the middle of July in Dallas.
The genius of Spanish food lies in its simplicity. Most of the great tapas dishes have no more than a few ingredients. At Si, presentation isn’t over-the-top; it is Spanish—straightforward and matter-of-fact. Si has a great Spanish wine list and nice staff, which is not something you usually find in Spain.
Si is the most authentic Spanish restaurant I’ve tried in Dallas. If there were a few hipsters in tight jeans and outdated American rock band t-shirts hanging around Allen Street, I would feel like I was back on the Iberian peninsula. 2207 Allen St., 214-720-0324.