Wednesday, December 2, 2009


250 Steele St. #100
Denver, CO 80206

Tapas in Cherry Creek- an unexpected combination. But those in the know have been waiting for this place to open for months. And in my humble opinion it was well worth the wait.

We showed up at 6 the Saturday after thanksgiving, Ondo's 5th day of business. We were the only diners for a while- Somebody has to first. Thankfully when we left at least 5 other tables were occupied. We were hesitant to come in upon seeing the empty restaurant but we met a man on the stairs who persuaded us by saying it was very authentic and tasty food.

The service was great- as one would expect being the only costumers in the restaurant. We were definitely doted on and the wait staff hovering around us looked bored. We only had our son which was a real treat. I know most people would not think to bring a 3 year old out for tapas but you might be surprised.

The wines are all from Spain and the waitress had a cheat sheet- if you like cab you might like this. It was right on the mark. The chef sent out a small tall glass of spinach soup with a jamon crisp. The soup was rich, and creamy, and tad too salty. Our son ate half of mine, all of his and asked for seconds, which they happily brought. We were too embarrassed to ask for the third helping he wanted.

The menu was broken into these categories: Pintxos, Raciones, Ensaladas, Bocados, Cazuelitas and Postres but they weren't very well explained to us. We ordered a Spanish cheese plate from the raciones section plate with 4 different cheeses, honey and membrillo. Again, our son ate everything on the plate and ever since has been asking for manchego and turkey sandwiches! Then we had Tortilla Española- Egg and Potato Tortilla on bread which was very good but nothing more interesting than an omelet with potatoes. The Arroz Meloso de Queso Idiazábal-Creamy Rice with Idiazabal Cheese was delicous. A spanish take on risotto and enjoyed by all. Pimientos de Piquillos Rellenos de Bacalao-Piquillo Peppers with Bacalao was next. Bacalao is salt cod which we had never had before and were afraid it might be too fishy. After being assured it wouldn't be, we ordered it for our last plate. And while the waitress was mostly right, it didn't taste fishy while eating, the aftertaste was extremely fishy and took a lot of work to get rid of it. ( A coffee milkshake elsewhere to be specific)

My husband had ordered some meaty dishes and enjoyed them both. Solomillo con Salsa de Queso Valdeon-Beef Tenderloin with Spanish Blue Cheese Sauce. I tasted the blue sauce and thought it too think but was told it perfectly complemented the meat. Foie Gras a la Plancha con Puré de Pera-Seared Foie Gras with Pear Puree was well prepared and not to sweet with the right balance.

We were glad to see more people showing up as we were leaving and everyone looked happy with what they were eating. Perhaps the true spirit of tapas is alive at Ondo's and the real crowds will show up later. There are lots of reason to come back-Patatas Bravas,Serrano Ham Croquetas,Shrimp on a Stick with Pepper Vinaigrette to name a few. While definitely not your average family dinner out, Ondos is highly recommended for adventurous eaters who parents can't afford to take them to Spain anytime soon.

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