Tapas Trend

By: Jadrian Klinger

Comes to Carlisle with Andalusia

Photo: Paella de Mariscos (seafood paella of fish, squid, shrimp, clams and mussels) and Pulpo a la Ballega (grilled octopus, potatoes, pimenton and olive oil).

When you’ve had enough of the same-old, same-old food offerings, and you think there’s nothing new under the sun to try, it’s time to head to Andalusia.

Located on Carlisle’s bustling North Hanover Street, the restaurant is named for the southern-most region of Spain and provides patrons with the opportunity to experience authentic Spanish flavors in a warm, welcoming setting.

For co-owner Ross Morris, it’s the fourth restaurant he and his partners have opened in the region, and they’re not compromising on any aspect of the menu that took a year to develop and refine.

Two of the most important elements of Andalusia are that the eatery be traditional and authentic.

Andalusia follows a growing American trend toward the adaptation of European eating habits.

For Morris, who is a trained executive chef and pastry chef, that translates to using only real, unprocessed ingredients.

As a consequence, flavors are naturally subtle, rather than artificially bold, and every dish is made to order. “We try not to be like everyone else,” he explains with a smile.

Andalusia follows a growing American trend toward the adaptation of European eating habits.

“People in this country are eating a lot differently than they were five years ago,” notes Morris. “It used to be that people would come in and have three or four courses. But they are not eating like that anymore. They are eating smaller portions and want variety; we wanted to reflect that.”

Enter the exciting world of tapas, appetizer-like bites that are palate-pleasing without being gut-busting.

Tapas can run the gamut from spicy to savory and soft to crunchy, depending upon the ingredients.

Some beg to be popped into the mouth using the fingers; others really must be eaten with a utensil.

All make the diner feel like he or she has arrived in cocktail-party heaven, as several plates of tapas can be enjoyed by a crowd. “The bigger the group, the more fun it is,” avers Morris.

In addition to traditional tapas, like patatas bravas (crispy potatoes), Andalusia’s paella (a Spanish, rice-based dish) is highly popular among guests.

Depending upon the daily farmer’s market finds, a handful of special items typically augment the menu.

To accompany the meal, a full-service bar offers a variety of beverage options.

Andalusia opened its doors this past spring and offers service seven days a week for dinner.