This weekend, Gut Check had plans to see a show at Powell Hall. (We do things other than eat, you know!) This gave us a perfect opportunity to check out the tapas and atmosphere at the newly opened Café Pintxos (3407 Olive Street; 314-338-2500).
Café Pintxos is in the bottom floor of Hotel Ignacio, which is situated next door to the Triumph Grill (3419 Olive Street; 314-446-1801 or www.triumphgrill.com). The two restaurants share a kitchen, and Café Pintxos prepares its food early in the day for both the breakfast and evening menus, and then makes the tapas to order for evening customers. Likely because of this, the menu has more cold tapas than hot ones, and our order fell in line with that.
We started out with the Chacuterie and Queso Plato which came with an assortment of cheeses, cured meats and dried fruit as well as a variety of breads and flatbreads; it was paired with the Melon Chorizo & Alcachofa Pintxo, skewers of sausage, cantaloupe and mint.
From there, we moved on to the Jamón Serrano & Asparagus, which featured asparagus wrapped in Serrano ham, served drizzled in olive oil and sea salt. In order to try out one of the hot plates, we gave the Albóndigas en Salsa de Almendra, beef and pork meatballs in an almond sauce, a try. Our meal wrapped up with the Petit Four Plato, chocolate truffles served in a chilled martini glass.
The atmosphere gave off a Spanish, modern feeling by incorporating brightly colored mosaic tiles and sleek tables into the space. Big windows let in plenty of light, and club music helped set a more relaxed vibe and suggest that the restaurant might be a good spot for a later evening drink and snacks, an option because Café Pintxos is open every day from 7 to 11 a.m. for breakfast, and from 4 to 11 p.m. for tapas.