Santiago's Bodega Revisited

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Santiago patio

I stopped back in to revisit Santiago’s Bodega recently and had a much more enjoyable experience than when I first reviewed it shortly after it opened last summer. The staff all seemed more comfortable -- and were certainly more welcoming and appreciative -- and the size of the tapas were more agreeable, too. It still isn’t the cheapest meal in town, but the quality is certainly apparent.

Santiagos patties

On this visit my guest and I had the lamb patties, which featured ground lamb mixed with fresh, chopped thyme and a touch of sherry. The meat had a mild gaminess that was piqued with the herbs, and the three patties were served with a salad of sweet cucumbers with feta cheese. Very Greeky.

A special of scallops was indeed. The big scallops were perfectly seared and had a luscious tenderness.

The Brussels sprouts that disappointed me so last year were more acceptable this time, and were offered in a larger serving. The little cabbagelike veggies pan-roasted with pine nuts, which gave it a an interesting note -- I’ve always felt like pine nuts taste like a forest, though I’ve never actually eaten a forest. The sprouts were topped with parmesan cheese and balsamic syrup. (Isn’t the world ready for a balsamic syrup shortage?)

The Orlando Santiago’s is a second location for a restaurant in Key West. And I hear that the owners have been scouting locations for a third operation in Tampa. Stay tuned on that.

Even when I visited last year I liked the atmosphere of Santiago’s, especially the patio that was added on the buildout. I’m pleased now that I can recommend it for an enjoyable meal. It’s a pleasant place to visit with friends.

Santiago’s Bodega is at 802 Virginia Drive, Orlando. It’s open for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. The phone number is 407-412-6979.

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