Thursday, May 8, 2014

Mad About Moraga

Lamoraga Tapas Bar in Naples, FL
Lamoraga is the hot new tapas restaurant in Naples, the first US location of this high-end chain from Spain.

The building looks sleek and industrial from the outside, in fact I drove right by it twice, thinking it was an automotive related business. The inside is also sleek, masculine with lots of wood and metal; but feminine curves on the ceiling.

The dining room is wide open with lots of seating, and the tapas bar looks like a modern sushi bar, with low seating and glowing lights.

As I sat in the adjoining bar waiting for the rest of my party, the bar tender explained how crazy busy it has been since opening a couple of weeks ago. There are giant, glass sliders that can open the entire bar to the outdoors, once it cools down again.
A satisfying meat and cheese tray at Lamoraga

We tried a host of tapas from cuttlefish croquettes that looked like beautiful truffles to seared foie gras that melted in my mouth. The meat and cheese tray was delectable with manchego and goat cheeses and a host of meats that were perfectly cured. The 5J bellota ham was another table favorite and it was a generous portion.

The tomato and burrata salad was creamy and delicious; the Moorish lamb skewers were tender, flavorful and the gazpacho was refreshing, its texture smooth rather than chunky.

Prices were mostly and surprisingly affordable, ranging from $5 for soups and sides to $38 for a New York strip. The service was spot on.

This is a destination restaurant, not surrounded by overpriced nightclubs, shopping, uninspiring diners or anything else. It is on the top of my list to revisit.

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