A bit of a nostalgic post from us today! Located in Westbury Park, you may well know Mesa Bar as Manna. Manna was the one of the first places that we went for dinner together, many moons ago; so when we heard they’d closed and re-opened as Mesa Bar, we were really keen to check it out (Awwww. Or barf, depending on your preferences).
They’ve been open since February, and the team still own Prego, the Italian restaurant opposite. Apparently the idea with Mesa Bar was to whittle down the dishes on offer at Manna to a streamlined menu of high quality, authentic tapas, which they’ve certainly achieved! The menu definitely seems more upmarket that your standard tapas fare; the usual staples of croquettes and the like are no-where to be seen, and there isn’t a terracotta tapas dish in sight.
The setting is intimate, only a few tables and a cosy bar. With low lighting hanging from the ceiling and around the bar, the place has a warm , orange-y glow. An excellent setting for a date or a dinner with close friends (we did it, and 4 years later still going strong. Sorry, I’ll stop with the nostalgia now). It was empty when we arrived but soon filled up, creating a good buzz of chatter.
- Sourdough bread with alioli
- Boquerones (top notch anchovies) in oil
- Patatas bravas
- Pulpo a la Gallega – octopus served over fried potato slices – really good provided you don’t mind tentacles
- Chorizo bocadillo with piquillo, pickles and alioli – bocadillo is a Spanish sandwich
- Harissa fried lamb shoulder, roast squash, yoghurt and chilli – this was a massive portion and was SO GOOD
- Butifarra with Mojo Verde – like a white pudding sausage, with a green pesto like sauce
We also had sort of 3 desserts to share. Mainly as they do excellent Nutella truffles so we had some of those on the side of:
- Baklava semi fredo with marshmallows and salted caramel – once this had melted a little it was really good, a sort of Baklava ice cream in a big slab with marshmallows in. Mmm.
- Tarta de Santiago – a nicely warmed tart with soft whipped cream. I loved this and want it again. Soon.
We felt the evening was fairly good value. I mean, it’s not a CHEAP eat out, but for the quality of the food, the setting and the service I didn’t feel like we overpaid. We had all of the above and 2 large glasses of good wine, and spent just over £60.
We would absolutely recommend a visit to Mesa. The food was top-notch, service was friendly and knowledgeable (I always like when staff recommend their favourites), and our evening wasn’t even spoiled by the couple sat behind us who had a slightly louder than necessary drunk argument. Who am I kidding? We even enjoyed that!