Made in Spain
~ Tapas done right ~
Want to surprise your friend with an unexpected lunch? Made in Spain is the place, for a variety of reasons! First of all, it’s got the goods when it comes to delicious food. Second, the owners are so personable you are sure to become friends right away. But the best reason of all is the ambiance; no, it’s not a sea view or hilltop veranda, it’s the juxtaposition of warehouse exterior with a quaint and cosy Spanish-style wine cavern.
More than just an eatery, this is a hidden gem with a retail side, stocking lots of imported products from Spain, such as sausages, cheese, ham, olive oils, and a plethora of wines, including cava brut, and even organic wines. The wines are made by hand in one of the biggest wineries in Europe – Garcia Carrion.
Owners Eduardo Vargas and Susana Lopes are from Barcelona and came to the island a few years ago. They started with a wholesale distribution business, then branched out with the shop/restaurant. Made in Spain is part of the company Viva la Vida NV – the distributors and importers of Spanish wine since 2015.
We pulled into the parking spots just in front of the establishment for a nice lunch on Monday looking forward to the typical Spanish tapas. Upon entering, it was as if we were no longer in St. Maarten, but had been transported to a small bistro in Barcelona. We were immediately welcomed by the owners and given a table.
In no time at all, we had selected a tapas platter of sausages and cheese and peppers, we had a basket of bread, a bottle of olive oil and of course a great red wine to wash it all down! Heaven.
Oh, you want details? Okay… There were slices of Manchego cheese from the La Mancha region of Spain. This cheese is made from the milk of the Manchego sheep of that region and is creamy and firm with a nutty and slightly peppery flavour. There were also generous nibbles of spicy chorizo sausage, sweet chorizo sausage, Iberian ham, Llomo ham and peppers. The ham is from the Black Pig of the Iberia region of Spain which is fed on acorns and roams freely producing a well marbled meat with a distinctive flavour.
All of this was complemented by the Pata Negra Rioja Reserva 2014, expertly recommended for our lunch selection by Eduardo. We were advised by Susana: “You should put a bit of olive oil and salt in your plate, then dip the bread or meat through it.” Hey! When in Barcelona, do as the Barcelonians do!
Along with the tapas platter, we had an appetizer bowl of potatoes in a spicy sauce, which was addictive and delicious. But the main dish of the lunch was an exotic arborio rice dish called Black Risotto. This dish is blackened by the ink of the squid and it contains calamari in the risotto which is served with a dollop of aioli.
Some of the black rice dish went home in a Tupperware, as we had to save a little room for a shot of crème brûlée liqueur and biscotti. It all spelled a great experience, this mini-excursion into the land of Spain, the place is a must-see for all who appreciate something fresh and novel. While they are open for breakfast and lunch, they typically close before the dinner hour, but if you have a group, discuss with them about staying open later. There is no problem with that!
Made in Spain
Wellsburg Road #12
Telephone: 1 (721) 587-9039.
Reservations not necessary
Open Monday through Friday 9:00am to 6:30pm
Saturdays from 10:00am to 4:00pm
Group dinners possible with reservations
Staff friendliness: *****
Service speed: ****
Restaurant cleanliness: *****
Food quality: ****
Value for money: ****