There are 14 kinds of pinchos to choose from at Sketches of Spain. (Courtesy of Sketches of Spain)
Brave potatoes with secret spicy aioli sauce at Sketches of Spain. (Photo by Megan Ziots)
Sketches of Spain is inside of a small blue house in Bishop Arts. (Photo by Ross W. via Yelp)
Hidden away in a little blue house off of N. Zang Boulevard in Bishop Arts, a new Spanish bar called Sketches of Spain is serving up authentic pinchos. With a menu full of wines, fresh vegetables and unique meats, it’s definitely worth a stop in for a little bit of Spain.
A more sophisticated version of the Spanish tapas, these pinchos come from The Wild Detectives team of Javier Garcia del Moral and Paco Vique. Iñaki Betrán (Arzak) is chef and managing director. With all of them Spaniards, it was the perfect next project.
When I sat down to order, I knew I wanted to try the Brave potatoes with secret spicy aioli sauce. Whatever the secret is, it works. Those little bites of patatas bravas had just the right kick of heat and were the only thing I completely finished off during the meal. Well, except for dessert, but that’s later.
For pinchos, we ordered the goat cheese and quail egg. Both were pretty tiny, about two bites for one person and cost $3.50 each. The cool thing about the pinchos here is that they are all on display at the bar so you can see exactly what they are before you order. Other pinchos included cured Iberic ham croquette, tuna, tigre, mushrooms with orange, boiled octopus and more.
Paired with a glass of the Juan Gil Silver Monastrell red wine, I then tried the Pisto entree. A traditional Spanish plate with sauteed zucchini onions, peppers and egg, it was more like an appetizer, but still good. I’d like to go back and try the slow cooked lambshank that I watched several other diners order throughout the evening.
Sketches of Spain also has four paellas, all served with Bomba rice and prepared with traditional methods from Spain’s eastern coast. One comes with seasonal vegetables, another with seafood, and one with chicken, rabbit and green beans. But it’s the black squid ink paella that looked the most appetizing. Make sure you order about 20 minutes ahead of time as it takes awhile to come out.
As we perused the dessert menu, the fried bread with ice cream immediately caught my interest. But that wasn’t the only one. We also ordered the chocolate textures. Fluffy and warm paired with vanilla ice cream a la mode, the bread was my favorite. The layers of different kinds of velvety chocolate (white, milk and dark) was a close second.
Designed to be a place to chat with friends over drinks and bites, this is something that Sketches of Spain has definitely achieved. On a chilly Thursday night, several groups of friends were laughing with wine in hand. At 9 pm, pinchos, paellas and apps continued to be served late into the evening.
Sketches of Spain is now open for dinner on Tuesdays through Saturdays from 5 pm to late.