When I hear tapas my heart usually drops in my chest. Past experience has been patatas bravas minus the alioli and some olives with an exuberant price tag. Not that appetising. Pata Negra however had been recommended to us by friends who live in Bristol, more for their meaty dishes, but there were a number of vegan friendly options too, so we thought we’d give it a go.
About Pata Negra
Pata Negra is a Spanish tapas & wine bar in the heart of Bristol’s Old City. When you walk in the lights are dimmed and you’re transported to an authentic tapas restaurant in Spain, but perhaps with a modern twist. You can either sit in a booth (if you nab a seat early) or on a high table with stools, which is where we were sat.
Top tip: You can’t book if you’re a group of less than eight, so get there early to get a seat.
The ambiance is great in Pata Negra and it’s no surprise given the owners are the same team behind Hyde & Co, The Milk Thistle and The Ox.
There’s also more to Pata Negra than meets the eye. It’s a venue spread across multiple floors with the main tapas and wine bar on the ground floor and a cocktail and music bar Noche Negra on the first floor. So you can work your way up as the night progresses.
What I ate at Pata Negra
For the boyfriend who eats meat, he was in heaven. For me there was less choice, however there were more vegan options than the average tapas restaurant. I chose two dishes as I was still feeling fairly full from our lunch at the Thali Cafe. I had Pan Catalan (grilled sour dough, fresh tomato, garlic and olive oil) and Broccoli a la Plancha (grilled broccoli with sage, orange and almonds).
When I was at university I studied French and Spanish and did my year abroad in Spain. Every morning I’d have my Pan con Tomate (Pan Catalan) although it tended to be on a thin baguette. Pata Negra’s version in comparison was on Sour Dough and tasted even better. It’s so easy to make. Note to self, must make this at home. The Broccoli a la Plancha was nice, but what you got for £5.50 made me gasp. It was definitely overpriced. There were a few other salad options that you could have on the menu around the £5.50 mark and they recommended 3 tapas dishes per person, so you could make a meal as a vegan.
For dessert I had black cherry and white peach sorbet which was insanely delicious. It didn’t have the icy taste that many sorbets have. It was as if they had blended fruit and managed to freeze it in a way that maintained the fruits flavour and gave it a slight pulpiness. The texture was between ice cream and sorbet and I would visit Pata Negra for this alone.
The atmosphere in Pata Negra was great. If you’re meeting friends for wine or cocktails and nibbles then it’s a good place to go. Equally if you’ve not got a restrictive diet, then the boyfriend highly rated it so i’m sure that it’d suit you too. However, if you’re vegan like me, then as a place for dinner I wouldn’t recommend it. For drinks, nibbles and sorbet – yes. For dinner – no.
Have you got an vegan-friendly restaurant recommendations for Bristol?