Villa Enrique

Hidden under charming foliage where Angel Share used to be, Villa Enrique feels like something out of a Spanish movie with its romantic atmosphere of graceful palms, soothing music and rustic outdoor furniture complete with mini gazebos. However, as is often the case in Dempsey, the view and ambiance come at a price. Menu offerings here are way pricier by most standards with most tapas dishes averaging around $15 while mains hover above the $30 mark. We are told that a mark of any good Spanish eatery is its Spanish omelet and paella. The omelet is something that we religiously order at any tapas joint and although we hear that the chefs (Chefs Irwin and Paulina) are well-versed in the art of Spanish cuisine, the pan-fried dish was disappointing. While yummy, the omelet was small (roughly the size of a saucer) and way thinner than the ones we’re used to at places like Bodega Y Tapas, Don Quijote, Tapas Tree and Esmirada. The button mushrooms, although flavorful, was also pricey considering the teeny morsels of fungi that arrived at our table. And that’s not to mention the kitchen forgot to include the house-baked bread that was part of our ordered dish. The seafood paella was the main star of our meal. It was deftly cooked— a smorgasbord of shrimp, mussels, clams, prawns, crab, squid and fish simmered on top of saffron-scented rice in this Spanish classic. A real deal breaker here is the Sangria. At $68 per jug, it was the most expensive one we’ve ever had. And it looked (and tasted) suspiciously like a vodka-spiked fruit punch instead of a red wine concoction filled with fruits. All in all, the food at Villa Enrique is decent, though overpriced. What you’re really paying for is the ambiance. Will we be back? Only if the price of Sangria drops.