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EPICURE: Off the Line at Bar Ferdinand


Wine, Tapas and Warmth

If sheer volume is any indication, Ferdinand the Bull isn’t the only one who prefers smelling flowers to bullfighting: Bar Ferdinand’s fans share the same sentiment. In this case though, stopping to smell the roses involves communing over wine and tapas.

Low lighting, deep crimson and vivid murals hit you like a rush of cold air, yet the vibe is warm and welcoming. Blake Joffe’s (Continental Old City, El Vez) tapas interpretations exhibit ingenuity but could use tweaking. In most cases, a dash of salt, a grind of pepper, a squeeze of lemon, one less minute of cooking, would make all the difference. Notable dishes include codorniz crujiente con miel ensalada, crisp quail atop a bed of arugula and spinach with piquant Cabrales cheese and a honey vinaigrette; pato confitado con sangria de naranja, a shredded duck confit timbale served with a lush orange sangria sauce and a thin marmalade-covered crostini; and gambas al ajillo, zesty shrimp with olive oil, garlic and chilis.

Spanish wines dominate the list of libations, but a well rounded beer selection and exotic brews offer plenty to choose from while waiting for a table. 1030 N. 2nd St., Philadelphia, (215) 923-1313.