We're big fans of variety at AOA, which is one of the reasons we like tapas so much. The idea of lots of little plates, filled with lots of different flavors, kind of makes dinner more of a party.
The need to put a little more party in our dinner sent us to Cella Bistro in Schenectady.
We had fun sampling a whole bunch of good stuff from their tapas menu, but the things we keep thinking about, the comfort food that has joined the list of yummy things we want someone to make us on cold winter nights, are the goat cheese and potato spring rolls.
You'll actually find these as appetizers on the dinner menu, not on the tapas menu that hangs out in the bar.
Think mashed potato and warm, creamy goat cheese with just enough artichoke to change the texture a bit and provide a little tang, all rolled up in a thin crispy shell.
It's a little like a sophisticated knish.
First there's the crunch of the shell, followed by the warm, creamy, goat cheesy filling. It's served with a fresh green herb sauce that goes really well and just makes the whole thing pop.
You get two in an order. If you're adding them to a tapas order for a group, get a couple of orders. Pretty much everyone will want some.
The rest of the tapas was fun to try, and there was nothing we sampled that we didn't like. In a contest with the spring rolls, the wonton shrimp might win.
Six shrimp are coated in a light batter and wonton noodles, fried, and served with a spicy duck sauce.
We also tried the mussels and pomme frites, asparagus with truffle oil (served with a fried egg on top) and fried chickpeas with lime.
We enjoyed them all, but if you're ordering the chickpeas, eat them quickly. The first few bites were really yummy and fun, but they get dry as they cool down.
The tapas menu is only served in Cella's bar area, but it's a nice, comfortable place to hang out. There are about a dozen items now, and it's pretty stable, but in the summer they change it up based on what's fresh locally.
We're looking forward to it.
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