Part of a series of restaurant recommendations offered in The Stranger’s 2017 Guide to Food and Drink (International Edition).
If only all visits to Madison Valley felt like a trip to Basque country. This restaurant may look small when you first enter, from the tiny tapas bar to the cluster of tables near the windows, but head down the stairs and sit amid the gorgeous stone walls lined with wine bottles and you'll feel like you've left Seattle behind. All dishes are served to share, from the anchovy-stuffed olives to the gambas al ajillo. Order the Columbia City bread with the olive oil tasting—you know you're going down that road anyway—and save room for desserts like the Tarta de Santiago, a moist, dense olive-oil cake. CORINA ZAPPIA
Enjoying Spanish tapas is always more fun in groups of three or four, which this Belltown tapas bar seems to inherently understand with sangria you can order by the liter, impressive plates of Spanish cheeses, and Sunday-night pans of paella to share. The charming indoor exposed-brick atrium in the back, strung with twinkling white lights, almost makes you feel like you're in some warm-weather escape instead of across the street from the Crocodile. And after a bottle or two of cava and a few orders of the addictively sweet-and-savory choricitos and bacon-wrapped dates, it won't matter anyway. They do great things with mushrooms in a sherry reduction here—order up. CORINA ZAPPIA