By Sid Robinson
Sometimes all it takes is just a taste.
Or perhaps five tastes.
Taking from its many classic Spanish tapas – or appetizers – and other innovative specialties, Café Sevilla in Riverside has packaged a distinctive lunch menu that includes a choice of five “bites” and a small green salad. The menu not only offers diners a unique meal, but also an introduction to a wide variety of tastes.
“It’s a different concept for lunch,” says Chef Felipe Roach. “The idea is to get a little bit of everything we offer on our regular menu and serve it in smaller portions for lunch.”
Roach says the Sevilla approach is to blend traditional Spanish dishes with a contemporary flair and modern recipes. For example, the Ahi Tuna Tartare Tower leans more Mediterranean than purely Spanish. There’s also a separate Argentine menu, as well as vegan and gluten-free offerings.
“It’s a mix of everything, so we are able to give people a lot of choices,” says Roach. “It’s a different presentation of our bigger dinner portions, but this way we can show people what Sevilla is about.”
The inspiration behind the menu was to introduce a lunch alternative that is fast, affordable and filled with great variety, says Director of Marketing Holly Losey.
“Since we specialize in classic Spanish tapas, we wanted to bring that concept to the lunch table as well,” says Losey. “We customized our lunch menu with more than 30 different tapas, or small "bites" for guests to choose from. This gives our guests a different variety of tapas every time they dine with us, keeping things fun and interesting.”
Sevilla, which also has locations in Long Beach and San Diego, began in 1987 as a casual tapas bar. It now serves tapas from regions throughout Spain and beyond.
The lunchtime selection of cold bites includes a nice shrimp and red snapper ceviche, salmon ceviche, the Tuna Tartare and Spanish Bocadillos with a choice from seven different piquillo pepper spreads.
Hot bites include a manchego cheese and chorizo empanada, Spanish meatball in sherry and garlic, short rib slider and grilled Spanish sausages, among many others. There are also side bites such as garlic manchego mashed potatoes, soups and Spanish ratatouille.
Along with the “five bites,” Café Sevilla also offers more traditional lunch meals, including a Spanish Cubano sandwich and a Spanish Cobb salad, which, Roach says, is “a traditional cobb salad with some ingredients we use in Spain.” It incorporates crisp Jamon Serrano, piquillo peppers, cabrales blue cheese and manchego cheese, says server Sally Rios.
“We are trying to bring people in by offering something different,” Rios says.
The "five bites" tapas lunch menu is served with a small side salad for $13.75. It is served Monday through Friday, along with the restaurant’s regular menu, starting at 11:30 a.m. The Sevilla "5 Tapas Bites Lunch" Menu can be viewed online HERE.
For reservations, call (951) 778-0611 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Café Sevilla opens daily at 11:30 a.m. and at 10 a.m. on Sundays. It also has an upstairs outdoor patio for drinks and dancing, along with the adjacent Sevilla Nightclub with salsa dancing.
Cafe Sevilla is located at 3252 Mission Inn Avenue in Riverside. For more information call (951) 778-0611 or visit the restaurant’s website.
Full Disclosure: The dining experience was provided complimentary by Cafe Sevilla; however, all opinions are our own.