Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Pacifica Little Bar Bistro

Friends suggested that we try Pacifica Little Bar Bistro on 40th Street in Virginia Beach. And since we’re always looking for new places to eat, we gave it a shot. Pacifica is one of four bistros owned by father and son, Bob and Chris Glover. They also own Crackers and Empire, both on Granby Street in Norfolk, and Six in Hampon

Pacifica’s furnishings of traditional tables and comfy sofas make for a cozy and casual atmosphere. Pacifica specializes in tapas dishes. Tapas can best be defined as a wide variety of small plates or snacks which encourage intimacy through sharing. If you go to the right place, tapas can be a wonderful experience. If you don’t choose wisely, you end up spending a lot of money for a lot of tidbits that don’t encourage much of anything. Tapas is tricky because the plates are larger than regular appetizers but smaller than regular meals and you never know how they should be priced.

For me, Pacifica was a wise choice. The menu includes hot and cold tapas dishes and specials are posted on the huge chalk board and we also relied on Jeff’s (our server) recommendations. We started out with the tomato, basil and fresh mozzarella stack:

I have said in previous reviews that I prefer this dish warm. I know now that what I prefer is for the tomato not to be refrigerated. The tomatoes in this dish are locally grown and never refrigerated and they totally make the dish. You may be thinking, “Come on, how can anyone mess up tomatoes and cheese?” Well, I’ve had it in several places and while no one really “messes it up” everyone prepares it differently. Pacifica prepares it perfectly.

Next we tried the fennel poached lobster tail with asparagus with béarnaise sauce:

Simple and delicious. The lobster tail was tiny, as expected for a tapas dish. The preparation and presentation were lovely, I just wanted it to be bigger.

Next up were the crab and sweet corn fritters with a Spanish remoulade:

These fritters had the look of hush puppies but they weren’t as heavy. In fact, they were so light they melted in my mouth.

The last dish we sampled were the Morrocan spiced black lentils with kobe beef meatballs and local figs:

Another beautifully presented dish. The combination of the figs with the meatballs was interesting. The sweetness of the figs really complemented the spiciness of the lentils and there was a hint of sweetness to the meatballs. I thought I tasted cinnamon … Very good.

For dessert, we treated ourselves to the peach pie and a glass of Bailey’s Irish Crème.

Pacifica is a nice place to unwind. It’s a great place to get together with friends to share a few small plates. The patio seating is great during the summer season and they provide plenty of parking. While we were there, we listened to the Blues being played on the satellite radio and that just added to an already comfortable atmosphere. We visited Pacifica on a Tuesday night and it got surprisingly busy. Reservations are not taken so I would suggest going early.

Pacifica on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

LadyLee said...

I've only been to one tapas restaurant. And we really had to strategize to get the best bang for our buck. Good way to get a good sample of a lot of dishes I've never had before. Good review.