Marietta Square’s newest restaurant offers diners a taste of Spain on tiny plates.
Silla Del Toro is a new tapas restaurant from Alexis and Scott Kinsey, the restaurateurs behind Marietta institutions including Tacqueria Tsunami and Stockyard Burgers and Bones. It’s on the southwest corner of the Square in the spot formerly occupied by Pressed Panini Bar, which was also run by the Kinseys until they shut it down earlier this year to make room for the new concept.
The spot’s décor has been completely changed since it held Pressed, with all-new furnishings and exposed original brick.
Alexis Kinsey said the couple got a taste for tapas while traveling in Spain and felt the concept would be a perfect fit for the Marietta Square.
“It’s something different, and there’s a lot of restaurants and a lot of concepts, and they’re all great, but there isn’t anything like this,” she said. “And really not just the food, but also the atmosphere. It’s a really quaint bar, smaller-scale restaurant, and it’s really somewhere you can kind of go that’s a little more upscale, you can enjoy a glass of wine, you can kind of nibble on food, you don’t have to get a full meal. It’s something unique to this area.”
Tapas translates to “small plates.” Diners are encouraged to try a few different dishes and to share with friends and family. Kinsey said it’s the perfect spot for people who want to dine out but can’t make up their mind on one dish.
“What we want to achieve here is make it a really social atmosphere,” Kinsey said. “We want people to try each other’s food and have a good time doing it. Or you can come in by yourself and have a couple tapas, we suggest two or three per person, or you can bring in five people and just enjoy everything from each other’s plates.”
The menu includes vegetarian options as well as meat and seafood, all inspired by authentic Spanish flavors. Kinsey said her favorites include the Andalusian gazpacho, a cool tomato soup with cucumbers and bell peppers and the manchego-stuffed dates wrapped with bacon. The albondigas — Spanish meatballs — are also popular, as are the gambas al ajillo, or garlic shrimp.
General manager Ethan Lane said he hopes the bar will be another draw, serving Spanish-inspired cocktails and a build-your-own gin and tonic.
“All of the cocktails, the house cocktails have some incorporation with sherry,” he said. “Sherry is obviously very native to Spain, and then even in cocktail making in general, sherry is a very good lengthener, to help other flavors in cocktails bloom, if you will.”
One of the most visually impressive drinks is the midnight conquest, which contains small-batch bourbon with cream sherry and chicory. When you order it, the bartender brings out a glass filled with maple-cinnamon smoke from a smoke machine and covered with a coaster, a huge cube of ice and a section of orange peel.
The guest’s job is to remove the coaster and release the smoke, then pour the cocktail and squeeze the orange peel.
“It’s up to the guest to leave that smoke in there as long as you want, the longer you leave it in there, the more it’s going to attach to the glass,” Lane said. “Then you remove the top and pour in your cocktail, which is already chilled and slightly diluted and then express your orange peel. … There’s a part of it that’s presentation, it’s a stack of glass, ice, garnish … but it’s also interactive. You get to decide how long the smoke stays in the glass. You pour in the cocktail and then you garnish the drink for the final touch. The orange peel oil is going to smell good with that smoke and with the cocktail itself.”
Silla Del Toro officially opens Tuesday and will serve dinner at 4 p.m. every day of the week.