It is fast becoming the worst kept secret in Whitby – but for all the right reasons.
An ice-cream parlour and cafe by day it may be, but by night Teare Woods might as well be in the heart of Seville on a balmy summer’s evening.
It is not the most obvious place to sample Spanish food, but what started as a themed night once a month has become a regular Friday and Saturday night date. Popularity is growing by the week and booking is now essential for the Spanish invasion.
And, as the sangria is poured, you do forget that you are in Whitby, it’s October and there is a gale blowing outside.
So we come in from the cold and step into the charming and cosy candlelit dining area.
It is a quite intimate setting but all adds to the ambience whether you are out in a couple or, as we were, in a larger group.
Oh and one more thing ... go hungry.
Because while the menu recommends three tapas dishes per person, you will want to try more.
Meat dishes include Lamb Chalabi – skewers spiced with ginger, red chilli and coriander; Morcilla, Spanish style black pudding with onion chutney or chicken skewers, Pollo Pinchos marinated in lemon and thyme.
There are three fish dishes: Gambas Pil Pil – King Prawns sautéed in garlic and chilli; Pescaditos Fritos – crispy coated whitebait in sea salt; and Calamares a la Romana – battered and deep fried squid.
Vegetarian dishes include Tortilla Espanola – traditional Spanish style omelette; Patatas Bravas in spicy tomato sauce and simple bruschetta topped with tomato and feta.
Having being tempted by pretty much everything we ordered a range of dishes to share between us.
We opted for Albondigas Leonesa – Spanish meatballs in tomato sauce; Pollo con Miel – chicken baked in honey, tomato and spices; Chorizo Frite al Vino – sliced Spanish sausage pan-fried in red wine; Calamares a la Romana and Gambas Pil Pil.
From the vegetable offering we picked Halloumi con Pan de Pitta – grilled halloumi cheese with pitta bread; Champinones al Ajillo – mushrooms pan fried in garlic and cream; and the Paella with chorizo, chicken, squid and shellfish.
It truly felt like and tasted like a feast. My personal favourites were the halloumi wedges the size of a door stop and the packed paella. The two dishes alone are more than enough.
Some are smaller in size but none will cost you more than £5.95.
However, it would have been almost rude not to sample a little of everything on the table.
The meatballs were tasty and tender, prawns juicy and while the mushrooms were delicately flavoured the sausage certainly spiced things up.
If you have room for dessert choose from homemade cakes or, as we did, lime and ginger cheesecake and ice creams.
The base was thick and crumbly and the cheesecake creamy and tangy. Ice cream is also a Teare Woods speciality and a concoction of flavours include gingerbread, damson and cream, honeycomb and maple and classic choices, chocolate or mint choc chip.
The best advert for a business is word of mouth and as one of our party said “it’s better than the tapas you get in Spain” – I couldn’t agree more.
Ratings out of ten: Food 9; menu choice 9; service 8; decor 8; ambience 9; overall 9.