This restaurant in historic Shockoe Slip is a great place to stop after a long day and relax over a drink and a few plates of ... More
Europa Mediterranean Cafe & Tapas Bar
This restaurant in historic Shockoe Slip is a great place to stop after a long day and relax over a drink and a few plates of tapas. Seared Tuna with a Raisin and Caper Tapenade is an unusual treat and the Artichoke Misto is a must for garlic lovers. For those with a heartier appetite, Europa offers three types of paella; the traditional rice and vegetable dish of Spain ;with meat, fish or a combination. The lunch menu is designed for those who are limited on time with a variety of panini sandwiches, pizzas and salads.
We went to Europa last night for dinner. The appetizers and the wine were good, but the rest of the meal was disappointing to say the least.
The couple we were with ordered salads for their appetizers, the Caesar salad consisted of chopped romaine and parmesan, but it had little to no dressing on it. My boyfriend ordered the scallops, which were huge, they had a nice sear, were cleaned well (weren’t gritty), and they had a nice flavor. My only complaint would be that something needed to be on the plate to compliment the two scallops, sauce, butter…something. I ordered the bean puree soup with truffles and it was delicious. It was rich and creamy with nice truffle flavor. It had one shrimp on the side of the bowl, which seemed kind of disjointed because it was the only presentation addition to the dish. The shrimp was well cooked and tasted good, so it’s a minor complaint. So far we had good service, a good bottle of wine, and tasty appetizers. We should have left at that point.
It drives me crazy that so many restaurants will serve the tastiest appetizers, get you excited to eat the entrée, and then serve you one of the worst dishes you’ve ever eaten. This is exactly what happened. I consider myself somewhat of a foodie, and Europa’s lobster risotto ranks up in the worst five things I have ever eaten. The lobster wasn’t in the risotto, which I guess was a blessing in disguise because it was the only semi-edible portion of the dish. It was overcooked and coated in a charred peppery crust. The risotto sat up on the plate in a gelatinous pile and was covered in saffron which gave it an unbelievably stale flavor. The rice was undercooked and terribly bland. We asked for olive oil and salt to try to add some flavor to it but to no avail. It was actually quite a chore to get the olive oil because the waitress only had a flowered oil bottle that she said we couldn’t keep at the table. After we pressed her took the flowered bottle away and brought us an unflowered bottle to keep at the table. I guess she thought we’d break it.
I was hoping dessert would taste a little better but I was wrong! My boyfriend and I ordered tiramisu to share, but that too was a huge disappointment. The cake component had completely disintegrated as if it had been sitting in syrup for days. I managed to choke down two bites and then gave up.
If you are just going out for drinks, Europa will do. If you are hungry and you have the option to eat ANYWHERE else, I recommend that you do.
Europa is the kind of Restaurant i've found only in large metropolitan cities.It has a very upbeat an inviting atmosphere and the club downstairs is very comfortable and cozy and plays good music.The two large hi-def T.V.'s are a plus.Looks like a great party room.The menu is varied and very reasonably priced.I've never had a bad meal in at least a dozen trips there.
I'm a frequent visitor of tapas restaurants and although the idea is to share small entrees, Europa has extra small portions compared to some of the places that I've been. The food is good but I wish the portions were suitable for two people instead of one!
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