Casa Paco in Seville: a fresh take on traditional tapas

Casa Paco, Seville: A few years after my last trip to Seville, I was back for more. The opportunity to revisit this fascinating and historical Andalusian city arose because I’d been staying a couple of hours nearby in southern Portugal and needed to pick up a flight from Seville to reach Edinburgh directly.

The menu at Casa Paca

The story of the “tapa” is one I know well – the term ‘tapa’ referring to a little covering placed atop a drink to keep out flies or dust. Those coverings were somethings bread, ham or a piece of cheese and so the tapa (or tapas) was born! I love Spanish food, so visiting Seville (or Sevilla) was a no-brainer.

Casa Paco, Seville: The Recommendation

Snacking or grazing from a range of foods is one of my favourite things to do. My hotel recommended Casa Paco in the centre of the city as a modern tapas joint that never failed to impress guests. It was late on a Saturday, I was hungry and the place was nearby.

Most diners eat right outside the main door to the bar area

There was just one table left outside, by the door. That’s my jacket. The city centre was just crammed. For a day late in November, it was still 24C (75F) and the buzz at the Christmas market right across the street was loud and bright.

Each table had a tiny trash can but I’m afraid there was still a bit of trash on the ground.

A small trash can at every table

Casa Paco, Seville: The Menu

I was presented with an English menu (for which I was glad). With my rudimentary Spanish, I noticed a few variations in the main menu written on the wall.

The menu is available in Spanish and English

When the servers brought a little hot roll, they also brought some specials of the day (see below) which had some very interesting options

A small tin flowerpot serves for silverware and a hot bread roll

Everywhere I went in Seville had a variation on these little hard breadsticks, like a firmer Italian grissini.

Casa Paco has own-brand grissini sticks

I must confess that I prefer a little butter or oil and vinegar when hot bread is served. The default here was plain.

Even wine by the glass is poured at the table

I chose a glass of Pazo de Monterrey, one of the house whites and it was light and dry. Perfect for a warm winter afternoon.

The red awnings across the street form part of Seville’s Christmas Market

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Casa Paco: The Food

The awning kept the strong sun off diners

My first choice was from the day’s specials: a salmon tartare.

Today’s special: salmon tartare

This was more like a ceviche cut than tartare, but it had been well-seasoned and the salmon was rich. It sat on a bed of firm potato pieces dressed with aioli, was topped with more aioli and sprouted seeds. This was served with more firm crackers which had the faintest hint of sesame. A top dish at €5.50.

The aioli was a real feature of this dish

Up next was another special billed as a curry dish, but not quite like any I’ve had. I knew from Google that the underlying biscuit was called an Inés Rosales, which is often sweet. I expected the unsweetened version here, but this was fully sugared.

Curried chicken served on an Inés Rosales sweet biscuit

The biscuit (akin to a large water biscuit) was topped with curried chicken and then with sweet chilli sauce. This was all much too sweet and the dish had no balance. This dish cost €4.50.

The sugar is crusted on this cracker

The croquettes (or croquetas) were prepared with roast pork. A much better option. These were deliciously rich and creamy with just the right amount of crunch. Croquetas can be a little oily but these had a dry texture which ate beautifully.

Four roast pork croquettes

At €4.40, I thought these were good value. Alongside the salmon tartare, this would have been a perfect lunch.

The roast pork filling of these croquetas was creamy

Casa Paco: The Bill

With a cover charge of €1, three courses and two glasses of wine, the total bill came to €22.40 excluding tip. Quite a bargain for a well-regarded modern tapas restaurant!

The bill seemed reasonable

With 8 nights in Seville, I might well be tempted to return. I’d like to try any other variations on those croquetas!

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